Is Fernando Alonso’s future really as bleak as has been made out in Alan Henry’s column for F1 Racing magazine this month?

As viewers, we are lulled into a false sense that we know exactly what goes on even behind closed doors these days, but the truth of the matter is that only a select few are allowed access to the real behind-the-scenes stuff.

Journalists are of course privy to this access so I assume that we should take heed of what they say, but I have my doubts about Henry’s thoughts.

I can understand where he is coming from when he says that Alonso may have burned a lot of bridges with his outbursts against his McLaren team last season which may hinder his chances at getting a drive with a top team in the near future.  But to say that he is unlikely to ever become world champion again, or to even win another race in his career is a bit wide of the mark in my view.

Alonso’s options for next year appear limited to Toyota, Red Bull or Renault and it’s unlikely that any of these will offer him the opportunity to be on the podium at every race.  The likeliest of outcomes is that he will head back to Renault, but they have a huge black cloud hanging over them with the latest allegations of spying yet to be sorted out.  Whether they will even be racing next season, or if they are whether they could then afford Alonso’s salary after any fine is paid, is still a major doubt.

A double world champion is bound to still be appealing to some team managers though surely?  Even if his choices are limited for next season this is mainly down to the fact that his availability was only confirmed after several teams had signed their drivers for ‘08 - if it was known that he would be available again in 2009 then more people may start their planning a little earlier with him in mind.

Wherever he ends up next year, I think it’s a little early to write off Fernando Alonso’s career just yet.

Of course, it’s imperative that Alonso manages to keep his nose clean and have a relatively quiet season next year - off the track at least anyway.