Alesi ‘emotional’ over son’s Ferrari test, clarifies Academy exit

Ferrari Formula 1 hero Jean Alesi has described his emotions as he watched son Giuliano get his first taste of an F1 car at the Fiorano test track on Monday morning.

Alesi ‘emotional’ over son’s Ferrari test, clarifies Academy exit
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Alesi Snr first tested a Ferrari 641 in November 1990, before an action-packed, five-year F1 career with the Scuderia. Son Giuliano, who has been racing in FIA Formula 2 for the past two seasons, got his first F1 run in a 2018-spec SF71H – sporting the same number 28 that his dad used in his inaugural season at Ferrari in 1991.

“It came as a surprise to me, I cannot believe he looked into the details like that,” said Alesi of his son’s decision to run with the number 28 on the car. “I believe I first tested in November 1990, the 15th my fan club tells me, so it is amazing to think that he drove the car with my number 30 years later.

“It was great to see him in a Ferrari – a lot of emotions for me! – but also a feeling of responsibility of not making a mistake as he was the first one to go out and everything was very cold, and others were to drive the car.

“It was not easy for him, but everything went fantastically well, and I felt good for him.”

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Alesi clarified that although Giuliano has officially left the Ferrari Driver Academy, which he joined in 2016 and won four races in GP3, that it’s not necessarily the end of his story with the Italian marque.

“It’s the end for him with the Academy, yes, but not with Ferrari – it is still our family,” he said. “That has been very clear from Ferrari.”

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Ferrari

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Ferrari

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Ferrari

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Federico Basile / Motorsport Images

Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari
Giuliano Alesi, Ferrari
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Photo by: Ferrari

After two difficult seasons in FIA Formula 2, Giuliano will leave Europe to race in Japan this year, where his father believes there’s a more level playing field for drivers to show their talent and progress on merit.

“If you look in our part of the world in Europe, nothing is a meritocracy,” said Alesi Snr. “You just need to pay and pay and pay.

“I think that’s crazy, it’s the only sport in the world where you have to pay to make your show. I think in Japan it seems much more fair.”

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