Rome:Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso could start driving for Ferrari in 2011 or even sooner if Kimi Raikkonen doesn't shine, Italian sports paper La Gazzetta Sportiva reported on Sunday.
Gazzetta wrote without attribution that a deal had been made that could bring Alonso to Ferrari in 2011 on a contract of three or four years, although both sides are keeping their options open.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was vague about the team's longer-term driver options when chatting with journalists at a recent holiday dinner, the paper reported.
"We have (Felipe) Massa and Raikkonen under contract for the next two years," Montezemolo was quoted as saying. "As for the future, we'll see. Alonso is a great champion, but life is long. He's young."
Gazzetta indicated that the pressure is on Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, to deliver. "Kimi is being called on to give his all," the sports newspaper wrote.
Ferrari officials declined to comment on the report.
Last month, Alonso opted to stay with Renault, signing a two-year extension of his contract that will keep him at the French Formula One team through 2010.