The F1 cult hero offspring making up for lost time in Japan
A relatively modest set of results in Formula 1's support categories meant Giuliano Alesi was at a crossroads at the end of 2020. Landed in Japan's second-tier Super Formula Lights category, an unexpected opportunity to try his hand in the main series yielded a shock maiden win that suggests he shouldn't be written off just yet
There was a nice piece of historical symmetry to Giuliano Alesi’s unexpected victory at a rain-soaked Autopolis last weekend in just his second Super Formula start. Exactly a decade earlier, Kazuki Nakajima had done the same thing, taking a first win at only the second time of asking – also driving for TOM’S, also at Autopolis, also in the wet.
The difference is, of course, is that Nakajima was already a veteran rebuilding his career in Japan having just seen his Formula 1 dreams crumble as a result of Toyota’s withdrawal from the championship. Alesi, on the other hand, was the youngest driver in the field at Autopolis at just 21 and one with a relatively modest CV, the highlights of which are four sprint race wins across three seasons of GP3 and a smattering of minor Formula 2 points finishes.
Autopolis Super Formula: Giuliano Alesi claims maiden victory
Sugo Super Formula: Sekiguchi scores first pole since 2018