Thursday, January 17, 2008

Alain prost Blames Ron Dennis for Driver's Fallout

FOUR-TIME F1 world champion Alain Prost blamed McLaren boss Ron Dennis for last year's bitter fallout between drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The French Champion said Fernando Alonso had abandoned the team and returned to Renault after only one season because Dennis had not done enough to manage the two drivers.

Prost spent seven seasons at McLaren and won the championship 3 times with the team in 1985, 1986 and 1989. He said the team should have abandoned its tradition of allowing its two drivers to fight for the title.

"I really suffer for them and for the team," Prost said yesterday. "I did not understand why Ron, when he signed the contract, has decided not to have a No. 1 and a No. 2 (driver) and be really clear from the beginning to avoid this kind of thing.

"I think they maybe underestimated Lewis and maybe overestimated Fernando, and the capacity of Fernando being No. 1.

"And maybe Ron is not the best guy to deal with this kind of situation.

"He says he is the best and has the qualities, but maybe not to settle the relationship between the drivers in his team."

The drama between Alonso and Hamilton was a repeat of the intense rivalry between Prost and Brazilian champion Ayrton Senna at McLaren in the late 1980s.

That ended after two years when Prost quit McLaren and moved to Ferrari in 1990.

The Senna and Prost duel is considered one of the most aggressive and controversial in F1 history, with the pair crashing into each other several times. ( refer to my Videos Links )

ALONSO made a perfect start to his return to Renault yesterday with the fastest time in testing at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.

The Spaniard did 70 laps with a best of 1min 19.503sec in last year's car, according to unofficial times.

Compatriot Pedro de la Rosa, the McLaren test driver, was second on the timesheets (1:19.650) in that team's new car, with Ferrari's world champion Kimi Raikkonen third in 1:19.708.


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