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Alain Prost

Prost opens up about Alpine departure: New boss wants the spotlight

F1 legend Alain Prost has given more insight into his Alpine departure, which emerged on Monday ahead of an official announcement.

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Alain Prost has expanded on his exit from Alpine, which filtered out on Monday, taking aim at CEO Laurent Rossi and repeating that a "lack of respect" has been shown.

After news of Prost's exit as Non-Executive Director emerged, the four-time World Champion took to social media to express disappointment that it had leaked from the Alpine camp ahead of a planned announcement.

Prost has since expanded on his comments in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe, explaining how his standing within the Alpine set-up changed following the arrival of Rossi in 2021.

Alpine CEO Rossi 'wants the spotlight'

Prost says he was offered the chance to become President of Alpine's F1 operation by Renault Group chief Luca De Meo in late 2020, with Marcin Budkowski taking charge of the team and Cyril Abiteboul managing the brand.

However, with Rossi appointed in his leadership role a few months later, Prost continued as an advisor, and the Frenchman has argued that the "old ones" on the team were gradually pushed to the side through 2021.

"I accept change, because you don't have to do F1 in the same way all the time. You can do it differently, and that's what we've been doing throughout the last year," Prost explained.

"But for me, it became too complicated. I was no longer involved in the decisions, yet I had to keep carrying the official word. Even as a member of the Board of Directors, I would find out about certain decisions at the last minute.

"It's a matter of respect. Relationships became more and more complicated. I felt that there was a lot of jealousy."

Prost then emphasised: "Laurent wants to be alone, not to be influenced by anyone. In fact, he told me himself that he didn't need an advisor anymore. He still offered me a contract in Abu Dhabi, which I refused.

"Laurent wants the spotlight. What interests me is the challenge of being part of a team and being involved in certain decisions. I was voluntarily very much in the background and I had a lot of influence in a discreet way, despite the things I disagreed with, which I kept to myself."

Prost has nothing against change, but slams 'lack of respect'

Prost's exit follows recent confirmation that Budkowski is departing his role as Executive Director, and while he understands change is sometimes necessary, he does not want the work of recent years to be forgotten.

"No one is indispensable, and of course I am not more than anyone else," Prost continued.

"But we must not forget that everything being done today and for 2022 was launched two or three years ago. The management of today, you know as well as I do, will be judged only in one or two seasons, not before. Alpine was undoubtedly the first to focus on the regulation changes.

"The team will start again with new faces. Why not? Otmar [Szafnauer, former Aston Martin Team Principal], if he comes, I like him. But we mustn't forget all the work done by all the guys at [the engine factory in] Viry or [the F1 factory in] Enstone, who are working hard on this project.

"I have nothing against change, but what I don't appreciate is the relationship and the lack of respect towards people. I like the human aspect."

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