1 Oct 2009

Alonso's deal with Ferrari brought forward a year

9:31 am on 1 October 2009

An ecstatic Fernando Alonso has revealed he agreed some months ago to join Ferrari in 2011, but in recent days it was decided to sign him a year earlier.

Ferrari confirmed overnight they've signed Renault's dual world champion on a three year contract, and he'll team up with the Brazilian Felipe Massa who's expected to be fit to resume next season after fracturing his skull at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.

The 28-year-old replaces the 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who's been linked with his - and Alonso's - old McLaren team.

Media reports estimate Alonso's deal to be worth $50 million a year, although Ferrari are saying he'll be receiving less than expected because of the global recession.

Alonso has promised to give Renault his best as a goodbye present in the last three grands prix of this season.