Jean Alesi’s Ferrari 643 could fetch almost £3 million at auction

Jamie Woodhouse
Jean Alesi drives for Ferrari. Phoenix United States March 1991.

Ferrari driver Jean Alesi at the 1991 season opener in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Jean Alesi manned the Ferrari 643 in his debut season with the team, and it looks set to sell for an eye-watering amount at auction.

1991 had not been the greatest of campaigns for Ferrari, but the introduction of their 643 challenger from the French Grand Prix threatened to change the Scuderia’s fortunes, with a further update arriving in Belgium.

Alas, while the challenger could not quite bring Ferrari into title contention, it did bring six further podiums for the team that season.

And the 643 will always have a special connection for Alesi as he got behind the wheel of it in his first season in Ferrari red, the opportunity to drive for the iconic team an honour for any competitor.

It is no surprise to hear then that this 643 is expected to demand a hefty price when it goes under the hammer on February 1.

The auction comes courtesy of RM Sotheby’s, who will hold the event in Paris at the Salles du Carrousel in Louvre Palace, where this 643 will be up for grabs.

RM Sotheby’s have given the challenger, which carries the chassis number 127, a presale estimate of $3.1 million and $3.6 million (£2.6m-£3m). It is described as still being in full working order with its 3.5-litre V12 engine.

It is the car which Alesi drove in the 1991 French and British GPs, scoring a P4 finish at Magny-Cours, home of the French Grand Prix that year.

It will not be long after February 1 that Ferrari unveil to the world their challenger which will contest the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari will take the covers off their latest creation on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

If it possesses the pace which the F1-75 had in the early stages of the 2022 season, then that would be a job well done from Ferrari. But, however competitive it is, then it is over to Ferrari to maximise what they have.

This was a particular issue for the Scuderia in 2022, as strategical and driver errors, plus poor reliability all allowed Red Bull to wrestle away control in the title fight, ultimately recording a comfortable double as Max Verstappen became a two-time World Champion, while Red Bull won their first Constructors’ title since 2013.

Read next: Mercedes fire up W14 for the first time as 2023 challenger comes to life