OCTOBER 3, 2001
Jean Alesi has told Eddie Jordan to clarify whether he is a part of his plans for 2002 before the Japanese Grand Prix on October 14.
The 37-year-old Frenchman quit the Prost team in the summer after receiving a letter he did not like from his former friend. Although he was quite prepared to turn his back on the sport then, the sacking if Heinz-Harald Frentzen by Jordan gave Alesi an opportunity to join up with his old mentor and has since logged two invaluable points finishes for the team in his four races.
However, his deal with Jordan is only until the end of this season, and Alesi himself said that he had 'five chances' of keeping his seat or being forced to retire from the sport he still clearly loves. Until recently he said it would be Jordan or nothing in 2002, but has changed his mind on that score after it appears Honda's protege Takuma Sato is the man most likely to take the Jordan seat alongside Giancarlo Fisichella next year.
"I asked Eddie to tell me about his decision before Suzuka," said the former Ferrari charger. "I have not had a serious discussion with anybody else. But if I must go, I hope to know early enough to find another solution."
Alesi has admitted that CART might have lost some of its appeal after Alex Zanardi's accident at the Lausitzring but there is an increasing feeling that Arrows is looking to invest in the fiery Frenchman's racing abilities in its quest for an increased points haul in 2002.