Thursday March 29th, 2001
Frenchman Jean Alesi believes his former team Ferrari is now "practically invincible" and that their success is down to the people who have gelled at the top level since he left in 1995.
Michael Schumacher joined the team in 1996, as did technical director Ross Brawn and chief designer Rory Byrne.
And although Ferrari was beaten to the drivers' championship every season until last year, Alesi believes they have been the best for some time.
"Ferrari have been at the top for many years now, even when they were not winning the championship," Alesi told Italian news agency ANSA.
"Not only have they built a winning car but have also integrated a group of people who know what to do and how to do it.
"They're capable of succeeding just like the French international football team," he continued. "They share the same kind of unity and are strong in each sector."
Alesi, whose Prost team uses Ferrari engines, added that the success of the Italian marque gives even more kudos to any connection with the name.
"To have a Ferrari engine helps incredibly," he said, "not only because of its performance but also because of the image it portrays."