Alain Prost believes that his achievements are not appreciated. The Frenchman is rarely mentioned in the same breath as the greatest drivers in the history of Formula 1, even though he is one of the most successful drivers ever. The former driver of McLaren, among others, has an idea of what the reason for this could be.
During his career, Prost managed to win the world title in the premier class of motor racing no fewer than four times and the now 68-year-old Frenchman also won 51 GPs. Only Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, who passed him last season, were allowed to sit on the highest step of the podium more often. Yet Prost says he does not receive the same recognition as this foursome.
Prost is certain: ‘I am seriously underestimated
He also has an idea what could be the cause of this. Prost is mainly remembered for his rivalry with Ayrton Senna, with whom he had a fierce battle both on and off the track. ‘Ayrton (Senna, ed.) was known for his flair, I was more clinical and I was the ‘professor’, he refers to his nickname in conversation with Motorsport Magazine. ‘He was mysterious and people liked that. I sometimes wonder how I will be remembered. It may sound like a joke, but I am completely underestimated. I’m sure, I see it.’
Prost does not understand why this is the case, but nevertheless seems to have to accept it. “It seems like it will stay like this forever, it is part of history,” says the Frenchman, who then explains why he finds it strange that he is not considered one of the greatest of the sport. ‘Look at my other teammates. Nobody talks about them. I have had five world champions as teammate,” the 68-year-old, in addition to Senna, refers to Nigel Mansell, Keke Rosberg, Niki Lauda and Damon Hill. “That’s a shame, but it is what it is,” said Prost.
Senna better in qualifying
Tensions between Prost and Senna ran high, especially during their time at McLaren. However, many people rate the Brazilian higher. Prost acknowledges that his former rival had the upper hand in qualifying, but in the race it was generally a completely different story, according to him. “He sometimes impressed me a lot during qualifying, I just don’t remember exactly when that was,” says Prost. ‘But never under racing conditions. Then I was usually faster,” Prost concludes.