Q&A with Alain Prost
Interview taken from The Race of Champions launch event at Düsseldorfís ESPRIT arena on May 19
Sebastian Vettel just told us he is very happy that you will be racing at The Race of Champions this year. It means there will be two different racing generationsÖ
Thatís good, I am very pleased too. Iíve wanted to take part for a long time and this year Iíll finally have the opportunity. For me, this year is the best ever to participate because I will meet three, maybe four generations of racing drivers. Sebastian is the youngest, in the middle you have guys like Jenson Button and Mark Webber who I meet regularly, and then obviously Michael Schumacher. So itís great and I am really looking forward to being there.
Why has it taken so long for you to take part in The Race of Champions?
Honestly, Iíve wanted to join in since Fredrik started the organisation in the Canary Islands. But I was travelling round the world as a driver and later as a team owner in F1 and it didnít fit into my schedule. Recently Iíve been competing in the Andros Trophy, so Iíve often had to refuse the invitation because the dates always clashed. This year the first race of the Andros Trophy will be the week after the event in Düsseldorf, so 2010 is the first year I will be able to attend. Iím very pleased about that as I really wanted to be there at least once.
Are you the still the same weight as you were when you were racing all the time?
I train a lot and do some cycle races, which is my second passion after motor racing. Every year I have about 10-12 long distance races between 150km and 200km, similar to the stages of the Tour de France. My weight is one or two kilos less than it was when I was in F1.
What do you expect of the meeting with Michael Schumacher? How much have you raced him before?
We raced together and fought each other only for one year, in 1993. It was my last season, when I won the championship Ė and it was the same year he started to become successful. I remember one race at the end of the season when I was on my way to taking the title in Portugal, Michael won the race and I took second place. I tried to overtake him, I was much quicker than he was, but he didnít give me the chance to do that. Finally I had to be second to secure the world championship. Obviously I will be very happy to beat him another time, but I know itís going to be much more difficult this time.
Do you have a preference about your team-mate in the ROC Nations Cup?
Yes, I would prefer to be with Sébastian Loeb, because he does a different sport from me, heís a six-time world rally champion and also a nice guy. For me the personality is very important, not only the success, and thatís why I would like to be with him.
Sébastien hopes to make it but he still has to wait for Citroën to clear the dates and finalise their test programme. So itís still uncertain but it would be a unique experience to have Franceís two biggest champions ever in F1 and world rallying compete together in our event so weíll do everything we can to make it happen. Fingers crossed he will be with you on Team France in the ROC Nations CupÖ
I will call him, it will be very important that he joins the team!
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