Jean Alesi

From WOI Encyclopedia Italia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jean Alesi at the 2001 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis
Jean Alesi
Nationality 22px-Flag of France.png French
Years 1989 - 2001
Team(s) Tyrrell, Ferrari, Benetton, Sauber, Prost, Jordan
Races 202
Championships 0
Wins 1
Podiums 32
Poles 2
Fastest laps 4
First race 1989 French Grand Prix
First win 1995 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win 1995 Canadian Grand Prix
Last race 2001 Japanese Grand Prix

Jean Alesi, born Giovanni Alesi on June 11, 1964 in Avignon, Vaucluse, France is a French racing driver of Both French and Sicilian origins. Jean Alesi drove a long time in Formula One for Ferrari and was very popular among the tifosi (Italian fanbase).

Early career

Starting his career with a passion for Rallying rather than racing, Alesi 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 1988 French Formula 3 title, and following it up in 1989 with the International Formula 3000 crown, both after duels with his rival Erik Comas. Also in 1989, he made his debut at Paul Ricard in the French Grand Prix, finishing 4th first time out.

Formula One debut

1990 was his first full year in Grand Prix racing, with the underfunded, unfancied Tyrrell team. At the first race in America he caused a sensation, leading the first 30 laps in front of Ayrton Senna with a car considered as inferior and re-passing him after he had been demoted. Second place in Grand Prix of Monaco was added to his second place in Phoenix, and by the middle of the season all the top teams were clammering for his services in 1991. A very confused situation erupted, with Tyrrell, Williams, and Ferrari all claiming to have signed the driver within a very short period.

Jean Alesi takes his only Grand Prix win at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

Alesi let his heart rule his head, and from the confusion chose Ferrari, who had just begun a downturn in form. In 5 years at the Italian marque he gained little except the passionate devotion of the Tifosi, who loved his emotional, aggressive style. When Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996, Alesi and teammate Gerhard Berger swapped places with him, joining the champion Benetton team, who, again, were beginning to experience a lull in form. After 2 seasons and internal politics, Alesi left. In his final years in the sport, Alesi drove for midfield teams Sauber and Prost gaining the odd podium, often in the wet where he excelled. Alesi ended his open-wheel career in 2001 with Jordan, bookending his open-wheel career nicely: Alesi had been in the Jordan Formula 3000 team when he won his title there.


Flamboyant, extroverted and emotional, Jean Alesi promised a great deal but never really delivered at the top level, sometimes due to impetuosity, sometimes due to his emotional decision to join the Ferrari racing team rather than the dominant Williams team in the early 1990s, but often due to sickeningly bad luck. In his penultimate race in Formula One, at Indianapolis in 2001, he became only the fifth driver to start 200 Grand Prix races, yet from his 201 starts, he only gained one victory - an emotional triumph at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec on his 31st birthday in 1995. Although the victory in itself was inherited following leader Michael Schumacher's car problems, no-one begrudged Alesi his day in the sun, particularly after several excellent but ulitimately unrewarded drives the year before, particularly in Italy.

Post-Formula One career

Alesi is now a popular and successful driver in the DTM (German Touring Car Championship), where he and his Mercedes finished in fifth place in the 2002 championship 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. Alesi is a wine connossieur and has a vineyard near his hometown of Avignon.

3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Scuderia Ferrari
22px-Flag of France.png Jean Todt | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Mario Almondo | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Stefano Domenicali | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Luca Baldisseri
Current drivers:
22px-Flag of Finland.png Kimi Räikkönen | 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Felipe Massa | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Luca Badoer | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Giancarlo Fisichella (Test Driver) 22px-Flag of Spain.png Marc Gené (Test Driver)
Notable Former drivers:
22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Alberto Ascari | 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Juan Manuel Fangio | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Mike Hawthorn | 22px-Flag of Austria.png Niki Lauda | 22px-Flag of South Africa.png Jody Scheckter | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png John Surtees | 22px-Flag of the United States.png Phil Hill | 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Rubens Barrichello | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Eddie Irvine | 22px-Flag of France.png Jean Alesi | 22px-Flag of France.png Alain Prost | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Nigel Mansell | 22px-Flag of Austria.png Gerhard Berger | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Michele Alboreto | 22px-Flag of France.png René Arnoux | 22px-Flag of France.png Patrick Tambay | 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Gilles Villeneuve | 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Carlos Reutemann | 20px-Flag of Switzerland.png Clay Regazzoni | 22px-Flag of the United States.png Mario Andretti | 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png Jacky Ickx | 22px-Flag of Germany.png Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Lorenzo Bandini
Formula One cars:
125 | 275 | 340 | 375 | 500 | 553 | 625 | 555 | D50 | 801 | 412 | 246 | 256 | 156 | 158 | 1512 | 312 | 312B | 312T | 126C | 156/85 | F1/86 | F1/87 | 640 | 641 | 642 | 643 | F92A | F93A | 412T | F310 | F310B | F300 | F399 | F1-2000 | F2001 | F2002 | F2002B | F2003-GA | F2004 | F2004M | F2005 | 248 | F2007 | F2008 | F60 | F10 | 150° Italia | F2012