More woe for beleagured Prost

A beleagured Alain Prost had to face up to more disappointment today when the Prost-Peugeots of Jean Alesi and Nick Heidfeld failed to live up to the promise shown in pre-race testing and free practice.

More woe for beleagured Prost

Heidfeld, who had finished Friday's free practice sessions eighth, could only manage 15th, with Alesi only one place better, despite setting top six times at a three-day pre-race test at Magny-Cours.

"When you arrive with high hopes and then qualify in these positions, you are obviously very disappointed," said Prost. "Over the last two or three races, we have been improving the behaviour of the car a lot and we really wanted to turn this into a good result here, especially in qualifying, as we had such a good test last week.."

The Prost team is yet to score a world championship point this season - an honour shared only with Minardi. Yesterday Prost admitted that if a replacement engine deal cannot be found for the team's imminent split with Peugeot, it could seriously jeopardise the future of France's only Grand Prix team.

Despite Peugeot bringing out an improved version of its V10 for Magny-Cours, Alesi was quick to put blame at the French powerplant's door: "From the start of the weekend, my car has not been working really well," he said. "Anyway, my qualifying session was hampered badly by serious problems with the behaviour of my engine, especially when accelerating or slowing down. When I was decelerating, the engine kept on pushing, and when I tried to accelerate again, the engine felt as if it had something missing."

With engine deals at a premium in F1 at the moment, Prost and his driver's recent criticism of Peugeot has led most paddock pundits to believe that the partnership between team and engine-supplier is beyond salvation. However, Heidfeld did throw a nugget of consolation Peugeot's way.

"The car was well-balanced and the new engine was an improvement, as I thought it would be," said the German.

shares
comments
Hakkinen off front for third Grand Prix in a row

Previous article

Hakkinen off front for third Grand Prix in a row

Next article

Ralf even surprises himself

Ralf even surprises himself
Load comments
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021