The confirmation later on Thursday of the Spanish bank Santander's arrival at Ferrari as a sponsor does not mean Fernando Alonso is also heading to the Italian team.

That was the message intimated on Wednesday by Luca di Montezemolo, after the Ferrari president appeared at the Monza circuit for a meeting with his fellow FOTA chiefs.

The Italian will reappear at the circuit on Thursday for the Santander press conference "but that doesn't mean anything in terms of choices for the near future", he insisted.

"I want to say it again, that the drivers are chosen by Ferrari and not by the sponsors," Montezemolo added.

The rumours linking Ferrari, Santander and Alonso also involve Kimi Raikkonen, with it suggested that the marriage of the former trio means the team's Finnish driver must depart.

Referring to Raikkonen's run of top form, team boss Stefano Domenicali said in the Italian media: "As I said in Spa, I hope the rumours continue because if it means Kimi reacts like this, it is good for us."

Raikkonen, 29, is under contract for 2010, but Domenicali insisted that clear declarations about Ferrari's plans for next year will only be announced "at the opportune moment".


Montezemolo plays down Santander/Alonso link