Skip to main content

F1 legend Prost reveals French GP plan

November 2, 2012 -- Updated 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alain Prost reveals talks being held over reinstating the French Grand Prix
  • The race at the Circuit Paul Ricard was last held in 2007
  • Reports suggest the FIA is to increase entry fees for team for the 2013 season
  • Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest time in practice ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP

(CNN) -- Alain Prost has revealed that he hopes to resurrect the French Grand Prix, a race he won six times during his illustrious Formula One career.

The four-time world champion driver is meeting with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone about reinstating the event, which was last held in 2008, at Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille.

"We were very close to organizing a French Grand Prix in Paris a few years ago and now I've been asked to advise and see if everything is correct," the former McLaren driver told CNN ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I have the opportunity to meet Bernie and we'll see what happens. It might be the right timing, that's all I can say. But in the end it is always a question of money."

Schumacher to retire from F1
How an F1 car talks
Singapore: The future of F1 finance?

The Frenchman picked up the first of his 51 grand prix wins at his home race in 1981. That year it was held in Dijon, which was rotated as a venue with Paul Ricard from the early 1970s until Magny Cours took over in 1991.

"We could have organized a race in Paris a few years ago which was really the best project," explained Prost, who also raced for Renault, Ferrari and Williams during a 13-year spell behind the wheel.

"If we cannot do that, I think the Circuit Paul Ricard is really the best place ... in Europe, we are in a way missing Formula One. We still have some races but we miss the historical races.

"We still have Monza, we still have Silverstone, but we see that it is not that easy to organize. We have been everywhere in the world for the benefit of Formula One but at the end of the day, the culture, the tradition of Formula One and motor racing is really in Europe."

Prost has special attachment to the track in Le Castellet, where he took some of his first steps on the road to F1.

"I feel a little bit nostalgic," he said. "In my heart I would be very pleased -- it became a fantastic track, a fantastic place and it would be a shame not to use it.

"I have a lot of memories. It's like Silverstone in England. If you stop racing you lose almost all of the history from the country and that is not good."

After this weekend's Abu Dhabi race, teams will stay at the Yas Marina circuit to take part in the annual young driver test event -- where a Prost will take to an F1 track for the first time since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.

Prost's oldest son Nicolas is a development driver for the Lotus team, formerly known as Renault.

Formula One strives for green future
The smiles belie an intense rivalry as Michael Stich (left) and Boris Becker win gold for Germany at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The smiles belie an intense rivalry as Michael Stich (left) and Boris Becker win gold for Germany at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Golden smiles?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Grudge match - the good, bad and ugly Grudge match - the good, bad and ugly

The 31-year-old is a latecomer to motorsport, instead deciding to attend university in the U.S. where he was a keen golfer.

"I feel proud about what he's doing today," said Prost. "He's going to follow what the team want him to do, I know they are testing a few things for next year. It's exactly what he wants to do."

Prost is unsure whether his son will follow him onto the grid, saying: "We'll wait and see. He's very realistic, that is his quality. So he's not going to be disappointed."

Meanwhile, reports have suggested F1 teams face increased entry fees next season as the sport looks to increase revenue.

Motorsport's world governing body, the FIA, will charge every entrant $500,000 plus further expenses for each championship point won this season.

The constructors' champions -- likely to be Red Bull -- will have to pay $6,000 per point, compared to $5,000 for the rest of the teams, according to the Autosport website.

If these financial rules had been in place at the start of the 2012 season, Red Bull would have had to part with $4.4 million to enter the championship after picking up 650 points in 2011.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel's late-season charge towards a historic third successive drivers' title gathered pace as the Red Bull driver set the fastest time in practice ahead of Sunday's grand prix.

The German, who holds a 13-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with just three races to go, pipped McLaren's Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton by 0.168 seconds on Friday.

Vettel, the youngest double world champion in F1 history, has won the last four grands prix to derail Alonso's bid to win Ferrari's first world championship since 2007 and his third overall.

The Spaniard struggled to match the frontrunners, finishing the final session seventh fastest.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT