Alain Prost - Wikipedia
Alain Marie Pascal Prost OBE (born 24 February ) is a retired French racing driver and a Senna joined Prost at McLaren in and the two had a series of . His relationship with Arnoux deteriorated further after the French Grand Prix. the race, went back on a pre-race agreement to support Prost during the race. After Prost retired, however, they apparently reconnected, with Senna contacting Prost to commiserate and ask advice. Views · View 1 Upvoter · sponsored. On the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna's death, his friend and arch-rival, Alain Prost, talks about their troubled relationship.
Gerhard Berger 's crash on lap four stopped the race. At the restart, it was Prost this time that got away the better of the two; but Senna forced his way past Prost in the first corner, breaking the pair's agreement at the start of the race, leaving the Frenchman furious with Senna.
Prost talks of tough bond with Senna 20 years after star's death
Senna argued it was the restart. The rivalry reached its peak at the end ofwhen the title was to be decided between Senna and Prost at Suzuka.
Prost walked away while Senna returned to the track. Senna went on to win the race, but was later disqualified in a highly controversial ruling over his path back to the track, as his car was pushed through the road around the chicane. Senna's disqualification meant that it was mathematically impossible for him to overhaul Prost's points total, and so the Championship went to the Frenchman.
There has been much debate as to whether Senna was overambitious in his overtaking manoeuver, whether Prost intentionally ran into Senna, or whether the collision was simply a racing incident between two teammates who were embittered with each other. The following season saw the two drivers collide again. With Senna leading Prost, now in a Ferrari, in the world Drivers' Championship, Prost qualified second for the penultimate race of the season in Suzuka with Senna on pole. Between the end of qualifying and race day, pole position was switched to the other side of the track without explanation.
Senna complained that no longer being on the racing linehis side of the grid was dirty, meaning he would get less grip and therefore a slower start compared to Prost who had been moved to the clean side of the grid. The Brazilian's appeal was rejected. He is a man without value. Prost's inferior Ferrari was unable to put up a challenge regularly to Senna's frontrunning McLaren.
At the German Grand Prix at HockenheimProst battled Senna for 4th place, but he felt Senna defended too aggressively and at the first chicane forced Prost to take avoiding action by using the escape road.
Prost stalled his car rejoining the race. Coincidentally, Senna ran out of fuel on the last lap at the very same point. The Frenchman took a sabbatical in after being fired from Ferrari for publicly criticizing the car and the team,  while the Brazilian struggled as McLaren was no longer competitive with Williams. Prost announced his signing with Williams for the upcoming season. Senna had wanted to join Williams too, as they were the most competitive, but Prost had a clause in his contract forbidding the Brazilian as a teammate.
An infuriated Senna called the Frenchman a "coward" during a press conference at Estoriland decried his unwillingness to compete for the Drivers' Championship on equal sporting terms: I think if Prost wants to be called the sole champion, three-times world champion, come back in a sportive way, maybe win another championship, he should be sportive.
The way he's doing, he's behaving like a coward. And if he wants to be sportive, he must be prepared to race anybody, at any condition, at equal terms. Prost was escorted by police to the Interlagos circuit for the Brazilian Grand Prix due to the hostility of Brazilians towards him. Prost was a pallbearer at the Brazilian's funeral. When Senna died, Prost stated that "a part of himself had died also", because their careers had been so bound together.
Only a couple of days before his death, when filming an in-car lap of Imola for French television channel TF1he greeted Prost, by then a pundit on the channel: We all miss you Alain. Prost uses a helmet design based on the three colours of the French flagthose being blue, white and red, along with his name along the side. Prost's helmet changed inas his helmet now had the blue detail around the front, surrounding the visor with also a blue stripe on the side region, making the white area become a P and a white ring with red lines surrounding the top forming a white circle with a blue half in the rear of the top.
Sometimes Prost used variants of his helmet design. In he used his original design, but with the circle top all red and a red line in the lower chin area. Inhe used a pearl white helmet with silver flames and a blue-white-red-white-blue stripe on the visor, designed by Kaos Design. Prost Grand Prix During Prost began to contemplate starting his own team, as his relationship with his McLaren teammate, Ayrton Senna, had turned sour.
Prost and John Barnardformerly chief designer at McLaren, came close to founding a team in ; but a lack of sponsorship meant that this was not possible, so Prost moved to Ferrari and Barnard left Ferrari to join Benetton. After falling out with the Italian team at the end ofProst found himself without a drive for ; after the failure of extensive negotiations with Guy Ligier about buying his Ligier team, Prost decided to join Williams for Renault refused Prost's request to supply engines for his team, ending the speculation.
The team raced with the Mugen-Honda engines used by Ligier the previous season, while the car was actually the originally intended Ligier JS45but was renamed the Prost JS Things looked promising at the start of the season, as the team picked up two points on its Grand Prix debut in Australia when Olivier Panis finished fifth.
The team scored a further 13 points before Panis broke his leg in an accident during the Canadian Grand Prix. He was replaced by Minardi 's Jarno Trulli.
Prost remembers Senna: The bitter feud that healed
The only problem was at Estoril, at the end of the first lap. Down the pit straight Prost slipstreamed Senna, then ducked right to go by, whereupon Ayrton swerved towards him, putting him maybe six inches from the pit wall. Alain didn't lift, and emerged into a lead which he would keep to the end, but afterwards he made his feelings plain. I was right against the pit wall, and I really thought we were going to touch, and have a big crash - with the whole pack right behind us.
I didn't like it at all, and told him so, but, in a way, I can't blame him for doing it, because he did always get away with it. How many times in his Formula One career was Ayrton sanctioned for that kind of thing? On a few occasions he was quite tough and uncompromising with me, but we didn't really have any other problems.
And, in fact, he did apologise to me for what happened in Portugal. And I think my biggest problem was that I never had the relationship with them that Ayrton did. From the beginning, it was something I never felt I had under control. I wouldn't have cared very much if they'd simply preferred one driver in the team - but the way they handled the situation was very difficult for me, because Senna and I had very different driving styles.
It wasn't that I thought it was a question of the Brazilian sales marked or the French market, or anything like that. It was more a human thing. I worked with Honda again last year - now as a team owner - and it struck me again: I think the Japanese just work differently. In a team, they always favour someone over the rest. I've heard it said about their motorcycle teams as well.
At one point in '88, the last year we were allowed to run turbos, I asked for some specific changes to the engine to suit my driving style and we worked on it for two days at Paul Ricard. At the end of that test I was very happy - but at the next race, one week later, they never put that strategy on my engine. You understand what I'm saying?
Everyone said, 'Oh look, it's Prost in front of his home crowd', and that sort of thing. It was nothing like that; it was just that at those races I had something which enabled me to fight Ayrton was very quick, and in qualifying he was much better than me - much more committed, just as I think I was when I was the younger driver in the team, against Niki Lauda.
And he admitted that I was right in believing that Honda was more for Ayrton than for me. Well, I can't be per cent sure. Part of my problem had been that Ayrton was so bloody quick, it wasn't easy to know how much was that, and how much was Honda helping him.
So after this dinner with Mr Kawamoto, I thought, 'Well, at least I'm not stupid - something really was going on, and now I know the situation.
Prost remembers Senna: The bitter feud that healed
Quite the opposite, in fact. Inthe fragile relationship between Prost and Senna broke apart utterly, and that existing between Alain and McLaren was not a lot better. My contract was due to expire at the end of the year, but Ayrton's was not. Ron knew the future of his team was with Honda - and therefore with Senna. He tried hard to persuade me to stay, but in reality he couldn't keep both of us, and I told him in July that I would be leaving at the end of the season.
In my opinion, he was not fair with me in ' We're still very good friends, and, despite everything, I still even now think of McLaren as my team. But Ron knows my feelings about that period. After everything I'd done with the team, and for the team, I didn't think I should have been treated like that. But at the end of the day, you know, Ron was trying to push his company to the front, and of course I can understand that a little. Senna and Prost, as usual, qualifieda second and a half clear of the rest, and Ayrton suggested that they not jeopardise their prospects by fighting at the first corner, Tosa, on the opening lap: At the start, Senna led away, and at Tosa Prost duly fell in behind him.
Then, however, the race was stopped, when Gerhard Berger had a serious accident. On the restart, it was Prost who got ahead - but at Tosa Senna snicked by into the lead. As I said, he had his own rules, and sometimes they were very It had been Ayrton's idea, in the first place, and I didn't have a problem with it. Afterwards, though, I said it was finished; I'd continue to work with him, in technical matters, but as far as our personal relationship was concerned, that was it. And the atmosphere in the team became very bad, of course.
Senna had two cars, with 20 people around him, and I had just one car, with maybe four or five mechanics working for me. I was absolutely alone, in one part of the garage, and that was perhaps the toughest weekend of my racing career. Honda was really hard against me by then, and it was difficult trying to fight for the championship in that situation. In practice, Ayrton was nearly two seconds quicker than me - OK, as I said, he was certainly a better qualifier than I was, but two seconds?
That was a joke. By now McLaren- Honda essentially worked as two different teams, which happened to operate out of the same pit. Once again, the two red and white cars were in front row, both its drivers in defiant mood, Senna knowing he had to win, Prost making it clear he'd be no pushover.
Well, as far as I was concerned, Senna thought about himself, and that was it. For example, at the start of the British Grand Prix that year, going into Copse, if I hadn't moved three or four metres out of the way we'd have hit each other, and both McLarens would have been out immediately. That sort of thing had happened too often; I had had enough. What I say is that I did not open the door, and that's it.
I didn't want to finish the race like that - I'd led from the start, and I wanted to win it. In the warm-up I was nearly a second quicker than him, and for the race itself I was quite confident, even when he started catching me. As it was he tried to pass - and for me the way he did it was impossible, because he was going so much quicker than usual into the braking area.
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When you look in your mirrors, and a guy is 20 metres behind you, it's impossible to judge, and I didn't even realise he was trying to overtake me. But at the same time I thought, 'There's no way I'm going to leave him even a one-metre gap. I came off the throttle braked - and turned in. Although no longer in the same team, he and Ayrton had not in any way diluted the intensity of their strife.
Prost, said Senna, had better not try to turn into the first corner ahead of him: After I'd retired we talked about it, and he admitted to me - as he did to the press - that he'd done it on purpose. He explained to me why he did it. He was furious with FIA President Balestre for not agreeing to change the grid, so that he could start on the left, and he told me he had decided that if I got to the first corner ahead of him, he'd push me off.
Some of the people at McLaren, a lot of officials - and a lot of media - agreed with what he'd done, and that I couldn't accept. Honestly I almost retired after that race. Even in that Mercedes touring car race, back in '84, I realised that he wasn't interested in beating Alan Jones or Keke Rosberg or anyone else - it was me, just me, for some reason. But on the podium in Adelaide inAlain's last race, the two embraced, and it was as if, now that Alain was no longer a rival, Ayrton saw no reason for any more hostility.
Prost was surprised by the gesture. This will tell you something about Ayrton. In Japan, the race before, he won, and I was second. As we walked from the podium to the press conference, I said to him, 'This may be the last race where we are at a press conference together, and I think we should show the people something nice - maybe shake hands, or something.
We went to the press conference - and he wouldn't even look at me. On our way to the podium afterwards, already he was starting to talk a little bit, and he said to me, 'What are you going to do now? Then on the podium he put his arm round me, shook hands, and everything. Because now it was his idea, and it was on his terms.