Alain Prost – racing driver
On our YouTube Channel (http://youtube.com/peterwindsor) you will find a short conversation I had today with Anthony Rowlinson, Editor of F1Racing magazine. We speak about The Verdict (enough said!), about the gentleness of Murray Walker – and about Renault’s new F1 engine (correction: “Energy Power Unit”) for 2014. Fresh from the creative RenaultF1 press conference at Le Bourget, at the Paris Air show, Anthony reported that Alain Prost believes that efficient cornering is going to be even more important from next year onwards, which prompted me to suggest that some teams could do a lot worse than to employ Alain again as a driver. I joke, of course, but the topic is a vivid reminder of how good Alain used to look in Renault turbos in the early 1980s; and this, in turn, induced me to scan another neg or two. The first is of Alain receiving some routine physio after a practice run at Imola in 1983. There were no closed doors or darkened windows back then; on the contrary: here was a chance to do a bit of sun-bathing. I particularly like this photograph because there in the background, interviewing Alain, is one of my favourite F1 writers – the French journalist, Gerard Flocon. Gerard used to write for the fabulously thick and glossy L’Automobile and was both astonishingly productive and studious in the way he went about his business. It was daunting, indeed, for someone like me to see just how much work was involved if ever I was to have a hope of becoming someone like him. The other shot is one I took of Alain unfastening his GPA helmet a few seconds after winning the 1983 Austrian GP for Renault Elf. I was a huge Prost fan, I have to confess – right from the days when he dominated the European F3 Championship. I got to know him well during his first McLaren years and we spoke a lot, back then, about the ins and outs of his switching to Renault. I don’t know for sure if Alain is smiling right at me in this photograph, but I like to think he is.