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F1 | What Might Have Happened If... Jean Alesi Signed For Williams

He was a lot closer to Mansell in '91

I agree with you but from interviews I've read and listened to, Ricardo didn't like the active cars much either. As the car was doing the corner work for you (controlling the balance of the car) he never fully trusted them and just didn't like them as much. I think the brut force style of driving that Mansell used suited the car better.

The '91 car was still mainly "analogue" and based on driver feel and style and I think that's why he managed to do a good job against Mansell.

The more the cars became "digital" the less Patrese liked them. Admittedly it was towards the end of his career but it was even more evident in the all singing and dancing Benetton which had more electronics and aids than a fighter jet, lol.

Similar in a way to when we had the grooved tyres or even going over to the hybrid era, some drivers prefer a different type of car.
 
Alesi was a great driver but got emotional in the cockpit and that caused him to do erratic things.

I went to Montreal where he won thanks to Shumi having a problem with steering wheel electronics and having to pit for a steering wheel change. On the way back to the car after getting of subway a stretched limo with tinted windows slowed down. My reactions where off and i should have gone to the limo that slowed down for me as a fan. I think it may have been Alesi in the Limo or another driver. What might have been.

Sadly Alesi only won the one race at Montreal. He deserved more. Many more
 
Although an unquestioned professional who enjoyed a very long career within F1, among the final rankings of Grand Prix greats, Riccardo Patrese was arguably a nobody. His results across 1991 and 1992 proved that once and for all, as he was a total nonfactor in competing for either driver's championship those seasons despite being given and/or developing competitive machinery. In F1, your first point of comparison is always your own teammate, and Patrese never posed a serious threat to Mansell's dominance during their time at Williams. His "no comment" responses at post race interviews in 1992 was how he ultimately coped with these harsh truths.

That being said, it's hard to believe the unbelievable length of his career--after all, Patrese harshly suffered the brunt of the racing community's grief at the death of Ronnie Peterson at Monza in 1978 and was perennially slagged in the media as a consequence. Ford DFV, turbos, normally aspirated V10s, active suspension--Riccardo drove them all.
 
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Tormentor

Premium
I don't give a damn what would have happened, but when I see the pictures I just want to scream GPL2!
Please please please please, can anyone please develop an early 90's F1 sim?
All the awesome tracks, V8, V10, V12 engines, 2 tyre brands and all the legends like Senna, Berger, Mansell, Prost, Piquet, Schumacher, Patrese, Häkkinen, Herbert, Alesi, Zanardi... etc in one game!
PLEASE!
God damn it Reiza, why have you missed this chance!
 
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Although an unquestioned professional who enjoyed a very long career within F1, among the final rankings of Grand Prix greats, Riccardo Patrese was arguably a nobody. His results across 1991 and 1992 proved that once and for all, as he was a total nonfactor in competing for either driver's championship those seasons despite being given and/or developing competitive machinery. In F1, your first point of comparison is always your own teammate, and Patrese never posed a serious threat to Mansell's dominance during their time at Williams. His "no comment" responses at post race interviews in 1992 was how he ultimately coped with these harsh truths.

That being said, it's hard to believe the unbelievable length of his career--after all, Patrese harshly suffered the brunt of the racing community's grief at the death of Ronnie Peterson at Monza in 1978 and was perennially slagged in the media as a consequence. Ford DFV, turbos, normally aspirated V10s, active suspension--Riccardo drove them all.

His 1991 season was a lot closer to Mansell than the '92, a season which was quite poor considering the car he had as discussed earlier on.
I recall his 'no comment' came at the French GP when he was asked if he was given the order to back off after looking quite racy against Mansell early on. He waved Mansell though rather than just let him overtake. Maybe he made it obvious for the watching millions to show what was going on?

Were there other time's he 'no commented'?
 
I agree with you but from interviews I've read and listened to, Ricardo didn't like the active cars much either. As the car was doing the corner work for you (controlling the balance of the car) he never fully trusted them and just didn't like them as much. I think the brut force style of driving that Mansell used suited the car better.

The '91 car was still mainly "analogue" and based on driver feel and style and I think that's why he managed to do a good job against Mansell.

The more the cars became "digital" the less Patrese liked them. Admittedly it was towards the end of his career but it was even more evident in the all singing and dancing Benetton which had more electronics and aids than a fighter jet, lol.

Similar in a way to when we had the grooved tyres or even going over to the hybrid era, some drivers prefer a different type of car.

Fair comments. I always liked Patrese. He's not one of the greats by any means, just a steady results kind of driver without the heroics of many others of his time. I guess his best season was against the highly rated (at the time) Boutsen when he was supposed to be his number 2 in 1989.
His career certainly nosedived after Mansell in '92, being alongside Schumacher in '93 finished him off.
 
His 1991 season was a lot closer to Mansell than the '92, a season which was quite poor considering the car he had as discussed earlier on.
I recall his 'no comment' came at the French GP when he was asked if he was given the order to back off after looking quite racy against Mansell early on. He waved Mansell though rather than just let him overtake. Maybe he made it obvious for the watching millions to show what was going on?

Were there other time's he 'no commented'?

Are we discussing horseshoes or motor racing? Was there ever a racing driver satisfied with being "closer" to--but ultimately below--his teammate's superior performance? Williams has typically been, relative to other F1 teams, quite willing to let their drivers compete against one another. If Patrese's position within Williams had reached the point that he was forced to accept team orders, then I guess there really wasn't anything else to say other than "No comment" to those on the podium or in the paddock.
 
I don't give a damn what would have happened, but when I see the pictures I just want to scream GPL2!
Please please please please, can anyone please develop an early 90's F1 sim?
All the awesome tracks, V8, V10, V12 engines, 2 tyre brands and all the legends like Senna, Berger, Mansell, Prost, Piquet, Schumacher, Patrese, Häkkinen, Herbert, Alesi, Zanardi... etc in one game!
PLEASE!
God damn it Reiza, why have you missed this chance!

Totally agree with you. The Formula Classics in AMS2 are some of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive, even in their early access state. Reiza's generic 80's turbos are just so much fun when driven around the Osterreichring '77, Brands Hatch, or Kyalami Historic. I would throw money at Reiza if they would flesh out their Senna-era generics with a comprehensive DLC pack of historic F1 tracks.
 
I agree with the story. But more importantly, Alesi would have been a far better driver. Since Tyrrell, he basically raced for incredibly unstable teams for the rest of his career. Ferrari changed bosses and designers all the time, then at Benetton everyone was leaving anyway, at Sauber promises were never fulfilled and at Prost it was a disaster. Even at Jordan, it was the start of their big decline. He always had to drive around car problems to avoid the politics in the team, avoid bruising egos... just not the right environment to develop as a driver.
If he had signed up at Williams, having the stability and being in a proper racing team w/o politics just like at Tyrrell, he would have improved a lot as a driver. Would he have beaten Senna? Probably not. But he would have given him a run for his money and also one more thing, Renault being French... I remember they were helping Prost, I'm sure they would have done the same with Alesi against Senna! And it is only natural, Brazil isn't exactly their main market... but with Senna dead and Alesi being so much more experienced than Damon Hill, he would have beaten Schumacher in 94 for sure. In 95? Idk... Obviously 96 & 97 would have been easy titles.
Effectively this choice prevented him from being one of the most successful drivers in F1. I think he is still a legend because of his driving style, his incredible car control in the wet and he's still so popular some 20 years after his retirement. But he raced for Ferrari and the Tifosi loved him more than anyone, he was one of them. He won on his birthday at the track named after his childhood hero driving Ferrari #27!
He doesn't have any regrets and that's the most important thing.
 
Of all the cars Alesi drove in his time at Ferrari, the ‘95 car was easily the best. He led races in it but the car failed him or the team screwed things up and cost him wins (Berger in the sister car as well). I remember when they were dominating the Italian Grand Prix. Berger suffered some sort of failure, but I remember that Alesi’s car suffered a hub failure at about two thirds distance. It was this sort of thing that didn’t help. So the signs were there that Ferrari were on the way back up but they just needed those last few pieces of the jigsaw.

His raw car control was always very impressive, whenever It rained he came to front.

Just one another of those stories where the driver didn’t get the right car at the right time. However he did win a race, and a lot of very good drivers don’t even get a podium these days.

it may have been contract related (I cant remember) but I wonder if he was offered a seat at Williams in ‘93 opposite Prost? Prost was a good friend of his. Of course the seat went to Damon.

In '95 they could have won many races. Then in '96, Schumacher & especially Irvine had many DNFs, but MSC was lucky to win 3 races... Alesi & Berger could have easily won 2 more races. At that time Ferrari and Marlboro were spending tons of money and they naturally came to the front in '97. Of course, Benetton was weakened and having a much smaller budget, Renault exiting the sport...

He had signed up for Ferrari for '93, he was available... another case of bad management, but mostly on the part of Williams! Because they also missed on Berger, I guess also on Brundle, Blundell :) They had to run a rookie who didn't have anything like a stellar career before that... Adrian Newey left Williams precisely because they were making the wrong moves with the drivers - it's in his book. They promised to make the decisions together with him, but didn't do it! Signing up JV was the reason he decided to leave. At that time I thought Williams were trying to win with slower drivers just to show how great is their car :)
 
excellent post, very interesting the whole story is to make a watch movie , really very moving trajectory. My grandfather was a runner and I know very well what it feels like in that competition, the previous work and the shared victory.
 

JOtruba

Premium
I would agree with the title in Alesi's 92 Williams - 91 would be very interested contest tho so cointoss?
However let us not forget that most of William's champions left to better payed positions.

I would assume that (provided Alesi did not sign multi season contract) he would be with Ferrari for 93 (potentially 92 should he win title in 91).

I wonder how much would change if the Benetton cheating in 94 and 95 was caught and penalised during the season. Maybe we would have more titles for Damon, hell maybe David would win a title!
Or even if Montoya did actually pull his act together in 2'003-2'004, could Williams perhaps have remained in top 5 if they'd won title - some better deals with engine suppliers (compared to Toyota, cosworth and you know that ilk)?
Hell i'd love to see what would happen if de Cesaris actually did manage to stick around good teams until they bounced back into golden form.
 
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