Former F1 driver Jean Alesi is selling his F40 to fund his son's racing career
Fair play? What do you say?
Former F1 driver Jean Alesi has decided to sell his Ferrari F40 in order to finance his son's racing career. Giuliano Alesi (born 1999) debuted with Trident in 2019 and he is currently competing in F2 with HWA Racelab but he hasn't been able to secure a sponsor to cover the cost (around €1.8 million) for a full season in Formula 2.
The world of motorsport has been hard hit by Covid, just like most anything else, and with a few exceptions, even F1 teams are struggling to find the budget to keep racing. In an interview with Sky Sport F1, Jean Alesi said that he tried to get sponsors for his son but he couldn't find an "acceptable proposal and with the economic downturn, several racing drivers aren't going to be able to complete their F2 or F3 season".
Jean Alesi began his journey in F1 racing for Tyrrell in 1989 and over the course of a 13-season career, he entered 202 GPs with six different teams, including Ferrari, scoring 241 career points and winning the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix. He never won the championship but he still managed to leave a mark. Ferrari fans still love him. In fact, Alesi acquired his F40 back in his Ferrari days thanks to Nelson Piquet.
"Nelson and I were close friends." Alesi said, "Negotiating a [Formula 1] deal wasn't easy for me and he helped me [with the contract] with his experience. On the contract, he wrote ‘Ferrari F40’, which was supposed to be a gift from Ferrari. I was sure they were going to say no, but they said yes".
Alesi said he didn't really have to think about it twice. "In my family, we do things with passion" he said, "if I have to choose between keeping an F40 in my garage or watching my son race, there's no comparison. And I'm old so I can't drive the F40 anyway!"
His decision was met with criticism from German racing driver Sophia Flörsch who took to her Facebook account to express her disapproval. She said she's not the son of [a famous racing driver] "and we do own a Ferrari F40. No sponsors as a Ferrari Driver Academy Junior? Talent founding is different, isn't it?" She has a point, to a point. But so does Alesi. I mean, wouldn't we all do it if it were our son?