Prost duo suffer torrid time in practice

Prost duo Jean Alesi and Nick Heidfeld had a practice session to forget with both drivers propping up the times in Melbourne

Prost duo suffer torrid time in practice

Alesi was 21st in the session, with last season's Formula 3000 Heidfeld in last position.

Prost struggled in pre-season testing and Alesi hopes the team will be able to resolve its problems before the start of Sunday's race.

"Clearly, this is not the kind of first day of the championship to give us any pleasure as one can see in our performances," said the Frenchman.

"But you have to start somewhere and it is our job now to work very hard to solve the problems we have found in order to finish our preparations.

"We have to find the right way to work with the car and then we can quickly find our true level."

Team chief Alain Prost believes the team was punished for its lack of pre-season preparation.

He said: "Obviously it is difficult to arrive at the first Grand Prix and to be punished for our lack of preparation.

"As we expected, this opening day of practice has been, for us, a first true test of the car. We have launched into work on the points we had not been able to deal with before.

"This session was interrupted by a series of little problems which prevented us from completing a full programme of work. But in any case, we have to wait until tomorrow to see the competitiveness of our car."

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