Jean Alesi Q&A

There was a time when Jean Alesi was the rain master of F1, and as recently as 1998 he took third place for Sauber in that dramatic, accident-hit Belgian GP. But even the most gifted drivers can't do much if the car isn't up to the job. At the Nurburgring he brought his Prost home in a disappointing ninth place after a fraught afternoon. The only Prost driver in the race after Nick Heidfeld's exclusion, Jean made a good start from 17th, and was soon up to 12th. But his enthusiasm for the damp conditions cost him; he preferred to stay out and was one of the last to pit for wet tyres, and thus missed the chance to gain ground by stopping early. He never seemed to come on song when the track was soaking, and spent a long time stuck behind Ricardo Zonta. In the latter part of the race he began to experience problems with a gearshift which has a mind of its own. A stop for a new steering wheel led to a fourth pit visit for a speeding infringement, so at the flag Alesi found himself behind even Gaston Mazzacane's Minardi. However, ninth still marks his best finish of the season! Adam Cooper talked to the Frenchman about his 172nd GP start

Jean Alesi Q&A



"Yes, I'm really disappointed because I love the rain. I was really expecting more and more during the race, and unfortunately I had a gearbox problem and I had to come in. In fact it wasn't the gearbox it was the electronic shift - the gears were changing automatically. I came in, they hanged the steering wheel, but unfortunately when I started I got a penalty because the speed limiter was not on!"



"The handling was OK. Obviously it was extremely difficult to overtake or be able to be close to another car, but in this situation and in these conditions I have no problem."



"I started 17th and I knew that in a situation like that you don't have to be too aggressive at the beginning, and then watch the rest of the race on TV. I really tried to be calm and wait for the end, but at the end I had this problem."



"Well, we don't have it actually - the result is like that because the reliability was not good!"



"Each time we go better anyway. They know all the problems, and now they have to fix them."

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