130 Facts About Alain Prost


Alain Marie Pascal Prost is a French retired racing driver and Formula One team owner.


In 1999, Alain Prost received the World Sports Award of the Century in the motor sport category.


Alain Prost discovered karting at the age of 14 during a family holiday.


Alain Prost progressed through motor sport's junior ranks, winning the French and European Formula Three championships, before joining the McLaren Formula One team in 1980 at the age of 24.


In 1997, Alain Prost took over the French Ligier team, running it as Alain Prost Grand Prix until it went bankrupt in 2002.


Alain Prost employed a smooth, relaxed style behind the wheel, deliberately modelling himself on personal heroes like Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.


Alain Prost was nicknamed "The Professor" for his intellectual approach to competition.

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Alain Prost was born in the commune of Lorette near the town of Saint-Chamond, in the departement of Loire close to Saint-Etienne, France to Andre Prost and Marie-Rose Karatchian, born in France of Armenian descent.


Alain Prost had one younger brother called Daniel, who died of cancer in September 1986.


Alain Prost was an active and athletic child, who enthusiastically took part in diverse sports, including wrestling, roller skating and football.


Alain Prost considered careers as a gym instructor or a professional footballer before he discovered kart racing at the age of 14 while on a family holiday.


Alain Prost's prize for winning the 1975 French senior karting championship was a season in French Formula Renault, a category in which he won the title and all but one race in 1976.


Alain Prost went on to win the 1977 Formula Renault European championship before moving up to Formula Three in 1978.


Alain Prost began his career with McLaren in 1980 alongside Ulsterman John Watson.


Alain Prost added four more points to his tally during the season, scoring points at Interlagos, Brands Hatch and Zandvoort.


Alain Prost finished the year 15th in the Drivers' Championship, equalling points with former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.


Alain Prost retired from the previous round in Montreal a week earlier because of rear suspension failure.


Alain Prost has said that he left because of the large number of breakages on the car and because he felt the team blamed him for some of the accidents.


Alain Prost was partnered with fellow Frenchman Rene Arnoux for 1981.


Alain Prost did not finish the first two Grands Prix, due to collisions with Andrea de Cesaris in Long Beach and Didier Pironi at Jacarepagua, but scored his first podium finish at Buenos Aires.


Alain Prost did not finish in the next four races, and then won his first Formula One race at his home Grand Prix in France at the fast Dijon circuit, finishing two seconds ahead of his old teammate John Watson.


Alain Prost won again in Holland and Italy, and finished fifth in the Drivers' Championship, seven points behind champion Nelson Piquet.


Alain Prost won the first two Grands Prix of the 1982 season in South Africa, where Alain Prost recovered from losing a wheel, and Brazil, where he finished 3rd but was awarded the win after Piquet and Keke Rosberg were disqualified.


Alain Prost finished in the points on four other occasions, but did not win again.


Alain Prost believes that Arnoux, who won the race, went back on a pre-race agreement to support Alain Prost during the race.

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Alain Prost then led every lap to win what would be the first of 3 Australian Grand Prix wins.


Alain Prost finished 15.32 seconds clear of Laffite, with 1981 Australian Grand Prix winner, young Brazilian driver Roberto Moreno finishing third.


Alain Prost earned a further four victories for Renault during the season and finished second in the Drivers' Championship, two points behind Nelson Piquet.


Alain Prost, who felt the team had been too conservative in developing the car, found himself increasingly at odds with Renault's management, who made him the scapegoat for failing to win a championship.


Alain Prost said in an interview with ESPN during the final race that his car was "not competitive" and that he "didn't lose by my own fault" Renault fired Alain Prost only two days after the South African race.


Alain Prost re-signed for McLaren for the 1984 season within days and moved his family home to Switzerland after Renault factory workers burned the second of 2 of Prost's cars, one of them being a Mercedes-Benz.


Alain Prost lost the world championship to Lauda in the final race of the season in Portugal by half a point, despite winning seven races to Lauda's five, including winning in Portugal.


The half point came from the Monaco Grand Prix, where Alain Prost had been leading, albeit with Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof closing on him rapidly, when Clerk of the Course Jacky Ickx stopped the race at half distance due to heavy rain, which was controversial, for Ickx displayed the red flag without consulting the race officials.


Under Formula One regulations, Alain Prost received only half of the nine points normally awarded for a victory.


In 1985 Alain Prost became the first French Formula One World Champion.


Alain Prost won five of the sixteen Grands Prix during the season.


Alain Prost finished 20 points ahead of his closest rival, Michele Alboreto.


Alain Prost successfully defended his title, despite his car struggling against the Honda-powered Williams cars driven by Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell.


Until the latter stages of the final race of the 1986 season, the Australian Grand Prix, Alain Prost appeared set to finish second in the Championship, behind Mansell.


Alain Prost had the same number of wins as Piquet, but he had four second places to Piquet's three, thus placing him second before the final race.


The Williams team then pitted Piquet to change tyres as a safety precaution, while Alain Prost had already pitted earlier due to a puncture and did not need to change his tyres again.


Alain Prost then held the lead ahead of a charging Piquet to the chequered flag and the Championship.


Alain Prost became the first driver to retain the title since Jack Brabham in 1960.


Alain Prost was cruising to victory when his car began to run out of fuel three corners from the chequered flag.


Alain Prost commented after the race that when his car started running dry he immediately thought to himself "shit, I am going to lose this race again", referring to his 1985 disqualification at Imola.

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Alain Prost was eventually classified sixth in the race, as the seventh-placed car was a lap behind.


Alain Prost finished sixth at the Belgian Grand Prix, where he collided with Gerhard Berger in the Benetton.


Alain Prost never gave up though and challenged Piquet and Mansell almost until the end, winning three races and breaking Jackie Stewart's record for race victories by winning for the 28th time at the Portuguese Grand Prix.


The Williams-Hondas had been dominant during qualifying, and Alain Prost started fifth on the grid with a time three seconds slower than Mansell's pole time.


Alain Prost finished 40 seconds in front of Piquet, with Johansson a further 16 seconds back in third.


Alain Prost finished the 1987 season in fourth place in the championship behind Piquet, Mansell and Lotus driver Ayrton Senna.


Alain Prost had convinced Ron Dennis to sign Ayrton Senna to a three-year contract, which played a role in luring Honda.


Alain Prost finished first or second in every race other than his two retirements at Silverstone and Monza.


Alain Prost won seven races and in total outscored his new teammate Senna by 11 points, despite Senna winning one more race than him.


Alain Prost went on to be a proponent of essentially the 1990s scoring system: all points counting toward the final results, with a race winner scoring 10.


Alain Prost expressed his feelings that Honda was giving Senna preferential treatment, and Kawamoto then confirmed Prost's fears, explaining that the Honda engineers were of a new generation, and that they liked Senna's panache and "samurai"-like driving.


Mutual admiration turned to all-out hatred, with Alain Prost accusing Senna of "dangerous driving" and of receiving more than a fair share of attention from both McLaren and Honda.


Alain Prost kept to the agreement after Senna won the first start.


Alain Prost however won the restart, but was passed by Senna under brakes for Tosa.


Alain Prost went to a friend of his, a French journalist, and told him about the broken agreement between him and Senna.


Alain Prost had the firm belief that Honda and Ron Dennis viewed Senna as the future of the team.


Alain Prost was forced to make a public apology to both McLaren and Honda over his Monza comments.


However, Alain Prost received support from Nigel Mansell, and former teammate Rosberg who claimed that once it became known they would not be using the Japanese engines the next season, their Honda engines did not seem to work as well as was once normal.


Alain Prost actually won the Italian Grand Prix, after Senna's engine blew with only 9 laps remaining.


Alain Prost had a replica trophy made for Dennis but it sat in a cupboard for over 6 years.

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Alain Prost claimed that Senna's foot-tapping style with the accelerator helped keep the RA109-E's revs up in the engine's mid-range where most of the power was, while Prost's smoother style dropped the engines into low revs where they had a pick-up problem.


Evidence to support Alain Prost's claims was seen during the Mexican Grand Prix.


Alain Prost's car was running less wing than Senna's which theoretically would give him greater top speed, Prost's McLaren was not able to pass Senna's on the long front straight even though he came off the final Peraltada Curve clearly faster than Senna and had the benefit of a tow.


In stark contrast, late in the race when Senna was lapping Alain Prost, Senna was easily able to power past Alain Prost on the straight.


Alain Prost, turning into the corner, turned into his teammate's path resulting in a collision and the cars sliding interlocked down the escape road.


Alain Prost, thinking the World Championship was over, climbed out of his stalled car.


Alain Prost signed to join Ferrari in 1990, becoming the first driver signed to the team after the death of team founder Enzo Ferrari in 1988.


Alain Prost replaced Gerhard Berger at Ferrari and was partnered with Britain's Nigel Mansell for 1990.


Mansell recalls one incident where at the 1990 British Grand Prix, the car he drove didn't handle the same as in the previous race where he had taken pole position, and later found out from team mechanics that Alain Prost saw Mansell as having a superior car and had them swapped without Mansell knowing.


Alain Prost won five races for Ferrari that year, in Brazil, Mexico, France, Britain and Spain.


The championship came to the penultimate round of the season in Japan with Alain Prost trailing his McLaren adversary, Ayrton Senna, by nine points.


At the first corner Senna, as admitted a year later, intentionally drove his race car into Alain Prost's, taking them both out of the race and sealing the title in his favour.


Mansell left the Scuderia due to his unstable relationship with Alain Prost, to rejoin Williams for the 1991 Formula One season.


Alain Prost won no races, only getting onto the podium five times.


Alain Prost took this out on the team, publicly criticising the team and the Ferrari 643, and subsequently had his contract terminated before the end of the season, immediately prior to the Australian Grand Prix.


Alain Prost was replaced by Italian driver Gianni Morbidelli for the final race of the 1991 season and by another Italian, Ivan Capelli, for the following season.


Alain Prost went on a sabbatical year in 1992, which was dominated by Nigel Mansell in a Williams-Renault.


Alain Prost performed pre-season testing for Ligier early in 1992 and later turned down an offer to drive for the team.


Alain Prost had a clause in his contract which prevented rival Ayrton Senna from joining the team that year.


Alain Prost was part of a new-look driver line-up at Williams, with test driver Damon Hill coming in to replace Riccardo Patrese, who had left to join Benetton.

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Alain Prost won his fourth and final title in a year when he was regularly challenged by teammate Hill and by Ayrton Senna.


Shortly before the Portuguese Grand Prix in October 1993, Alain Prost announced he would not defend his world title, because the clause in his contract did not extend to 1994 and Senna would be able to join Williams for the upcoming season, and instead opted to retire.


At the season's end Alain Prost held the record for most Grand Prix victories, a record that stood for almost a decade.


Alain Prost was surprised by the gesture, as Senna had declined a handshake at the previous race.


Alain Prost used a helmet design based on the three colours of the French flag, blue, white and red, with his name along the side.


Alain Prost's helmet changed in 1985, as his helmet now had the blue detail around the front, surrounding the visor and a white ring with red lines surrounding the top.


Alain Prost kept a similar design for his entry at Ferrari and Williams.


Alain Prost is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever Formula One drivers, and is considered by some to be the greatest Formula One driver of all time.


In 2009, an Autosport survey taken by 217 Formula One drivers saw Alain Prost voted as the fourth greatest Formula One driver of all time.


Alain Prost managed to edge Senna outwards, taking the lead as they went into the first corner, but remained angered by Senna's manoeuvre.


At the start, Senna got away in the lead and Alain Prost followed him through the first corner without getting in his way.


At the restart, Alain Prost got away the better of the two but Senna forced his way past him at the first corner, breaking the pair's agreement at the start of the race, leaving Alain Prost furious.


Alain Prost himself was angered by McLaren apparently favouring Senna because of Senna's better relationship with engine supplier Honda, so he announced in mid-season that he had signed to race for Ferrari the following season.


Alain Prost mentioned many times during 1989 that he believed his car was not as competitive as Senna's, and even that this was confirmed to him by the CEO of Honda when Alain Prost traveled to Japan.


The information was actually confirmed during the French GP press conference when Ron Dennis said that Alain Prost's car was consistently using more fuel, but not getting more power, than Senna's engine.


Senna complained that no longer being on the racing line, his side of the grid was dirty, meaning he would get less grip than Alain Prost who had been moved to the clean side of the grid.


At the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Alain Prost battled Senna for 4th place, but he felt Senna defended too aggressively and at the first chicane forced Alain Prost to take avoiding action by using the escape road.


Alain Prost took a sabbatical in 1992 after being fired from Ferrari for publicly criticizing the car and the team, and Senna struggled, because McLaren was no longer competitive with Williams.


Alain Prost announced his signing with Williams for the upcoming 1993 season.


Senna too had wanted to join Williams, as they were the most competitive, but Alain Prost had a clause in his contract excluding Senna as a teammate.

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Alain Prost was escorted by police to the Interlagos circuit for the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix due to the hostility of Brazilians towards him.


Alain Prost stated that when Senna died "a part of himself had died ", because their careers had been so bound together.


Senna had felt the same when Alain Prost had retired at the end of 1993, when he admitted to a close friend that he had realised how much of his motivation had come from fighting with Alain Prost.


Alain Prost went back to his old team McLaren, working as a technical adviser; he completed L'Etape du Tour, an annual mass-participation bike ride that takes place on a stage of the Tour de France.


On 13 February 1997, Alain Prost bought the Ligier team from Flavio Briatore and renamed it "Alain Prost Grand Prix".


The day after he bought the team, Alain Prost signed a three-year deal with French car manufacturer Peugeot, who would supply the team with engines from 1998 until 2000.


Alain Prost came back at the end of the season to race in the last three Grands Prix.


Alain Prost GP finished sixth in the Constructors' Championship in its first season, with 21 points.


Alain Prost became the president of Alain Prost Grand Prix at the start of 1998.


Alain Prost GP scored a single point during the season when Jarno Trulli finished sixth in Belgium.


Alain Prost hired John Barnard as a technical consultant, Barnard's B3 Technologies company helping Loic Bigois with the design of the Alain Prost AP02.


Alain Prost hired his 1991 Ferrari teammate Jean Alesi to drive the lead car and German Nick Heidfeld, who had won the 1999 Formula 3000 championship, to partner him.


Alain Prost restructured the team, hiring Joan Villadelprat as the managing director and replacing Jenkins with Henri Durand as the team's new technical director.


The money ran out at the start of the 2002 season and Alain Prost was out of business, leaving debts of around $30 million.


In 2003 and 2004, Alain Prost took part in the Etape du Tour.


Alain Prost became an Ambassador for Uniroyal, a position he would keep until May 2006.


Alain Prost was the first such driver to take on this role, at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.


Alain Prost took part in the Race of Champions in 2010, a race organised for legends of motor sport to compete in equal machinery.


In February 2012, Alain Prost was named as Renault's new international ambassador, representing the company in sports demonstrations and at events organized or attended by Renault.


Alain Prost first completed the race in 2012 with partner Sebastien di Pasqua and then again in 2013, and started but did not finish the race in 2014.

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Alain Prost continued in his role within Renault Formula One Team, renamed "Alpine F1 Team" in 2021, until January 2022, when his departure from the team was announced.


Alain Prost has a daughter, Victoria, born from his relationship with Bernadette Cottin.


Alain Prost lived in his hometown, Saint-Chamond, until he and his Renault team fell out in the early 1980s.


In 1986, Alain Prost was awarded the Legion d'honneur by the French President, Francois Mitterrand; he was promoted from Chevalier to Officier rank in 1993.


Alain Prost was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the FIA Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2017 respectively.