Sporting Digest: Motor Racing

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The Independent Online
JEAN ALESI, the French Ferrari driver, will not start in the next Formula One grand prix in Japan as a result of compressed vertebrae suffered in a high-speed testing crash in Italy last week. The Italian team said that Alesi will be replaced by Italy's Nicola Larini in the Pacific Grand Prix at Aida on 17 April.

EDDIE IRVINE will have his appeal against a one-race ban heard by Formula One's ruling body, the FIA, in Paris today. The British Jordan driver was blamed for a spectacular crash at last month's Brazilian Grand Prix involving Martin Brundle's McLaren, the Frenchman Eric Bernard's Ligier and the Dutchman Jos Verstappen's Benetton. Irvine, who stands to miss the Pacific Grand Prix in Japan on 17 April, will be heard by a five-man panel.