FERRARI HAS dampened speculation Fernando Alonso will be announced as its new driver ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September.
Spanish newspaper Diario AS claims Ferrari has agreed to a deal to bring the two-time World Champion to Ferrari next season and replace Kimi Raikkonen, who is currently languishing in 10th place in the driver's standings.
Alonso was expected to arrive at Maranello in 2011, but Ferrari's struggles, combined with Raikkonen's lack of form was reported to have prompted the manufacturer to accelerate its driver succession plans.
Diario AS also claimed Alonso and new team sponsor Santander would be introduced to the Ferrari faithful at the Scuderia's 'World Finals' event at Valencia in November, where the Renault ddriver would appear as a special guest.
However, Ferrari has now issued a statement emphatically denying the reports, dismissing any talk of Alonso racing for the team next year as rumour-mongering.
Ferrari spokesperson Luca Colajanni told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport: "We are not going to waste our time commenting on speculation. Everyone should remember that (Felipe) Massa and Raikkonen have contracts which include 2010."
Meanwhile, Spanish Motor Racing Federation President Carlos Garcia has dismissed suggestions FIA President Max Mosley has annointed former Ferrari Team Principal Jean Todt as his successor.
Ron Dennis has also been rumoured as a potential replacement for Mosley, but the pair's widely reported dislike for each other will likely curtail the former McLaren F1 boss' bid to head motorsport's governing body.
Garcia told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: "Unless Max has gone even more mad, I don't think he'll back Jean Todt because we all know where he comes from and who he's linked to."
Garcia also criticised Ferrari and FOTA President Luca di Montezemolo for issuing the inflammatory claim that Mosley behaved like a "dictator" throughout his time at the helm of the FIA.
The World Motor Sport Council member said FOTA should beware of further offending Mosley and inciting the 69-year old to stand for re-election.
"What Luca di Montezemolo has done shows a total lack of respect to the FIA and the World Council. I don't support Max Mosley to the death, but what I am totally in favour of, to the death, is respect for our institutions," he said.
"It wouldn't surprise me if Max Mosley runs for re-election. The worst thing you can do is leave an animal badly wounded. What Luca has managed to do is re-activate Max."