The world of Formula 1 has undergone a rapid technical evolution in recent decades, to the point that the drivers involved in the championships of thirty and forty years ago could have found more ease if they had raced behind the wheel of the current single-seaters. A collective thought, this, however, which clashes with the reality of the facts, as demonstrated by the tests carried out by a legend of this sport such as Alain Prost. The French, nicknamed the “Teacher”, won four world titles between the 80s and 90s, retiring in 1993 after having won his fourth seal at the end of a career made famous also by the rivalry with Ayrton Senna.
Called this year to carry out a test behind the wheel of the Red Bull, the transalpine encountered some serious difficulties in managing the Austrian car. This is not so much due to his age and his absence from motorsport as a driver, but rather due to the total incompatibility between two cars belonging to different eras. A thought that Prost himself, after having carried out some tests at Silverstone and at Paul Ricard, always at the wheel of Red Bull, wanted to analyze the microphones of racingnews365.com: “Initially I asked myself – specified the French – if I could adapt to any type of car. I remember that, in recent years, I drove some single-seaters, including the one I used in 1985 that I tested in Austria. Among other things, in the same week I also tested the Lotus and Red Bull. These cars are not that different in terms of technology, but they are perfect. They have much better ergonomics than in my day, but the sensations weren’t the same. I drove the car for the first time since 1985, returning to the same features I had left behind such as the pedals and the steering wheel. Halfway through the lap I felt the sensations I felt thirty years ago, both with the steering and with the gearbox. I could recognize everything: the pedals, the wind and the grip. Everything was under control ”.
However, when the four-time world champion switched to the cars that are used in recent years, the difference in driving style and the performance of the vehicle made a big impression on a champion like Prost: “The cars of today are not made for us – confessed – you have to be young and prepared to face this drive right after the karts. You have to brake with your left foot, never with your right, you don’t change gears like we did, and therefore you have to learn a lot, but when you have experience you realize that this type of car is not for you, and you enjoy less “. In this regard, Prost granted his own son, Nico, to test in turn the car with which his father competed in the 1983 world championship, also finding here a total incompatibility between Prost jr. and the cars of yesteryear: “I remember he tested my 1983 car at Paul Ricard, and after two or three laps he came to tell me the car was a shit. – confessed – we had to necessarily interrupt because otherwise he would have broken the gearbox, as he never used the clutch pedal. This is direct proof that you have to live your time and your generation, but you can’t deal with two different ones. It’s almost impossible“.
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