Giuliano Alesi, the son of ex-F1 driver Jean Alesi, said farewell to the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) this week with his first test of an F1 car at the Fiorano circuit.
Alesi will race in Japan next season after failing to secure the funding required for another season in Formula Two, despite his father’s best efforts.
In a recent interview, Jean Alesi hit out at the need to be a “billionaire” to fund a young driver’s racing career and help them make it to F1.
“He will race almost every weekend [in Japan], which is not possible in Europe anymore unless you pay a lot of money,” he said in an interview with Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
“Nowadays you have to be a billionaire and buy a team, otherwise you will not end up in the Formula 1 world.
“The seats are blocked by the drivers of Vasseur and Wolff.”
Continuing, he noted that Ferrari can provide a lifeline to some young talents via its young driver programme, and he said he believes Mick Schumacher, who will race with Haas in 2021, wouldn’t have made it to F1 without their backing.
“Fortunately there is Ferrari, who supply engines to some F1 teams so they can also supply drivers.
“Mick Schumacher got his seat in Formula 1 also with his Formula 2 title, but without the support of Maranello it would not have been possible.”
In a separate interview, he raised similar concerns about motorsport and its financial demands.
“If you look in our part of the world in Europe, nothing is a meritocracy,” he said.
“You just need to pay and pay and pay.
“I think that’s crazy, it’s the only sport in the world where you have to pay to make your show. I think in Japan it seems much more fair.”