Alain Prost

Discussion in 'Drivers' started by FB, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. siffert_fan

    siffert_fan Too old to watch the Asian races live. Contributor

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    http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/formula-one-needs-a-new-audience-prost

    I have to agree with Professor Prost on this one. One of the the reasons that I find F1 less interesting each year is because the drivers have become an ever-smaller part of the equation. Plus I can remember when a great driver could make a less-than-competitive car look not merely respectable, but possibly turn it into a winner (Sir Jackie Stewart in the 1970 March springs instantly to mind). And the constant decline in viewership, both on tv and at the races indicates that I am not alone in this.

    Unfortunately, Bernie is manifestly the WRONG person to try to attract a new audience--his aversion to social media is ample proof of this. As with so many of the ailments that afflict F1 at the present, I don't envision the situation improving until Bernie passes from the scene.
     
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  3. FB

    FB Not my cup of cake Valued Member

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    Not to put a dampener on this whole discourse about F1 going down the bog but the editorial in the 1980 edition of Autocourse poses the question "does the driver matter anymore?" so this really is a hoary old chestnut. If the driver didn't matter Vettel wouldn't have put Webber away from 2010 to 2014 and Hamilton wouldn't have won 11 races to Rosberg's 5 last season so can we please give this up. The car has ALWAYS made a difference but without the driver it's an inanimate object.
     
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  4. siffert_fan

    siffert_fan Too old to watch the Asian races live. Contributor

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    And how certain can you be that team orders played no part in the Vettel/Webber, Hamilton/Rosberg results?
     
  5. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    Well for Hamilton / Rosberg the sample size is too small but for Vettel / Webber, Webber finished the 4 seasons between 2010 and 2013 in 3rd, 3rd, 6th and 3rd. I would suggest if it was just down to team orders and team orders alone he should have finished 2nd in every year. As it was he was beaten by Alonso and Button among others. To me, the difference has to be down to more than team orders.
     
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  6. Titch

    Titch Champion Elect Premium Contributor

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    I think team orders kick in when the driver who hasn't done so well, suddenly finds himself out front. Then he is told to race for second place, so that he doesn't get in the way of the team getting the World Championship. I don't think that at the start of a season that's the way it is. No matter what the team may have said on a drivers contract . They would be mad not to suss out the best driver that season.
     
  7. siffert_fan

    siffert_fan Too old to watch the Asian races live. Contributor

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    But to my mind, there is more to team orders than simple race orders. If you are deemed the number 1 driver, whether officially acknowledged as such or not (relative paychecks would be a good indicator, which, of course, WE will never be privy to), you will be getting the latest mods first etc. Indeed, it is quite possible that the car will be designed to accentuate your preferences, even if it is to the detriment of your teammate.

    It stands to reason that, if a team is paying driver A far more than they are driver B, they will want to make very sure that driver A beats B. It is quite possible that the mangers' remaining employed would hinge on that outcome.

    It IS a business, after all.
     
  8. Dash Racing

    Dash Racing Points Scorer

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    When that article was written, weren't the cars about to make the jump to being really high-tech? I vaguely remember a great to-do about cars doing all the work for the drivers, and the FIA banning driving aids as a result. Sadly, this is just before my time, since I wasn't born until 1985, and didn't start watching F1 and understanding it until sometime around 91/92.
     
  9. LifeW12

    LifeW12 Podium Finisher

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    My opinion on Prost is just like Vettel: He was boring to watch, but got the results.

    He never looked fast compared to Senna or Mansell. Compare the most famous qualifying laps of Senna and Mansell, they are spectacular to watch and forever live in F1 'lore.





    As for Prost, I can't think of a lap that summarises his career. He did out-qualify the field by 1.5 seconds at Paul Ricard in 1983, but no-one remembers that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  10. FB

    FB Not my cup of cake Valued Member

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    I reading a very interesting book on the Prost/Senna battle at the moment and Alain had an epiphany in 1982 at the scene of Didier Pironi's career ending accident at Hockenheim. He made the decision there and then that he would only drive fast enough to win. When he joined Williams in 1993 he told Frank he would typically drive at 90% and. when needed, raise to 95% which wasn't too well received by FW but, hey ho, he won the title.

    One last comment on Prost, he got a specific mention in Sid Watkins' book as one of the few drivers he never had to recover from a wreck which is some statement on a driver who took part in 202 GP's, won 51 of them and took 4 World Titles.

    Finally, I'll scan the article in Autocourse and post it up in another thread for discussion. I think the rational behind the comments then was that the cars had so much grip, because of the skirts and wings, you couldn't not drive them fast. Serious driver aids didn't really come in until the late 80's and, obviously, peaked in 1992 with the FW14B which is another example of one driver being able to use a car to it's best advantage compared to a team mate.
     
  11. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    You seem too. LOL
     
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  12. siffert_fan

    siffert_fan Too old to watch the Asian races live. Contributor

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    I remember a magazine interview with Sir Frank Williams years ago, when he was providing his evaluations of the numerous great drivers that the team has had over the years. The most amusing one was Mansell, who he said the optimal arrangement would be to have Nige in a capsule that was removed from the car via helicopter and didn't reappear until the next race where it was reinserted into the car. The reason? As he put it, Mansell was "magic" in the car, and a complete pain any other time.

    What Sir Frank said about Prost: "An even greater skill set than Senna, but he believed in winning at the slowest speed possible, while Senna wanted to embarrass the opposition".
     
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  13. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    Book review: Maurice Hamilton on defining Alain Prost

    For you Prost fans
     
  14. Incubus

    Incubus Champion Elect

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    There' s been such a ton of stuff written about that generation of champions, today regarded as a golden generation, it's kinda hard to think of anything new hat hasn't been said countless times already?...
     
  15. Olivier

    Olivier Race Winner

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    Something I didn't know about Prost is that he is an accomplished rider ...

     
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  16. Incubus

    Incubus Champion Elect

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    I don't know what year the clip above was shot but I was quite amused by Alain's comment that he knows we (he and Mark) are "not in the same sport" as Armstrong or Pantani. He probably didn't realise at the time just how true that assertion was...
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  17. FB

    FB Not my cup of cake Valued Member

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    In one of his Championship years in the 80's he rode a stage of the Tour in the peloton.
     
  18. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    As it has been said many times before Prost's achievements was overlooked because Senna came out on top in their rivalry. Some felt he was painted as the villain in the Senna film unfairly so his book is to give his side.

    I think little is said about how Senna's intensity drove Prost to the point whether he questioned himself whether he should be competing in F1 still?

    it did take him time to think why Senna acted the way he did
     
  19. Titch

    Titch Champion Elect Premium Contributor

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    He moaned a lot, is that one of his achievements ?
     
  20. Olivier

    Olivier Race Winner

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    I wouldn't say he moaned a lot, at least compared to drivers like Senna or Mansell. I like to think he was vocal regarding the things he didn't like. I'd say it's part of the competitive nature of a top driver. There are of course other drivers that would go about their business without complaining (in public). M. Schumacher being one of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  21. Incubus

    Incubus Champion Elect

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    Alain Prost - who is alive and well - has become the latest in a string of fake celebrity deaths annonced on facebbok this week. The page in question - simply dubbed "RIP Alain Prost" attratced a million "likes" condolence messages from fans who were taken in.

    Seriously what kind of people spend their time doing these things and what's their motivation? Getting "likes" on Facebook?... :facepalm:
     
    Andyoak likes this.

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