Celebrities in Switzerland: Jean Alesi
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Alesi, Jean (1964 - ) France / F1 driver / VD

The French Formula 1 driver lives in Nyon, near Geneva. Jean Alesi was born to Sicilian parents in 1964 in Montfavet, near Avignon. His passion for automobiles started at a very young age. When he was ten, he backed up a car and crashed into another vehicle. But this little accident didn't deter him. At the age of 16, he worked as a mechanic's apprentice and raced every weekend on the karting tracks. He won the local karting championship in 1982 and went on to drive real race cars.

He started out in Formula Renault and ran into a few difficulties, due to lack of financial support. But his resourceful father made sure he went on to Formula 3000, the stepping stone to Formula 1. He was soon noticed by the Tyrrell team, which hired him in 1989 for the Formula 1 championships. In his first season, he ranked ninth in the auto racing world championships. In 1991, he drove for Ferrari and then for Benetton in 1996. He ranked third in the final classification for the 1997 season.

In between Grand Prix races, Jean Alesi likes to relax on the shores of Lake Geneva, in Nyon, where he lives with his new Japanese wife, Kumiko Goto, and their three children. Jean Alesi frequently visits his friend Michael Schumacher, who lives nearby in Vufflens-le-Chateau. He also spends time with former automobile racer Alain Prost, who lives in the same city, Nyon.

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