Thursday August 9th, 2001
Jean Alesi's manager Mario Miyakawa has revealed that German Heinz-Harald Frentzen was not a factor in negotiations for a release from the Frenchman's Prost contract.
Alesi joined Jordan on Wednesday following a settlement with the struggling Prost team and Frentzen, who was sacked by Jordan before the German Grand Prix, immediately jumped into the vacant seat.
But although he would not reveal any financial details of Alesi's agreement with Prost, Miyakawa did say that Frentzen had nothing to do with it.
"I am not in the position to talk about the contract release," said Miyakawa. "But one fact that must be clear is that it was one situation with Jordan and another with Frentzen.
"He was not part of the process. There was never three parties involved and to be very honest we knew nothing of it."
Miyakawa reiterated that Jordan also did not influence the negotiations and said: "There was a clear commitment with Eddie that nothing was possible without a clear solution with Prost."
Alesi will join the Jordan team from the Hungarian Grand Prix until the end of the season, but Miyakawa said the Frenchman is not considering ending his career then.
The negotiations with Jordan are believed to have considered a drive for 2002, but Miyakawa confirmed that such a deal would have to be negotiated at a later date.
"We have a great hope," he said when asked of Alesi chances of remaining at Jordan for 2002. "The relationship with Eddie has always been good and we hope to find a good solution for next year as well."
Alesi himself said he was happy to finally reunited with Eddie Jordan, having driven for the Irishman in their F3000 days.
"It was with (Jordan) that I won the 1989 Formula 3000 title. In those days, I was just leaving Avignon and Eddie simply suggested that I live with him," Alesi reminisced today.
"I accepted, and lived with him and his family for a while. When I had the opportunity to enter Formula 1 with Tyrrell ... it was Eddie who organised the contract for me.
"We promised then that if he ever got his own team going in F1, we'd resurrect our partnership. For various reasons over the past few years, that hasn't been possible. But today, at last, we're back together."
Published at 16:30:52 GMT