Nicolas Prost A1GP 2009 summary

Nicolas Prost A1GP 2009 summary

06.05.2009: Nicolas, how would you sum up your experience as nominated driver in A1GP with A1 Team France? Nicolas Prost: “As is often the case, there are both positive and negative conclusions

Nicolas, how would you sum up your experience as nominated driver in A1GP with A1 Team France?

Nicolas Prost:
  “As is often the case,  there are  both positive  and negative conclusions to  be  drawn from this season. From a positive point  of view,  I showed that  I  was  able  to fight  at the front in  Chengdu  (China), Kyalami (South Africa) and Brands Hatch (Great  Britain).  We  were  able  to  match  the  pace  of  the  quickest,  which  is  encouraging  for  my  first  year. 

Negatively speaking,  we  didn’t  score  many  telling  results,  sometimes  because  of  errors  on  my  part,  and  other  times  because  of mechanical problems for which the team wasn’t responsible. I don’t like talking too much about luck, but I have to say that we didn’t have a lot at certain moments!”  

Is the car designed by Ferrari quicker in relation to the old one?

Nicolas Prost:
“Honestly, Ferrari’s  done  a fantastic job with  this car.  The Italian  manufacturer  discovered  a completely  new  role  by supplying a monotype car and  the result is excellent. Even if  it ran into  a  few reliability  problems, which  is normal at that level of racing, Ferrari  was  able  to solve them very quickly. In addition,  the car’s level of competitiveness is excellent. I’m sure it’ll progress a lot during the break.”

In season 4 the team seemed to be standing still in relation to previous years. Why?

Nicolas Prost:
“I  think  that several factors  explain  this situation. First  of all,  with the  arrival of  the new car the  overall  level  of the championship  made  a  big  step  forward,  and  A1GP  attracted  quicker  and  quicker  drivers.  Then  changing  drivers  in  the middle of the season isn’t ideal. I also suffered because of a lack of experience. But don’t confuse lack of results with lack of competitiveness: with a little bit more luck we could have scored at least two rostrum finishes.”  

So, overall, the performance is encouraging for next season...

Nicolas Prost:
“Brands Hatch  was very  encouraging  as we had  the speed  to  win.  We worked well  in the  final  races  and we learned from our mistakes. We’ve now got a good base for the future. At the moment nothing’s been decided for next year, but the team and  I  get  on like  a house  on fire  at every level. The  quality of  the championship  is  very high  and you have to  work really hard to be at the front. The teams that won showed that stability is crucial if you want to win the championship.”      

You’re also racing in the LMS Championship. You’ll be at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend in the Speedy Sebah Racing LM P1 prototype. Is it another kind of challenge?

Nicolas Prost
:  “It’s  a  completely  different  challenge  but  just  as  exciting  with  other  parameters  to  be  taken  into  account.  The  two programmes dovetail very well.” 6. What are your aims for the LM P1 season? NP: “The  overall  level  is  very  high,  but  I’ll  be  really  disappointed  if  we  don’t  manage  to  fight  at the  front in  all  the  LMS races. After that, the aim’s to finish on the championship rostrum.”  

In a short time you’ll be racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Is it an important event for you?

Nicolas Prost: “It’s  a  mythic  race  and  it  means  a  lot  to  me.  I  can’t  wait  to  be  there  and  I  hope  we’ll  have  a  strong  race.  But  it’s difficult to know at exactly what level we’ll be able to fight.”

Finally, is the A1GP one of your priorities for next season?

Nicolas Prost:  “For  a  driver,  single-seaters  are  the  ultimate  pleasure.  Today,  A1GP  is  one  of  the  few  attractive  single-seater championships with F1 and Indy Car. I’d really love to continue with Team France, build something on a medium-term basis and  try  and  win  the  title.  It’s  up  to  the team  to  decide  which  driver  it  wants  to  invest  in,  but  with  the  evolution  of  the championship, a certain stability is vital if you want to fight for the title.”                                      

Nicolas Prost - Photos A1GP


06.05.2009 / MaP

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