We're going to call this one a rumor for at least a little while, but wow. We just got wind of this monster deal that would really cause a major stir in the already tumultuous world of Formula One. News of the World just reported that two-time world driving champion Fernando Alonso is leaving McLaren-Mercedes next year. While that was considered a sure thing in the wake of Stepneygate and all, the real shocker is that he isn't headed to Renault to be reunited with Flavio Briatore as expected. Instead, they have him going to Ferrari of all places. The report says that a cool $40 million was the price to secure Alonso for the scuderia. As they point out, it should be a relatively easy transition for Fernando, who has already been *ahem* studying design features of the Ferrari all season.

With current Ferrari pilot Felipe Massa headed to Toyota, Fernando will be joining current #3 in the driver's race, Kimi Raikkonen, in '08. It should make for another interesting battle over who's number one. The same article that tells of Fernando going to Maranello also bolsters the rumor that Ross Brawn will be stepping up as team manager when Jean Todt leaves at the end of the season. It's not often that the silly season starts this early, but this has been a very atypical year for the FIA and its premier racing class. We'll do some digging and see if we can find other sources to back this one up. But until then, this can only make the last three races of the season more compelling TV.

[Source: TopSpeed]