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Alesi keen to keep Prost team French

JEAN ALESI has urged Prost Grand Prix boss Alain Prost to appoint another French driver to partner him for the 2001 Formula One World Championship.

Argentine Gaston Mazzacane has been linked with the second seat at the Guyancourt-based team but Alesi is keen for Prost to appoint Stephane Sarrazin or Jonathan Cochet in order to keep the French identity of the team.

"Ferrari can afford not to appoint Italians," Alesi said. "But I think Prost still has its identity to build.

"Although it sometimes annoys Alain, you can't deny this French identity. There are one or two young drivers - Stephane Sarrazin and Jonathan Cochet among them."

Alesi has been impressed with the performance of young tester Enrique Bernoldi, of Brazil, and admitted that he could come into the running for the position with an appointment hinging on the team's commercial direction.

He said: "We also need commercial help, and Enrique, who tested at Barcelona, did very well."

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