Jean Alesi

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Jean Alesi
Jean Alesi 2001.jpg
FIA Super Licence Flag of France France
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1989 Formula One season - 2001 Formula One season
TeamsTyrrell Racing, Ferrari, Benetton Formula, Sauber, Prost Grand Prix, Jordan Grand Prix
Races202 (201 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions0
Wins1
Podiums32
Career points241
Pole position2
Fastest lap4
First race1989 French Grand Prix
First win1995 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win1995 Canadian Grand Prix
Last race2001 Japanese Grand Prix

Jean Alesi (born Giovanni Alesi; June 11, 1964) is a France racing driver of Italian people origins. His Formula One career included spells at Tyrrell Racing, Benetton Formula, Sauber, Prost Grand Prix, Jordan Grand Prix and most notably Ferrari where he proved very popular among the tifosi.

Contents

Early career


Alesi was born to Sicily parents in Avignon, Vaucluse. Starting his career with a passion for Rally racing rather than racing, he graduated to single seaters through the French Renault 5 championship. In the late 1980s he was very much a coming man in motor racing, winning the 1987 French Formula Three title before moving up to International International Formula 3000 in 1988. In 1989, his second season in International F3000, he won the championship. Both crowns were after duels with his rival Érik Comas. In 1989 Alesi tied on points for the F3000 title with Comas but won on the basis of better points finishes.

Formula One


Alesi at the 1991 United States Grand Prix.

Alesi debuted in the 1989 French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in a Tyrrell Racing-Cosworth, finishing fourth. He drove most of the rest of the season for Tyrrell while continuing his successful Formula 3000 campaign, (occasionally giving the car up in favour of Johnny Herbert when Formula 3000 clashed), scoring points again at the 1989 Italian Grand Prix and 1989 Spanish Grand Prix Grands Prix.

1990 was his first full year in Grand Prix racing, with the underfunded Tyrrell team. At the first event, the 1990 United States Grand Prix at Phoenix, he was a sensation, leading for 25 laps in front of Ayrton Senna with a car considered as inferior, and also re-passing Senna after the Brazilian had first overtaken for the lead. Second place in the 1990 Monaco Grand Prix followed the second place gained in Phoenix, and by mid-season, top teams were clamouring for his services in 1991. A very confused situation erupted, with Tyrrell, WilliamsF1, and Ferrari all claiming to have signed the driver within a very short period.

Jean Alesi took his only Grand Prix win at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec.

Ferrari were championship contenders at the time, and there he would be driving with fellow countryman Alain Prost, at that time the most successful driver in Formula One history. Alesi signed with Ferrari, making the choice that not only appeared to maximize his chances for winning the championship and for learning from an experienced and successful teammate, but that fulfilled his childhood dream of driving for the Italian team.

Alesi driving for Sauber at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix.
Alesi driving for Prost Grand Prix at the 2001 French Grand Prix.

Ferrari, however, experienced a disastrous downturn in form in 1991 Formula One season, while the Williams team experienced a resurgence which would lead them to win five constructor's titles between 1992 and 1997. Alesi's choice of Ferrari over Williams seemed the most logical at the time, but turned out to be very unfortunate. One of the reasons for this failure was because Ferrari's famous V12 engine was no longer competitive against the smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient V10s of their competitors. Having a dismal 1991 season, Prost left the team describing the car as a "truck" and took a Sabbatical.

In five years at the Italian marque Alesi gained little, except the passionate devotion of the tifosi, who loved his aggressive style. That style, and his use of the number 27 on his car, led many to associate him with Gilles Villeneuve, a beloved and still-popular Ferrari driver from 1977-1982. Alesi and teammate Gerhard Berger won only one race each at Ferrari.

When Benetton Formula's Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996, Alesi and teammate Gerhard Berger swapped places with him. Though Benetton was the defending constructors' champions, they were about to experience a lull in form like Ferrari in 1991. Schumacher went on to rejuvenate Ferrari, while Alesi and Berger spent two seasons at a declining Benetton riddled with bad luck and internal politics.

Alesi moved on, initially to Sauber and later Prost (racing team), the latter which was owned by his former Ferrari teammate Alain Prost. With Prost, Alesi was consistent, finishing every race, occasionally in points scoring positions, his best finish being at 2001 Canadian Grand Prix. A fallout after the 2001 British Grand Prix, however saw Alesi walk out after the 2001 German Grand Prix, where he scored a point.

Alesi ended his open-wheel career in 2001 with Jordan Grand Prix, bookending his career nicely: Alesi had driven for Jordan in Formula 3000 when he won the championship in 1989.

Legacy

Alesi was often regarded as flamboyant and emotional, but after his spectacular performance at 1990 United States Grand Prix in 1990, his career was notable more for its longevity than for its results. In 2001, he became only the fifth driver to start 200 Grand Prix races, and he achieved thirty-two podiums, yet he only gained one victory. It could be suggested that Alesi's potential was unfulfilled since he spent his peak years during the uncompetitive period at Ferrari.

His sole win was an emotional triumph at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec on his 31st birthday. Although he had inherited the lead when Michael Schumacher pitted with electrical problems and Damon Hill's hydraulics failed, the victory was a popular one, particularly after several excellent but ultimately unrewarded drives the year before, notably in 1994 Italian Grand Prix. Alesi's win at Montreal was voted the most popular race victory of the season by many, as it was the scarlet red number 27 Ferrari - once belonging to the famous Gilles Villeneuve at his much loved home Grand Prix. Memorably, Schumacher gave Alesi a lift back to the pits after Alesi's car ran out of fuel just before the Pits Hairpin.

Alesi would never win another Formula One Grand Prix, although later in 1995 at 1995 Italian Grand Prix his right-rear wheel bearing failed while he was leading with 9 laps to go, then at the 1995 European Grand Prix severely worn tyres broke his defence of the lead with two laps remaining. In 1996 only a suspension failure prevented him from taking victory at 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, while in 1997 he led the 1997 Italian Grand Prix from pole before relinquishing the lead to David Coulthard courtesy of a slow pit stop in the closing stages of the race.

In 2001, after coming in fifth at 2001 Canadian Grand Prix, Prost's best result of what would be his final season in F1, Alesi did a few donuts and threw his helmet into the crowd.

Post-Formula One career


Alesi driving for Mercedes-Benz (Persson Motorsport) in the 2006 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season.

After Formula One, Alesi was a popular and successful driver in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Championship), where he placed fifth in the 2002 championship for Mercedes-Benz with one victory. He repeated this in 2003 but this time scoring two victories. In 2004 he finished seventh in the championship scoring no victories. In 2005 he won the opening race and went on to take seventh place in the standings once more. He retired from the DTM after finishing the 2006 season in 9th place.

After a couple of years out of racing, Alesi joined a number of other ex-Formula One drivers (Christian Danner, Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson, Ukyo Katayama, JJ Lehto, Gianni Morbidelli, Jacques Villeneuve and Alex Yoong) in the inaugural season of the Far & Middle Eastern Speedcar Series. He won two races and finished 4th in the championship.

Alesi is a wine connoisseur and has a vineyard near his hometown of Avignon, where he resides with his wife, Japan model, actress, and pop singer Kumiko Goto (Ja:後藤久美子 (女優)), and their four children.

Occasionally, he appears on the programs dedicated to the F1 season, aired on the Italian state television as a guest.

DTM results

Jean Alesi in his 2006 DTM-Mercedes racecar
  • 2002 - 5th in the championship, 1 victory,
  • 2003 - 5th, 2 victories,
  • 2004 - 7th,
  • 2005 - 7th, 1 victory,
  • 2006 - 9th

Direxiv

Alesi was an active spokesman for the Direxiv team in their bid for entry to the 2008 Formula 1 series. It was planned as a McLaren B Team with backing and engines from Mercedes. However, the proposal was beaten to the final grid place by Prodrive.

Racing record

Complete Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1989 Formula One season Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell 018 Cosworth V8 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
1989 San Marino Grand Prix
1989 Monaco Grand Prix
1989 Mexican Grand Prix
1989 United States Grand Prix
1989 Canadian Grand Prix
1989 French Grand Prix
4
1989 British Grand Prix
Ret
1989 German Grand Prix
10
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
9
1989 Belgian Grand Prix
1989 Italian Grand Prix
5
1989 Portuguese Grand Prix
1989 Spanish Grand Prix
4
1989 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1989 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
9th 8
1990 Formula One season Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell 018 Cosworth V8 1990 United States Grand Prix
2
1990 Brazilian Grand Prix
7
9th 13
Tyrrell Racing Tyrrell 019 1990 San Marino Grand Prix
6
1990 Monaco Grand Prix
2
1990 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Mexican Grand Prix
7
1990 French Grand Prix
Ret
1990 British Grand Prix
8
1990 German Grand Prix
11
1990 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Belgian Grand Prix
8
1990 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Portuguese Grand Prix
8
1990 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1990 Japanese Grand Prix
DNS
1990 Australian Grand Prix
8
1991 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari SpA Ferrari Ferrari 642 Ferrari V12 1991 United States Grand Prix
12
1991 Brazilian Grand Prix
6
1991 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Monaco Grand Prix
3
1991 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
7th 21
Ferrari Ferrari 643 1991 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1991 French Grand Prix
4
1991 British Grand Prix
Ret
1991 German Grand Prix
3
1991 Hungarian Grand Prix
5
1991 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Portuguese Grand Prix
3
1991 Spanish Grand Prix
4
1991 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1991 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari SpA Ferrari F92A Ferrari V12 1992 South African Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Mexican Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Brazilian Grand Prix
4
1992 Spanish Grand Prix
3
1992 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Canadian Grand Prix
3
1992 French Grand Prix
Ret
1992 British Grand Prix
Ret
1992 German Grand Prix
5
1992 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
7th 18
Ferrari F92AT 1992 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1992 Japanese Grand Prix
5
1992 Australian Grand Prix
4
1993 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari F93A Ferrari V12 1993 South African Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Brazilian Grand Prix
8
1993 European Grand Prix
Ret
1993 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Monaco Grand Prix
3
1993 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1993 French Grand Prix
Ret
1993 British Grand Prix
9
1993 German Grand Prix
7
1993 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Italian Grand Prix
2
1993 Portuguese Grand Prix
4
1993 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1993 Australian Grand Prix
4
6th 16
1994 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 412T1 Ferrari V12 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
3
1994 Pacific Grand Prix
Inj
1994 San Marino Grand Prix
Inj
1994 Monaco Grand Prix
5
1994 Spanish Grand Prix
4
1994 Canadian Grand Prix
3
5th 24
Ferrari 412T1B 1994 French Grand Prix
Ret
1994 British Grand Prix
2
1994 German Grand Prix
Ret
1994 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1994 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1994 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1994 Portuguese Grand Prix
Ret
1994 European Grand Prix
10
1994 Japanese Grand Prix
3
1994 Australian Grand Prix
6
1995 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 412T2 Ferrari V12 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix
5
1995 Argentine Grand Prix
2
1995 San Marino Grand Prix
2
1995 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Canadian Grand Prix
1
1995 French Grand Prix
5
1995 British Grand Prix
2
1995 German Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Portuguese Grand Prix
5
1995 European Grand Prix
2
1995 Pacific Grand Prix
5
1995 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
1995 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
5th 42
1996 Formula One season Mild Seven Benetton Formula Renault F1 Benetton Formula Benetton B196 Renault F1 V10 1996 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
2
1996 Argentine Grand Prix
3
1996 European Grand Prix
Ret
1996 San Marino Grand Prix
6
1996 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1996 Spanish Grand Prix
2
1996 Canadian Grand Prix
3
1996 French Grand Prix
3
1996 British Grand Prix
Ret
1996 German Grand Prix
2
1996 Hungarian Grand Prix
3
1996 Belgian Grand Prix
4
1996 Italian Grand Prix
2
1996 Portuguese Grand Prix
4
1996 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
4th 47
1997 Formula One season Mild Seven Benetton Formula Renault F1 Benetton Formula Benetton B197 Renault F1 V10 1997 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1997 Brazilian Grand Prix
6
1997 Argentine Grand Prix
7
1997 San Marino Grand Prix
5
1997 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1997 Spanish Grand Prix
3
1997 Canadian Grand Prix
2
1997 French Grand Prix
5
1997 British Grand Prix
2
1997 German Grand Prix
6
1997 Hungarian Grand Prix
11
1997 Belgian Grand Prix
8
1997 Italian Grand Prix
2
1997 Austrian Grand Prix
Ret
1997 Luxembourg Grand Prix
2
1997 Japanese Grand Prix
5
1997 European Grand Prix
13
4th 36
1998 Formula One season Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber Sauber C17 Petronas V10 1998 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1998 Brazilian Grand Prix
9
1998 Argentine Grand Prix
5
1998 San Marino Grand Prix
6
1998 Spanish Grand Prix
10
1998 Monaco Grand Prix
12
1998 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1998 French Grand Prix
7
1998 British Grand Prix
Ret
1998 Austrian Grand Prix
Ret
1998 German Grand Prix
10
1998 Hungarian Grand Prix
7
1998 Belgian Grand Prix
3
1998 Italian Grand Prix
5
1998 Luxembourg Grand Prix
10
1998 Japanese Grand Prix
7
11th 9
1999 Formula One season Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber Sauber C18 Petronas V10 1999 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
1999 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
1999 San Marino Grand Prix
6
1999 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
1999 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
1999 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
1999 French Grand Prix
Ret
1999 British Grand Prix
14
1999 Austrian Grand Prix
Ret
1999 German Grand Prix
8
1999 Hungarian Grand Prix
16
1999 Belgian Grand Prix
9
1999 Italian Grand Prix
9
1999 European Grand Prix
Ret
1999 Malaysian Grand Prix
7
1999 Japanese Grand Prix
6
16th 2
2000 Formula One season Gauloises Prost Grand Prix Peugeot Prost Grand Prix Prost AP03 Peugeot V10 2000 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
2000 British Grand Prix
10
2000 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
2000 European Grand Prix
9
2000 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 French Grand Prix
14
2000 Austrian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 German Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Italian Grand Prix
12
2000 United States Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
2000 Malaysian Grand Prix
11
22nd 0
2001 Formula One season Prost Grand Prix Acer (engine) Prost Grand Prix Prost AP04 Acer (engine) V10 2001 Australian Grand Prix
9
2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
9
2001 Brazilian Grand Prix
7
2001 San Marino Grand Prix
9
2001 Spanish Grand Prix
10
2001 Austrian Grand Prix
10
2001 Monaco Grand Prix
6
2001 Canadian Grand Prix
5
2001 European Grand Prix
15
2001 French Grand Prix
12
2001 British Grand Prix
11
2001 German Grand Prix
6
15th 5
Benson & Hedges Jordan Grand Prix Honda Racing F1 Jordan Grand Prix Jordan EJ11 Honda Racing F1 V10 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix
10
2001 Belgian Grand Prix
6
2001 Italian Grand Prix
8
2001 United States Grand Prix
7
2001 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine Tyres 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1988 International Formula 3000 season Oreca March Engineering Cosworth Avon Rubber Circuito de Jerez
11
ACI Vallelunga Circuit
9
10th 11
Reynard Motorsport Grand Prix de Pau
2
Silverstone Circuit
5
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Ret
Autodromo di Pergusa
6
Brands Hatch
Ret
Birmingham Superprix
Ret
Bugatti Circuit
Ret
Zolder
9
Dijon-Prenois
5
1989 International Formula 3000 season Jordan Grand Prix Reynard Motorsport Mugen Motorsports Avon Rubber Silverstone Circuit
4
ACI Vallelunga Circuit
Ret
Grand Prix de Pau
1
Circuito de Jerez
5
Autodromo di Pergusa
Ret
Brands Hatch
2
Birmingham Superprix
1
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1
Bugatti Circuit
6
Dijon-Prenois
1st* 39

* - Alesi won the 1989 title on countback, winning three races to Érik Comas' two.

Trivia

  • Alesi injured his back after the first race of the 1994 season (1994 Brazilian Grand Prix) and was replaced in the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix and the infamous 1994 San Marino Grand Prix (round 3) by Nicola Larini.
  • Following Alesi's first and only GP win in the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, his Ferrari ran out of fuel as he waved to fans on the backstraight and he was given a lift back to the pits by Michael Schumacher.
  • Alesi had a cameo role as himself in the Sylvester Stallone movie Driven.
  • He supports F.C.Juventus Torino.

External links


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Yannick Dalmas
French Formula Three Championship
Champion

1987
Succeeded by
Érik Comas
Preceded by
Roberto Moreno
International Formula 3000
1989
Succeeded by
Érik Comas
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ayrton Senna
Autosport
International Racing Driver Award

1989
Succeeded by
Ayrton Senna


Persondata
NAME Alesi, Jean
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Alesi, Giovanni
SHORT DESCRIPTION French racing driver of Italian people origins
DATE OF BIRTH June 11, 1964
PLACE OF BIRTH Avignon, Vaucluse
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH
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