JULY 29, 2001
Alesi and Jordan
THE latest rumor from the Formula 1 paddock in Hockenheim is that Jean Alesi will leave Prost Grand Prix in the course of the next few weeks and will replace Heinz-Harald Frentzen at Jordan. The possibility of such a deal should not be discounted as Prost is struggling very badly for money at the moment and there have even been suggestions that Jean has not been paid and is going to stop racing for the team as the terms of his contract would have been breached if the money does not arrive.
The switch to Jordan could be a good move in the short term as Alesi and Jordan have always worked well together, right back to the Formula 3000 days when Jordan rescued Jean from a somewhat stagnated career and took him to the European F3000 title. Ever since those days Jordan has always wanted to run Jean but the opportunity has never arisen.
Jean has nearly 200 Grands Prix behind him and although he is not a very technical driver he is still quick and if the team can get the development work done by others progress could be made and Jean will drive the cars to the limit. Having won only one race Jean is still very hungry for success.
Jordan says that there are no decisions made about who will drive for the team at the next race but there was no shortage of activity in the paddock at Hockenheim on Sunday as negotiations moved on.
The loss of Alesi would be another blow to the Prost team which would push it further towards a sale. Alain Prost seems to be clinging on to the team in the hope that the Concorde Agreement will be renegotiated and thus will then provide him with he budget he needs to survive. The most likely buyer of the team remains the Diniz Family but the name of Flavio Briatore continues to circulate, along with the suggestion that the team will end up with a secondary engine supply from Renault.
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