Yesterday I started with Ayrton Senna, today I will continue with Alain Prost. It is difficult to write about one without mentioning the other. If you will the yin and yang of Formula 1 from the late 80s until Senna’s untimely demise.
Prost and Senna were teammates, friends, rivals, and ultimately were repairing their friendship when Senna died.
Prost stands third all time in Formula 1 drivers championships, behind Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio – with 4 titles.
Prost was a very smooth driver, he modeled himself after Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark, and he was a very technical and intellectual driver. Prost drove for McLaren, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari, and Williams. His championships came with McLaren and Williams.
Prost parted ways with McLaren to go to Renault, even though he was still under contract to McLaren. The Renault years were formative, but did not result in any titles. Prost joined back with McLaren, now being run by Ron Dennis. Prost would be teamed with Niki Lauda. Lauda would win the title in the last race of the season, and then retire. McLaren was now all about Prost, and it paid off as he became the first Frenchman to win the drivers title.
Prost had many battles with Nelson Picquet, and Nigel Mansell, but none more fierce then that of Senna.
After Senna died, Prost did not speak of the Brazilian for several years. Finally breaking his silence, Prost said that when Senna died, part of him died with Senna. Senna had felt the same way confiding to a friend that after Prost had retired, Senna did not have the same motivation as before, since his rivalry with Prost was over.
Prost tried in later years to run an F1 team but the team was plagued with issues and ultimately bankrupt.
Prost now is an ambassador for Renault and represents the company at sporting events and demonstrations.