Motorsport.com - After several weeks of speculation in the F1 paddock about the possibility of Jean Alesi switching to Jordan Grand Prix, it's now official. Alesi moves from Prost Grand Prix to Jordan effective immediately, and will take part in...
Motorsport.com - After several weeks of speculation in the F1 paddock about the possibility of Jean Alesi switching to Jordan Grand Prix, it's now official. Alesi moves from Prost Grand Prix to Jordan effective immediately, and will take part in the Hungarian Grand Prix in less than two weeks' time.
Alesi rejoins his old team owner from Formula 3000 days, when he won the 1989 F3000 championship driving for Eddie Jordan.
"There has not been a year which goes by when Jean does not come to talk to me about driving for us," Jordan said. "But we only struck this deal once Jean was free to join Jordan. Alain Prost and I are also very good friends and it is important to make clear that there is absolutely no animosity over the course of events which have lead to Jean joining Jordan."
Alesi's seat at Prost will be filled by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who had been dismissed by Jordan just days before the German Grand Prix.
"I'm happy that Alain Prost offered me to drive for the last five Grands Prix, said Frentzen. "It was very difficult to turn down the opportunity to tackle this new challenge."
"Eine solche Gelegenheit wollte ich nicht ausschlagen," Frentzen continued in German. "Meine Zusammenarbeit mit Prost Grand Prix ist eine neue Herausforderung und ich freue mich darauf, das Team für den Rest der Saison zu unterstützen."
Alain Prost, who had been about to take the matters to the F1 Contracts Recognition Board, was happy to be able to sign a strong, experienced driver like Frentzen to fill the vacant seat.
"I am delighted to welcome Heinz-Harald Frentzen in our team," Prost commentes. "His achievements in the last few years place him among the best drivers, and his large experience within top Formula One teams will be a strong asset for us for the remainder of the 2001 season."
He further explained, in French, that allowing Alesi to leave was crucial to maintaining and building a stable team. "Dans une periode où nous bâtissons le futur de Prost Grand Prix et elaborons notre strategie pour les annees à venir, preserver la serenite de l'equipe est primordial. C'est pourquoi j'ai prefere laisser partir Jean."
Neither Frentzen's nor Alesi's contracts go beyond the end of the 2001 season, so both drivers will have to impress if they are to retain their seats for next year.