Many touted Jean Alesi as a future, potentially multiple, Formula One World Champion following his wheel-to-wheel scrap with Ayrton Senna at Phoenix in 1991. Astonishing then that, in a career spanning 201 race starts, Alesi only scored one Grand Prix victory. But an action-packed Canadian Grand Prix in 1995 was a fitting venue in which to do it.
Michael Schumacher’s hitherto dominant Benetton-Reanult started from pole position, hustled in the early stages by Williams men Damon Hill – whose Championship aspirations took another knock with his second retirement of the season – and David Coulthard, who would eventually beach himself after losing it on a wet patch. Schumacher’s nearest challenge, albeit from half a minute down the road, then came from the Ferraris of Alesi and Gerhard Berger.
In an already high-attrition race, mechanical woes would later strike both Berger and Schumacher, who would rejoin the track after changing steering wheels. With all his main rivals falling by the wayside, a fighting Jean Alesi thus cruised home to victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in, appropriately, the number 27 Ferrari. Aptly, Alesi would also suffer his own mechanical problems by running out of fuel on his inlap.
If that wasn’t enough, Montreal played host to a circuit invasion by Ferrari fans before the race had even finished!