FERRARI IS REPORTEDLY on the verge of announcing the signing of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, with Kimi Raikkonen set to move to McLaren next season.
Alonso has long been linked to a move to Ferrari with early reports in the Italian press suggesting a deal with the Spaniard could have been inked as early as 12 months ago.
Although Ferrari has previously denied claims it has signed Alonso, the team has recently shifted its stance, stating the final complexion of its 2010 remains uncertain.
However, Ferrari has been unable to confirm the announcement until it negotiated a buyout deal with Raikkonen, who is poised to reunite with McLaren.
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali said: ?I think that as soon as we are ready we will let you know. We don't want to wait too long. It is a possibility (that Alonso?s signing will be announced at Suzuka this weekend), but it is not guaranteed.?
Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug meanwhile has declared McLaren is not concerned by the prospect of pairing Raikkonen with another top-line driver in Lewis Hamilton.
McLaren?s history has been littered with disputes between co-team leaders, with Hamilton and Alonso?s 2007 battle for ascendency the last of a trail of discontent to emerge from Woking.
Haug though is confident the notoriously blas? Raikkonen could cooperate successfully with Hamilton should the situation arise.
?It's a question of money, it's a question of capability, a question of the amount of talent. Managing two megastars, I don't think that honestly it was a problem,? he said.
"With Alonso there were some noises to the outside world, but in reality inside the team everybody did his job and in reality we should have won the world championship. But it was not due to not having team orders.?
Raikkonen?s mooted move to McLaren was reportedly hastened by Spanish bank Santander?s decision to finance his buyout agreement from Ferrari, and will likely open the door for Brawn GP to potentially finalise a deal for Nico Rosberg.
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello would then shift across to Williams F1 and partner German rising star Niko Hulkenberg.