Alain Prost is among the most successful drivers in the history of Formula 1. During his F1 career, the Frenchman secured 51 race wins (a feat only surpassed by Michael Schumacher) and four world drivers’ championship titles. Prost’s pragmatic approach to racing earned him the nickname – the Professor.
After successful outings in karting, Formula Renault and Formula 3, Prost started his first F1 race in 1980. His debut was in the Argentinian Grand Prix in Buenos Aires (now outside the F1 calendar), where Prost drove for McLaren. The Frenchman’s first spell in Woking, however, finished abruptly at the end of 1980. The car’s instability, which allowed the ambitious driver to win only five points, while suffering two serious accidents (a broken wrist and a concussion), discouraged Prost from staying at McLaren for the entire duration of his contract (two more years).
Prost’s next destination was Renault. The stellar pairing of a French driver in a French team helped Prost grab his first F1 race win in the 1981 French Grand Prix . One could have hardly picked a better place for this debut win to happen. The Professor won eight more races (two in 1981, two in 1982, and four in 1983) for Renault before internal conflicts forced him to once again change teams. A feud with his charismatic teammate Rene Arnoux (French, seven career wins, no world titles) made Prost unpopular among the French media and fans and mediated Arnoux’s departure to drive for Ferrari in 1983. Prost finished the 1983 season just two points below the top spot (Nelson Piquet went on to win the title) but Renault made him the scapegoat for the unlucky loss and fired him soon after the last race of the 1983 season.
McLaren again (1984-1989)
The issues at Renault, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Prost’s next stop was back at McLaren. During the 1984 season, Prost again narrowly missed the world title by finishing just half a point below his experienced teammate in McLaren and fellow F1 legend Niki Lauda. The Frenchman won seven races that season versus only five for Lauda but for his Monaco Grand Prix victory Prost was awarded only half the points (4.5, instead of 9).
The race was famous as the starting point for Prost’s rivalry with Ayrton Senna. The two were fighting for the top spot, when the race was red-flagged for heavy rain midway through the distance. Prost was given the victory by the stewards. Senna would later claim that the race was conveniently stopped before he could overtake Prost. At the end, it was Prost who suffered more from the suspended grand prix as the points for a second place in a full race (6) would have handed the Frenchman the world title at the end of the year.
1985, Articles are gathered and rebroadcast from public feeds: source: http://www.sportpulse.net/content/f1-classics-alain-prost-professor-3625
Articles are gathered and rebroadcast from public feeds: source: http://www.sportpulse.net/content/f1-classics-alain-prost-professor-3625