LOTUS F1 TEAM, 01.10.2012
An Education from the Professor Ė Alain Prost in the Lotus F1 Team R30
Alain Prost may have spent much of the weekend taming a bull at the Paul Ricard Circuit, but a man of The Professorís style and finesse is far better suited to black and goldÖ
Just describe your experience in the R30 for usÖ
I didnít imagine I could have so much fun, stepping back into a Formula 1 car. Iíve had many opportunities in the past and have always said no, but itís been a good day. After sixteen years out of Formula 1 it felt quite strange to be back in the cockpit and driving in the wet certainly didnít do anything to ease the nerves! Having said that the car was very good; I felt quite comfortable straight away, the engine was smooth and it was quite easy although I didnít want to push too hard and make a mistake.
In that case, will you be doing it again?
Ah! You never knowÖ Itís good to do it once, and yes Iíd like to do it again and definitely in better conditions. With a properly fitted seat and driving position I would be able to feel it even better; these things really limit you when you want to push a little more.
Do you look at modern day Formula 1 in a different way after this run?
I can definitely see it in a different way, as when you have been out for such a long time you donít know exactly what happens in the cockpit. Youíre watching the race, but you donít always know what is happening and sometimes you canít always understand everything. Now Iíve driven a car of this level I know better what the drivers are doing, what the challenges are, and the potential faults. For example; visibility at the front was something I found quite difficult to deal with today. Apart from that all the systems in the car, the engine, the gearbox, the brakes Ė theyíre all fantastic. Very good. Formula 1 has always been the pinnacle of technology, but in technology there is no limit. Everything is improving all the time, even if itís just the small things.
Our boys were saying how honoured they were to drive the classic Lotus; JťrŰme couldnít keep the grin from his face and Romain was a bit gutted he didnít get the chance to take it out. Was it nice to see these guys and hear their comments on the cars youíre perhaps more familiar with?
Ah yes! I said to Romain that I think itís easier to be a driver from the past, and then go to the new car. These young guys going back to the old car have experienced a totally different environment; they even found a gearstick in their cockpit! If you want to have an experience, and a strange experience, then you should drive a car from the eighties.
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