The French F1™ Driver Who Made His Mark in Racing History: Alain Prost “The Professor”

Alain ProstAt the early age of 14, Prost started his motorsports career in karting which he discovered on a family holiday and is now regarded as one of the greatest F1™ drivers in history. Prost launched his career by winning both the French and European Formula Three Championships. Later, he joined Team McLaren in Formula 1™ at the age of 24 and then went on to win four Formula 1™ Driver’s Championships in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993, driving for well-known F1™ teams such as McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, and Williams. He also received the World Sports Award of the Century in the motorsport category in 1999.

Hobby Turned Career

It was the holiday hobby that quickly turned into an obsession, a passion, that led to Prost leaving school to become a full-time racer. During his first Formula 1™ season in 1980, Prost finished in the points ending the season in 16th place, but also suffered from a few injuries. Due differences in racing styles, he chose to break his contract with McLaren and signed with Renault.

Prost’s first Formula 1™ win was one that was not forgotten, because this win came at home. He was a French driver, driving a French car, in the 1981 French Grand Prix at Dijon. This was the moment everything changed for Alain Prost, “before, you thought you can do it,” he said, “now you know you can.” After that, the victories kept coming, putting him at nine wins during his three seasons with Renault.

In 1984 Prost moved with his family to Switzerland, teamed up with McLaren again and over the next six seasons, he would go on to win 30 races and three driving titles. In 1986, Prost became the first driver in 26 years to win back-to-back championships.

In 1989, Prost made the move to his third team, Ferrari. During his first season, he clinched five winning titles and went into the 1990 season facing his rival on Team McLaren, Senna. During the race, Senna deprived Prost of his championship by deliberately driving into the Ferrari. “What he did was disgusting,” Prost revealed, “He is a man without value.”

Ferrari began to lose their pace and for the first time in 10 years Alain Prost failed to win a race. After this, Prost took a sabbatical and spent 1992 as a TV Commentator before returning to the F1™ racing in 1993 on the Williams-Renault team. He then went on to win seven more races bringing his total wins to 51 and taking his fourth driving title.

The End of an Era

It wasn’t until he was faced with the possibility of having his rival, Senna, as his teammate that he decided to announce his retirement in 1993.

Prost would hold the title for most Grand Prix victories until 2001. He remained heavily involved in the sport after retiring, working various jobs such PR for Renault, and Technical Adviser at McLaren. Today he continues to be aligned with F1™ within Formula E, and has competed in many bicycle races.

Meet “The Professor” at the 2017 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™Legends Club at F1 USGP

On October 22nd F1™ comes to Austin, Texas for the eighteenth race of the season. Circuit of The Americas Experiences' Official Ticket Packages will put you in the heart of the action with exclusives you cannot get anywhere else. Circuit of the Americas Experiences clients also have access to purchase a Legends Club ticket, complete with celebrity appearances by two of the best drivers in F1™ history, Juan Pablo Montoya and Alain Prost. This climate-controlled hospitality also inclused complimentary gourmet food buffets, race simulators and more! Guests can also enjoy an exclusive concert by Platinum Grammy award-winning artist Justin Timberlake and musical legend Stevie Wonder, fast access passes and unbeatable views from all over the racetrack.

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