Alesi hijacked Bridgestone junket

JEAN ALESI's announcement that he is retiring from Formula 1 caused quite a storm, as it came during Bridgestone's annual gathering for the Japanese media.

The event - staged this year in a Tokyo hotel - is the most important one on Bridgestone's calendar as the Japanese tire company tells its domestic press of its successes in the season. This year however the story of defeating Michelin and defending the drivers' and constructors' championships successfully with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari took a back seat when the fireworks erupted among the Jordan squad.

Alesi was on stage with Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli, Eddie Jordan and Jean Todt when he was asked of his plans for 2002 and gave his notice to quit the sport. Before a stunned audience Eddie Jordan said "What Jean has just said is news to me." Jordan had, however, come straight from his announcement that Takuma Sato would be joining his team alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2002.

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