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Alain Prost: Four-Time World Drivers' Champion

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Alain Prost, c1984-c1989. After winning the World karting Championship, and European Formula Renault and Formula 3 titles, Prost joined Formula 1 in 1980. In the course of 13 seasons he recorded a then record 51 Grand Prix victories, as well as winning the World Drivers' Championship four times; in 1985, 1986 and 1989 driving for McLaren, and in 1993, his final season, with Williams. In 1997 he purchased the Ligier team, renaming it Prost.
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Name:

Alain Prost

Born:

February 24, 1955 in Lorette, France

Height:

5'4"

Weight:

134 pounds

Hobbies:

Cycling, golf, skiing, soccer, boating

F1 Teams:

  • 1980 - McLaren
  • 1981 - 1983 Renault
  • 1984 - 1989 McLaren
  • 1990 - 1991 Ferrari
  • 1993 - Williams

    Victories:

    51

    Records:

    Here are some F1 records set by Alain Prost:

      Races with turbo engines:

      126

      Home Grand Prix Victories:

      6

      Races led in a season:

      15 (1993)
    <p> Prost had set other records during his time, of course, but several were later beaten by Michael Schumacher. These include the most number of Grand Prix victories (which Schumacher ended up beating by 40 races); successive years in which he won race, which was 10; and victories combined with fastest lap of the race, which was 21.</p>

    Background:

    Alain had a meteoric rise in the lower categories of motor racing. From 1973 to 1975 he won several national and European go kart titles. In 1975 he came in first place in the Winfield Elf driving school competition, which opened the door for him to auto racing the next year.

    From 1976 to 1979 he won his various championships each year: French Formula Renault in 1976; European Formula Renault in 1977; French Formula 3 in 1978; European and French Formula 3 in 1979. In 1980 he moved to McLaren in F1 and finished 15th before joining Renault and narrowly missing the title in 1983. He returned to McLaren.

    Formula 1 Career:

    Prost: The McLaren Years:

    Alain ended up as one of the drivers who would mark the McLaren team in history. He won his first world championship there in 1985 driving alongside Niki Lauda. He won again in 1986. In 1987 the title went to Nelson Piquet at Williams. By 1988, with Ayrton Senna driving alongside Prost at McLaren the team had entered into what would become one of the greatest chapters in F1 history. And not only in F1 history, but in the history of the McLaren team as well. That year, the two McLaren drivers won every single race of the season except one. They won 15 out of 16 races, but at Monza, the victory went to Ferrari - just weeks after the death of Enzo Ferrari.

    The Prost vs. Senna Rivalry:

    But after the two most recent drivers titles having been won by Prost at the team, suddenly, Senna won the title in 1988. Then, the following year, in 1989, it was Prost's turn to win the title again. But not without an explosion of animosity between the teammates. At the Japanese Grand Prix the two drivers collided and went off the track, with the result that Prost won the drivers' title - as Senna was no longer able to score enough points to overtake him. The following year, the two would again collide and decide the title in the same way - only then it would be Senna who would take the title.

    Prost's Time At Ferrari:

    It was in 1990 that Prost joined Ferrari after his frustrations at McLaren. But it was a bad time to join the legendary Italian team. He would come close to winning the championship, and drove one of his greatest races ever - the Mexican Grand Prix where he rose from 13th on the grid to win the race - but ultimately he would be let down. The car was the last great one designed by John Barnard. The following year, Prost had no chance at all and compared his Ferrari's handling to that of a truck. Thanks to that comment, he was fired from the team.

    Prost's Time At Williams:

    Prost took a sabbatical during the 1992 season. He returned in 1993 at the Williams team, which was at the peak of its greatness. There, he won his fourth title, while Senna never had a chance.

    Character:

    Prost was a complex driver who left all his teams except the Williams team after strong disagreement. He was respected and revered as a driver by many people, but few loved him as a human the way they did Senna. Prost was a hard worker and a calculator. That is how he earned the nickname, "The Professor."

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