Futures of Hill and Alesi may depend on Fisichella dispute

After turning down McLaren, Damon Hill's options have become extremely limited, and it now appears that both his and Jean Alesi's decisions rely on factors beyond their control. Hill has turned down Formula One offers from Sauber and McLaren so...

After turning down McLaren, Damon Hill's options have become extremely limited, and it now appears that both his and Jean Alesi's decisions rely on factors beyond their control.

Hill has turned down Formula One offers from Sauber and McLaren so far, as well as a lucrative offer from Team Green in CART. And negotiations with teams such as Prost and Jordan have not gone well, with those teams not quite willing to pay the big salary that Hill is expecting. And Stewart now says they are likely to retain Jan Magnussen for next year after his improved performances as of late. And although Hill has not been known to be in discussions with Benetton, they do remain a prominent possibility. The only option that appears to be within his control is another year with Arrows.

Alesi, meanwhile, has been quietly losing out on opportunities for next year. With Benetton's likely disposal of the Frenchman at the end of this year, he has reportedly talked to Prost and Jordan, but neither team is very interested. CART may likely be his best drive next season. Another possibilty could see him reuniting with Tyrrell, but that is a bit drastic.

The dispute over Giancarlo Fisichella between Benetton and Jordan may very well determine where both Hill and Alesi will land next year. Eddie Jordan is fighting to retain the impressive Italian, claiming that Flavio Briatore's utilization of Fisichella's option was not within the grounds of the contract. Which ever team "wins" Giancarlo, the other will definitely have an open seat. In Jordan's case, there are several other drivers besides Hill and Alesi who are willing to take a much cheaper salary. And at Benetton, the signing of Alexander Wurz is immenent, and only one or two other drivers have been considered. Hill is one, but once again it is not expected that an offer from them would be in his expected range. Benetton's cost problems with Mecachrome have resulted in them looking for less expensive employment next year, starting with the dumping of Gerhard Berger's massive salary. Alesi could possibly remain, but it doesn't look that way.

Which ever way the cookie crumbles, it doesn't appear that either Hill or Alesi will be 100% happy with the result of their respective silly seasons. _________________________________________________

John Klender Proxis Grand Prix http://members.aol.com/proxbullet

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jean Alesi , Jan Magnussen , Eddie Jordan , Gerhard Berger , Alexander Wurz , Damon Hill , Flavio Briatore
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Benetton , Jordan