Yikes, Alain Prost has gone in on the state of the Alpine F1 team | Top Gear
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Yikes, Alain Prost has gone in on the state of the Alpine F1 team

Four-time champ slams ex-CEO Laurent Rossi, writing in L'Equipe that he was “an incapable leader”

Published: 31 Jul 2023

Given our lack of experience in driving Formula 1 cars and managing Formula 1 teams, it’s probably not our place to criticise anyone in the sport for the job they’re doing. Four-time world champion Alain Prost on the other hand…

Turns out that Prost has been utilising that right to critique, because the Frenchman has absolutely slammed his former employers Alpine in his L’Equipe column.

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Prost raced for Renault between 1981 and 1983, and he was a non-executive director of the now renamed Alpine F1 team until he was ousted by former CEO Laurent Rossi in 2022.

And it’s Rossi – who was axed as CEO just over a week ago – who is in the firing line in this latest Prost blast, which comes after it was announced that team principal Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane and chief technical officer Pat Fry were all set to leave the team during F1’s summer break.  

“I love this team and seeing it in this state today saddens and distresses me,” writes Prost.

“Laurent Rossi is the finest example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, that of an incapable leader who thinks he can overcome his incompetence by his arrogance and his lack of humanity towards his troops.” Yikes.

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“The one who was the boss of Alpine for 18 months thought he had understood everything from the start when he was totally misguided.

“His management broke the momentum that had been in place since 2016 to achieve these podiums and this victory. It is to be hoped that the decision taken on Friday to change other faces will be a salutary electroshock for the team.”

Prost also says that Alpine was suffering from too much corporate interference in its F1 team, and claimed that the last time it was successful was when Flavio Briatore ruled Renault with Fernando Alonso driving. Obviously, that didn’t end too well, but it did bring driver’s and constructor’s championships in 2005 and 2006.

“I just believe that you have to rely on history to understand the error,” writes Prost. “If you look at the great successes of the last thirty years, you will find a simple structure, detached from an industrial organisation chart, built around three or four strong personalities, coupled with a champion driver.”

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