“I started to cry”– Jean Alesi battled his tears when he realized that he is going to secure his maiden Grand Prix win of his career.
After frustrating near misses to have a Formula 1 Grand Prix win, Jean Alesi got his first and final success in Canada, which forced him to tear up at that moment.
The moment came when the final 10 laps of the 1995 Candian Grand Prix were left, and Michael Schumacher left the race due to the gearbox issue, putting him at the lead, and as soon as he realized it, it surely hit him hard.
“The public is really close to the track in Montreal and when that happened, I started to see a lot of movement in the Tribune [grandstands],” he told Motorsport.com.
“From the hairpin going back to the pits, there is a big TV screen, and I started to watch on the TV screen, but I miss the image. So I didn’t know really what’s happened.
“Then, when I passed the pits, my mechanics didn’t have the time to put my new position, so I was still P2. And I said okay, nothing different: I continue to push. And then I really saw the public, that the flags and everything, there was a big, big movement around me.
“Then, when I came back past the pits, I saw P1. From this moment, it was such a huge emotion inside of me that I started to cry. And it was not something intelligent because I was not able to control it.
“When I was braking into Turn 1, I had the tears in my eyes and it was not easy to catch the right line. Then I’ve been very angry with myself, but I start to slowly understand maybe it’s my day.”
It could have been a failure.
Alesi recalls that it wouldn’t have been possible if fate didn’t help him while trying to overtake Gerhard Berger and David Coulthard, but avoided getting tangled by Coulthard, who eventually spun around.
“At the time, you remember we had the warm up in the early morning, and this warm up was completely wet so we had rain tyres,” said Alesi, who had started fifth. “I finished P1 in the warm up and I had a very good feel of the car.”
“I was really dreaming to have the race on wets, but it was not the case. We start with slicks, but the circuit was not 100% dry, so it was very slippery.”
“And, when I make the move to overtake Gerhard, I was not thinking of overtaking at the same time also David, and he spun. So it was a very tough time, but I catch up the car because my car was also sliding, and I made a very good overtaking.”