Prost spills his guts and explains exactly what has happened over the last few days – After his departure from Alpine, Alain Prost, now an ex-non-executive director, has settled his accounts and denounced the behaviour of Laurent Rossi, the boss of the French F1 team who, according to the four-time F1 world champion, “wants all the limelight”.
It appears that the new management of Renault has failed to see what benefit Alain Prost has brought to the Renault Alpine Formula 1 team, and consider the Frenchman to be ‘useless’ for want of a better word. Many argue that other similar roles in other teams, Helmut Marko at Red Bull and the late Niki Lauda at Mercedes AMG F1 have set the benchmark in the non-executive role, and sourced World Driver Champions, whereas Prost has fallen well short of that acolade.
For Prost however, it’s a question of “respect”. The day after the announcement of his departure from the Alpine team, Alain Prost, who was a non-executive director, explained his departure at length in the columns of L’Equipe. And the four-time Formula One world champion has a grudge against Laurent Rossi, who was appointed head of the French team in January 2021.
” ‘I felt that the old guys had to go,’ he said” says Prost referring to Rossi,
“I accept the change, because you don’t have to do F1 in the same way. You can do it differently, and that’s what has been done throughout the last year. But for me it became too complicated. I was no longer involved in the decisions, sometimes I didn’t share them, even not at all, but I had to continue to carry the official word.
“Even as a member of the board, I found out about some decisions at the last minute. You may not be listened to, but at least you should be warned in time. It’s a question of respect. Relationships became more and more complicated, I felt there was a lot of jealousy.”
Prost wants “just to be happy”
He then went on to challenge Rossi, former director of strategy and business development for the Renault group, who took over from Cyril Abiteboul last year and “wants all the limelight” according to “The Professor”:
“Laurent Rossi’s desire is to be alone, not to be policed by anyone. He told me himself that he didn’t need any more advisors. When the team boss doesn’t even say hello to you when you arrive at the circuit, it means that there is no more pleasure.
There is not even any respect. And then it can’t work anymore. While he admits he was “very close” to running for the FIA presidency, the former driver, now 66, wants “just to be happy and work with people I enjoy.”