'Senna is our No 1 target,' a Ferrari spokesman, Giancarlo Baccini, said yesterday, confirming Italian press reports that the team was negotiating with the Brazilian driver.
Baccini added that the Italian team had also had talks with Nigel Mansell and the Austrian driver, Gerhard Berger, about their plans for next season. Mansell, on the brink of his first world championship, and Berger are both former Ferrari drivers.
'Next year we expect good results, but we won't be back at the top,' Baccini said. 'Senna has to decide whether he accepts this. He must decide whether he is prepared to work with us to prepare a car for 1994.'
Jean Alesi, the French driver, is to have his Ferrari contract renewed, but the Italian, Ivan Capelli, who has just two championship points this season, will be replaced, according to Baccini.
Senna, the world champion three times since 1988, and Berger both drive for McLaren, but their future is uncertain since Honda, which supplies the engines to their team, may be about to pull out of the sport. An annoucement from Honda is expected this month.
'Once Honda declares its intentions for next season, the Senna situation will become much clearer,' Baccini said.
Ferrari, who contest their 500th world championship Grand Prix in Hungary on Sunday, are having another hugely disappointing season. They have collected just 15 points in the constructors' championship, and the last of their 103 race victories came almost two years ago. They recently re-appointed the Briton, John Barnard, as head of research and development.Reuse content