Jean Alesi at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix 2021

My favourite ever Formula 1 driver, Jean Alesi, returned to drive for Ferrari at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix 2021, held over the 23-25 April.  Alesi raced in 201 Formula 1 races from 1989-2001, with his only win coming at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, at the wheel of a Ferrari 412 T2.

He also raced for Tyrrell, Benetton, Sauber, Prost and Jordan over his illustrious career.  After winning the Formula 3000 Championship in 1989, Alesi made an immediate impact in Formula 1, finishing in fourth position at the 1989 French Grand Prix, driving for Tyrrell.  In 1990, at the United States Grand Prix, Alesi in a Tyrrell duelled with the great Ayrton Senna, leading the early stages of the race but eventually finishing runner up to Senna.  This was around the time that my love for Alesi started, and I admired his ability to be a front runner in a largely inferior car.  His car control was exemplary and his ability to be fast in wet conditions was a major strength.  Finishing third at the very wet and chaotic 1998 Belgian Grand Prix in an inferior Sauber was an example of his strength in wet conditions.  He had all the makings of being a multiple world champion; however fate and quite a bit of bad luck only resulted in him winning just the one race.  Who knows what might have happened if Alesi managed to get the drive for Williams in 1991.

For the Monaco Historic Grand Prix 2021, Alesi was back behind the wheel of Ferrari Formula 1 car, racing an ex-Niki Lauda 1974 Ferrari 312 B3.  In the race, the Frenchman was in a battle with three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner, who was driving a Lotus 77.  Alesi, leading with only three laps to go, was touched by the Lotus, resulting in him hitting the barriers and ending his race.  Werner crossed the line first but was handed a penalty that dropped him to third.  The race was therefore won by historic ace, Michael Lyons in a McLaren M26.  It was an unfortunate end to the race, but it was great to see Alesi back behind the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car.

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