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An interview with Jean Alesi, F1 legend and brand Ambassador for Montegrappa

Date Added: January 11, 2012 09:03:48 AM
Author: Angus Davies
Category: Shopping: Antiques and Collectibles
Angus Davies (AD): I wanted to ask you a few questions for my on-line magazine on wrist watches and “the finer things in life” which includes, Montegrappa pens. You have a passion for cars and speed but you have taken up a number of new challenges, and are now a member of the Montegrappa board. Jean Alesi (JA): You are asking why I decided to join Montegrappa? AD: Yes, you speak of love of craftsmanship. Was any of your family a craftsman! JA: I admire craftsmanship. No, it doesn’t come from my family but I love what is handmade. I was impressed the first time I visited the factory and saw what they were able to do, something I admired and fell in love. Sometimes impetuous as a driver... on the other hand you have a patient side AD: That is interesting because in Formula 1 you are used to shaving seconds off lap times and you are at the cutting edge whereas to make a fine pen takes infinite patience. JA: Certainly. The two go together in anyway because you need to be patient before go out with a product and as a driver you have to wait to go out in the car. AD: Another thing is your car collection, it is quite an eclectic mix. Does that sum up Jean Alesi? JA: Yes. I love history and I love tradition. At one time Rolls-Royce was the bench mark for all the car manufacturers. In terms of speed, Ferrari is the tradition. I have cars which make history and I can afford! (Laughter) AD: Another fact in your ties with Montegrappa is that you not only sit on the board but are involved in design. JA: I love fashion and I love tradition but when talking with our team, I give my opinion but I do not ask for a specific type of design. AD: You received France’s Legion d’honneur. You were born in Avignon but you have the Italian lineage. Is that what drew you to Montegrappa and to Ferrari? JA: You know my mother and father are from Sicily. They moved to France, so, I was born in France but have a strong link with Italy. AD: Artisans. JA: I am sure that in my interest in Montegrappa my origins help a lot. AD: You had the opportunity of driving for Williams but you chose to go to Ferrari when they had reliability issues and Williams were in the ascendancy. JA: Yes, it was difficult to see what I missed but, the added emotion with Ferrari is something unique and I cannot regret anything. AD: Who would you choose, living or dead, as the greatest F1 driver? JA: As a kid, I was a Villeneuve fan and when you have a hero he stays forever your hero. And I tried to do this when I had the chance to drive for Ferrari; it means a lot for my entire life. AD: Is there any driver who stands head and shoulders above everyone else? JA: If you look at the history of Villeneuve, he was not as successful as Nikki Lauda or Fittipaldi but with so much charisma he remains a hero. I was lucky to race with Ayrton Senna, Mansell, Prost who have been unbelievable. AD: Now you have a new challenge with Lotus? JA: I am the Ambassador of Group Lotus. When I joined the company I was not to drive but to help with the new cars coming out like the Lotus Esprit and the new Evora. The chairman of the company asked me “Why are you not driving anymore?” And I said, “I would love to but what can I do?” And he said “Do Indianapolis!” AD: My next question! “Why Indianapolis?” that is how it happened! JA: You know Indianapolis, I always wanted to do it. But, you need a car company behind you. Now that I have Lotus, “I can do it”. AD: What actually drives you? JA: I need challenges. So being in motor sport has been absolutely fantastic. AD: Thank you. I wish you well in your role with Montegrappa, and with Lotus. Good luck for Indianapolis in 2012. ....................................................... Angus Davies writes for Escapement.uk.com, a free web-site aimed at those who have a passion for watch collecting, and appreciate “the finer things in life”. The purpose of this website is to appreciate the interface between hand, eye and tools exhibited by some of the World’s finest watch manufacturers. Focusing on luxury items including; tailoring, footwear, cars, and Cognac the aim is to inform readers and allow them to “take the time to escape.....to the finer things in life”. Fond More Information: http://www.escapement.uk.com/
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