Prost opens up on Alpine F1 split

Alain Prost

Former advisor and non-executive director of the Alpine F1 team, Alain Prost has explained why he parted ways with the squad.

On Wednesday it came to light that the four-time world champion would not continue in the role he’d held with the Enstone team since 2017.

The Frenchman is the second high profile departure from the squad in recent weeks following Marcin Budkowski’s exit earlier this month.

Having initially vented his frustrations at the way the matter was handled on social media, Prost expanded on the situation when speaking with L’Epuipe.

“The 2021 season was very disturbing to me as I felt that those who had been here for a long time had to go,” he explained.

“I accept change, as you don’t have to always do F1 the same way. You can do it differently, and that’s what was done throughout last year. But for me, it has become too complicated.

“I wasn’t involved in decision making anymore, I sometimes disagreed – completely – but I had to keep conveying the official word.

“Even as a member of the board, I found out about some decisions at the last minute. I may not be listened to, but I should at least be informed in time.

“It’s a matter of respect. Relationships have become more and more complicated, I could feel a lot of jealousy.”

Throughout 2021, Alpine operated a complicated management structure which saw responsibilities split between Group CEO Laurent Rossi, Budkowski, and Davide Brivio.

The trio replaced Cyril Abiteboul, who headed the operation under the Renault banner prior to his departure at the start of 2021.

However, during the latter part of last season there were suggestions of a management restructure within the team, which now appears to be playing out.

“Laurent Rossi wants to be alone, not to be annoyed by anyone,” Prost noted.

“He actually told me himself that he no longer needed an advisor.

“It was in Qatar, but he still offered me a contract in Abu Dhabi, which I refused.

“I still must say that I believed – and still do – in this ambitious project which has incredibly boosted motivation in the group.

“However, there is now a real drive to sideline a lot of people. Laurent Rossi wants all the spotlight. What I’m interested in is the challenge of being in a team, being listened to and involved in some decisions.

“I was very much in the background on purpose, but I discreetly had some influence despite all the disagreements I kept to myself.”

Following the departure of Prost and Budkowski, it’s expected former Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer will be announced as team principal.

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