Following Ferrari's title near-miss with Alain Prost in 1990, after Ayrton Senna's professional foul at Suzuka, star rookie Jean Alesi stepped up to the big time from Tyrrell to join fellow countryman Prost at the Scuderia for 1991. But instead of serving up further success, Ferrari dished out political disarray, technical disorder and tifosi disappointment.
The Senna/McLaren-Honda axis hit its heights that season and Ferrari refugee Nigel Mansell revelled in leading an ascendant, if fragile, Williams. At Ferrari, Prost went winless for the first time since his rookie F1 season and would be fired before the year was out. Alesi's rising star was clouded out of sight - although he would certainly have won at Spa-Francorchamps but for yet another engine failure.
But why was he even at Ferrari? In early 1990, Alesi signed a Williams contract for 1991 through to 1993. But there was one snag: the contract he'd signed had an option clause (on Williams's side) that ran to September. If Williams didn't make the deal public by then, it wouldn't happen.