Alesi celebrates birthday in the points

Jean Alesi gave himself a birthday to remember by taking fifth place in Canada

Alesi celebrates birthday in the points

The veteran Frenchman has now finished in the points for two consecutive races, despite having not scored at all during the 2000 season. Alesi, who will be 37 tomorrow (Monday), only qualified 16th in his Prost-Acer but was very competitive in the race and came close to beating Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen for fourth.

"These two points mean a lot to us and they are well deserved," said Alesi, who won in Montreal with Ferrari in 1995, his only victory so far in a 192 grand prix career.

"I want to thank everybody in the team here and in Guyancourt for the fantastic job done. One of the most important things on this track are the brakes and the team has done an excellent job on this aspect.

"Despite a disappointing qualifying position and a poor start I never had any problem and could push throughout the race. The team has given me a very reliable car so far this season, especially in the last two races, which has allowed me to give my best."

Team boss Alain Prost, who also saw Luciano Burti finish in 8th spot, said: "Jean, Luciano and the team behind them accomplished a remarkable performance.

"It is an intense happiness the team is experiencing. More than just two essential points, this result is the confirmation of our performance in Monaco, of our motivation and our potential. We know the amount of work that is ahead of us, but this is an extraordinary encouragement."

Prost set some startling times in winter testing but then languished in the midfield in the early races. Alesi, who also finished sixth in Monaco, was ecstatic after his Montreal result, performing 'doughnuts' on the slowing down lap and then throwing his helmet to the crowd.

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