Jean Alesi (39) will remain a member of the Mercedes-Benz driver line-up in the DTM until the end of 2005 at least. Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and the HWA team announced today that they extended their contract with the Frenchman. Jean ...
Jean Alesi (39) will remain a member of the Mercedes-Benz driver line-up in the DTM until the end of 2005 at least. Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and the HWA team announced today that they extended their contract with the Frenchman.
In his first DTM race, at Hockenheim April 2002, Jean came home third and achieved his first podium finish. Two races later, he clinched his first DTM victory at Donington, England. He finished his first season in the German touring car series fifth overall, and, together with his team mate Bernd Schneider, won the 2002 Teams’ Championship for Vodafone/AMG-Mercedes.
This year, coming home fourth in the season opener at Hockenheim was his best result in the first half of the season. However, he opened the second half with his second DTM race win - again at Donington. In the Drivers’ Championship, Alesi improved from seventh to fifth with 25 points. With four races to go and a maximum of 40 points to collect, the Frenchman is 18 points behind overall leader Bernd Schneider.
Alesi’s involvement helped the DTM become more international and even more popular. After the first six races in 2003, the first six drivers are from six different nations: 1, Bernd Schneider, Germany, 43 points; 2, Christijan Albers, Netherlands, 40; 3, Marcel F?ssler, Switzerland, 34; 4. Peter Dumbreck, Scotland, 26; 5, Jean Alesi, France, 25; 6. Mattias Ekstr?m, Sweden, 23.
In addition, there is a positive balance of attendance: A total number of 296,000 spectators attended the first five events of the 2003 DTM. This is an increase of 7.6 percent compared to last year.
Jean Alesi: "The DTM is a very competitive championship in which many drivers of all participating brands have the opportunity to win. Therefore, this is the greatest challenge I can image in motor racing after ending my Formula One career. Mercedes-Benz provides me with a car that gives me the chance to win races, and a very professional team. In addition, the DTM care a lot about their fans not only with exciting races, but also with an attractive side programme. I like to be so close to the people who support me. These are three good reasons to stay with DTM and Mercedes-Benz."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"Since Jean Alesi has joined Mercedes-Benz and the DTM, he has contributed to the growing popularity of our sport. With his two race wins he has proved his talent and that he is still eager. Therefore everybody in our team is happy that we are able to extend our contract with him and we look forward to many exciting and successful races with Jean to come."