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Classic onboard - Alesi gets off to a flyer at Silverstone

06 Jul 2016

All eyes were on title rivals and front-row starters Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher as the lights went out for the British Grand Prix in 1995 - but it was sixth-place starter Jean Alesi who stole the show, at least in the early stages. We ride onboard with the Frenchman as he catapults himself up the order - and into podium contention...

Silverstone had already been modified several times by 1995 in response to the astounding speed and performance of modern F1 machinery, including the recent addition of a chicane at Abbey. But there was no slowing Jean Alesi in 1995. Amidst a deafening scream of engines the Ferrari driver judged his start to absolute perfection. Sixth on the grid became fourth by the time he reached the start line, as the Frenchman picked off Benetton's Johhny Herbert and Ferrari team mate Gerhard Berger, who can be seen struggling with wheelspin. But Alesi wasn't done. On the inside line, he ghosts up the inside of both David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher to snatch second through Copse for the first time. At times the spray from Damon Hill's Williams - it had rained just 30 minutes before the race started - hits the camera, but despite one or two slides (including a big twitch coming through the ultra-fast Bridge Bend) Alesi sticks with the Briton to cross the line second - a position he would also hold at the end of what would prove to be a highly dramatic 61-lap race.