May 10 (GMM) Having initially denied reports James Allison is heading to Maranello, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has hinted he might be warming to the idea.

The Italian team's lead driver Fernando Alonso, who worked with Allison at Renault when he won his titles mid last decade, said on Thursday that the 45-year-old Briton would be "welcome".

James Allison, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director
James Allison, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director

Photo by: XPB Images

"We are working well and this year things are going much better so we are happy with what we have but it's always welcome, any extra help," said Alonso.

"(It's) no secret he's one of the top men here (in F1) and we will see what future he has."

When asked about Allison, Montezemolo is quoted by Italiaracing: "We're always looking around for quality (people) if the right opportunity presents itself."

More broadly, Allison's departure could spell trouble at Lotus, with some in the paddock suggesting that lead driver Kimi Raikkonen could now also jump ship.

"He (Allison) wouldn't have walked away from Lotus if everything was rosy and the team was well funded to bring the developments they need for the car," British broadcaster Sky's pit reporter Ted Kravitz said in Barcelona.

"I think they (Lotus) are going to go downhill from here."