The Gauloises Prost Peugeot Team 1998
With the launch of the Prost Grand Prix team's first car, the Prost Peugeot AP 01, Alain realised the first of his goals - to create a car of his own. built by a French team, working with great motivation and spirit.
"Last year was mainly a preparation for us, in which we planned and organised the 1998 season", said the four-times world drivers' champion. "Now it's the real start for Prost Grand Prix."
"The team has grown from 68 to 150 by January 1998, and it is still growing. Next March we will move to our new factory and headquarters at Guyancourt, near Paris, where with the support of our partners, we will develop and improve."
"We all know we face a big challenge, but we are tackling the job with a willingness to work hard and enjoy it. The potential of the team, technically and on the human level, is wonderful. It will take some time and effort, but I am convinced that we are building a great team."
In style, Alain has followed the lessons of his very successful career as a Formula One driver - he won a record 51 Grands Prix - by paying great attention to detail. "I believe success comes from hard work and perfectionism and, perhaps, a little luck. I want a team who is highly motivated, enjoys its work and is set on winning."
Thanks to a career during which he drove 199 Grands Prix, Alain is able to draw on a vast reservoir of experience, on the technical side, as well as on the driver's side. "In conceiving the car", he said, "Loïc Bigois and I have talked at length, aiming to fulfill a design philosophy and at the same time the drivers' demands. I then gave Loïc total freedom and I think that there are some interesting technical aspects on the Prost Peugeot AP 01".
Peugeot's involvement with the team has been an essential element in Alain's decision to create Prost Grand Prix. "Technically the two teams work perfectly as if they were one. Peugeot has helped us a great deal to develop our new gearbox."
The arrival of Bernard Dudot to the team has been of capital importance for Alain. "We have the same vision on racing and we understand each other perfectly with a simple look at one another", he explained, "Bernard will supervise entirely the technical side of the team. His talent and the ability he has to manage people on the professional and human level, are a great asset for us."
As for the drivers, Alain says they have spent a lot of time together this winter to get to know each other. "Both Olivier and Jarno have a good attitude. They understand the concept of teamwork and co-operation. That's why I believe they will be a great help as we bid to become a truly competitive team."
Alain is aware that the Gauloises Prost Peugeot team carries the French challenge in the Formula One World Championship. "But we are an European team competing in an international arena. That gives us a tremendous opportunity to offer our partners a worldwide platform", he said.
"As a team owner", he added, "I am pleased that our main partners are all international companies - Gauloises, Peugeot, Alcatel, Canal Plus, Playstation, Bic, Agfa, Bridgestone, Total, Tradition, who are receptive, active and eager to implement business opportunities with us and among them."
"Seita, a historical sponsor of Formula One, has given us, with the Gauloises brand, continued support and trust. It's mainly thanks to them that the team has evolved to its current standing."