Grapevine: Alesi-McLaren Rumours Mounting

Speculation that Jean Alesi will become the figurehead for the McLaren second team planned for 2007 is mounting

Grapevine: Alesi-McLaren Rumours Mounting

The Frenchman, who was a guest of McLaren for the Japanese Grand Prix, refused to comment on the widespread speculation last month when he was first linked with the role by Autosport, but there are now suggestions he has been formally offered the position by Japanese finance company Direxiv, who are funding the team.

According to a report in Autosprint, Alesi has been asked to make a decision within the next week about whether he wants to become the team manager of the operation. It is likely that Alesi will retire from racing when his contract with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM expires at the end of 2006.

Furthermore, Autosport-Atlas understands that McLaren are pushing ahead their plans with Direxiv with renewed vigour.

Sources claim that the recent announcement that Honda are being involved in plans for an 11th team has acted as a wake-up call for McLaren to ensure that they secure the last remaining slot for 2007. The Concorde Agreement has a strict limit of 12 teams being allowed to race in F1.

It is understood that the Direxiv operation will be based at McLaren's old factory in Woking, using much of the equipment that the team used before they moved to the new McLaren Technology Centre.

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