Speculation on Alonso future continues at home circuit

If it's Spain, it must be Fernando Alonso. That was the message yesterday as Valencia prepared to stage the European Grand Prix at the new facility in the port that has lately been home to the America's Cup. The fact that tickets are already being advertised at half price in the locality suggests that Spanish enthusiasm for Formula One is primarily dependent on how the local hero is doing.

His manager travelled to the track direct from Rome, refuelling speculation of a change to Ferrari one year sooner than planned (insiders firmly believe the deal is done for 2010 regardless of what the champion Kimi Raikkonen decides to do). But Rubens Barrichello also admitted that he is looking over his shoulder as Alonso holds talks with Honda.

"I think the team are definitely talking to Fernando, but I have never been so enthusiastic about my whole situation with them," Barrichello said. "I left Ferrari because I didn't have the freedom to do what I want to do, and at Honda I have that but not the car to perform. I am waiting for that chance. The day that I feel that I am slower than I was in my first race is the day I will call a stop. So I am still talking to team, and other teams. I want to be racing."

Alonso, however, chose this moment to talk up his Renault team as they battle for fourth place in the constructor' championship with Toyota. "I am reviewing whether to stay with Renault for another year," he admitted. "And why not? I have been saying for the last three months that I will concentrate in the next three or four races on our crucial fight with Toyota. September, October, it will be time to think about 2009."

In other words, once Raikkonen has made his decision whether to continue next year. "I want to win podiums, and races, next year," Alonso reiterated. "We will see how strongly Renault can finish the season and how much confidence I have that they will do well in 2009. The change in the regulations will be a bit into the unknown and we will not know which team will be slow and which will be quick. But Renault were world champions two years ago so they know how to build quick cars."

As hedge-betting went, it was all good stuff.

On a more serious note, the former champion spoke of the Spanair plane crash which killed 153 people in Madrid the previous day. It was Spain's worst air accident in 20 years. "It was a great shock to our nation," Alonso said. "I will be asking the other drivers to observe a minute's silence before practice tomorrow."

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa indicated that they were more than willing to participate. "I definitely want to do that and send out my own heartfelt feelings to all the families and people of Spain," Hamilton said.

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?