PRESS CONFERENCE, 22.08.1997
Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, 1997 -
Friday Press Conference
This interview is also available in French!
Alain, with four world championships behind you, how much help can you offer your drivers?
The most important thing is to use your experience be able to avoid making any of the big mistakes that you can see from the outside. It is easier for me to be able to do that than it is for Jackie Stewart because I was driving an F1 car as recently as last year, while Jackie last raced one almost 24 years ago. Even so, I have to be careful not to think too much about the past: it is down to the driver and his engineer to set up the car, with the help of the whole team. But sometimes you need to use your experience to help him: it is a question of timing and intelligence.
As a four times world champion, do you find that doors to sponsorship open automatically for you?
No, the doors are not more open to me. It is possible that I have been asking for less money than some others. On the other side, I think I can give something different to our sponsors: we have a fresh image and I can do different things in F1. If certain sponsors, especially French ones, are supporting me at the moment, it is because they are interested in what my team can do and not because I am world champion. I have already had a lot of problems in this area because a lot of [sponsors] tended to say, "oh, this Prost is a sportsman and a world champion, not a businessman". If they invest in the team it is because they believe in the team.
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