The Italian Grand Prix weekend usually delivers much in the way of paddock gossip and rip-roaring speculation. But the wildest stories I heard involved the prospect of Fernando Alonso eventually finding his way to the Ferrari squad in 2009.
Yes, I know that’s after the Scuderia re-signed Kimi Raikkonen to stay until the end of 2010 – so how precisely does that work?
Right now, pay attention and no talking down the back. The notion is that Raikkonen's brilliant managers, father and son David and Steve Robertson, worked in a clause in his original contract which gave them the right - if he scored sufficient championship points up to halfway through this season – to insist on Ferrari exercising an option to extend his services for a third year.
Although nobody knows this for sure, the theory is that the Kimster delivered and now the team has made good on its commitment.
It also means that the only way of slotting Fernando into a Ferrari for 2009 is to pay off two years of Kimi’s contract, not one. Although I formed the strong impression that I could have driven the Ferrari F2008 quicker than Raikkonen could manage in the opening stages of the Monza race, there’s no denying that when the Finn is on form, he's certainly worth having. But whether he is a better bet across a season than Fernando Alonso is deeply questionable, by any standards.
Yet Alonso is increasingly looking like a king without a kingdom. The Prince of the Asturias might get in at BMW Sauber, but runs the risk of being taken to the cleaners by Bobby Kubica.
He could go to Honda, of course, putting his trust in Ross Brawn. But for a man who seemed to have the world in his hand at the start of last season, that would require an astonishing act of faith – even if it’s all that’s left for the double world champion.