French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours, 1998 - Thursday Press Conference

This interview is also available in French!

Alain, why does Magny-Cours present problems which are not found on any other of the championship circuits?
It is tricky because of the low-speed corners. There are the chicanes, too, which are not very wide. It is a nice track, with a good surface, but it can be difficult to push hard, because that increases the risk of making a mistake in the chicanes and at the corner before the pits. One peculiarity of this track is the difference in performance that you find between hot and cold conditions. Because it is so smooth, you can run the car at its lowest, without having to worry about any bumps, and that can mean there will not be a big difference in the performance of the leading cars. But it is always difficult here to find the last few tenths.

Your team tested a revised car last week. What are the changes you made, and which configuration do you intend to use this weekend?
We tested a lot of modification, notably a long-wheelbase version. We are not going to race with the long wheelbase, because we believe we still have better potential with the shorter car. We are still working on a lot of modifications to the front of the monocoque, and to the rear suspension, and that is the reason why we will concentrate on the short configuration. We don't want to get confused by using two differently set up cars. The car is already much better, for sure, especially with the modifications that we had on it at the last day of the test. The latest Peugeot engine is also a big step forward, and we will be using it in qualifying. But the other teams are also improving quite a lot now, so it is still going to be difficult.

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Alain Prost-Infopage! © by Oskar Schuler, Switzerland