Happy 50th birthday, Jean Alesi (VIDEO)


Only fitting that after Formula One’s newest race winner has entered that elite distinction – Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday in Montreal – we celebrate the birth of one of F1’s most famous one-off Grand Prix winners: Jean Alesi.

Alesi turns 50 today, and it’s fitting timing too for the French Sicilian. He was the podium interviewer at this year’s Canadian Grand Prix, and of course, his one and only win came in the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix driving the No. 27 Ferrari.

It remains the last time the No. 27 won a Grand Prix, although in its return to the grid this year, Nico Hulkenberg of Force India has done it proper justice by producing seven points-paying finishes in as many races. Six of them are fifth or sixth place results.

As for Alesi, who racked up more than 200 Grands Prix in a career that spanned from 1989 to 2001, he since moved into DTM and Le Mans racing in GTE.

His most recent race was a one-off in a Judd-built, Lotus-powered entry at the 2012 Indianapolis 500, driving for Fan Force United. Alesi started and finished last in a car that was woefully underpowered and off the pace at the 2.5-mile oval.

But, back to the glory days, here’s the podium celebrations and interviews from that day at Montreal in 1995.