stop, did you read the thread? The interview with Prost in there, posted by ctrl300, was very good. That was the relevant portion to your original post...a counter-argument showing, as Ulrik has posted above, that Prost already had reason to dislike Senna....shall I locate the interview and post it?
EDIT: Here are some interesting arguments for Prost, I'll start with mine 'cause I'm vain:
Autumnpuma, on May 9 2006, 11:18 AM, said:
Both are 'thinking' drivers [referring to a post comparing M$ to Prost]. Prost was called 'The Professor' because he approached every aspect of a race, from car set-up to racing line, with a mathematical precision unmatched by his competition. MS is the same way. You can see this by his inspection of his rival's cars after a race. Also, MS has the presence-of-mind to adjust brake bias at least three times each lap during a race. (Massa tried this a few times and ended up spinning). There are numerous other instances of MS thinking along the same lines as Prost, but for the sake of time I just gave a few.
Senna, by comparison, drove with an instinctual 'passion'. This is not to say Senna didn't do his share of 'thinking' as his intelligence is well-known, but during a race it was almost all instinct for him. This is proven by Senna's own words. He describes his fastest laps as almost an 'out-of-body' experience. This is the hallmark of an 'instinctual' driver.
It's interesting to note that all three of them would blip the throttle on apex; not many drivers these days do that. It results in a faster exit speed and, in effect, lengthens out the straights following a turn. Prost's apex-accelleration is precise; you can hear it, lap after lap, nailing the correct revs like a computer would. You can look at the graphics in current races to see MS also nails his apex-accelleration with mathematical perfection.
From Russ, 'cause he remembers Bellof (don't ask
monza gorilla, on May 9 2006, 01:55 AM, said:
How many here remember Stefan at all?
A huge talent. The 1984 Tyrrell was an absolute gem.
On topic, I think Alain was the more complete
driver. That's not based on statistics. That's based on actually watching both drivers over pretty much their entire F1 careers.
Nelson Piquet wouldn't know objective if it bit him on the arse.
Again I quote myself (because it says something of how I view statistics, a topic sure to come up when debating Prost vs Senna. Context here is my naming Gilles my all time pick for best driver...)
Autumnpuma, on May 12 2006, 09:31 PM, said:
Ctrl, your stats are perfect and do tell a tale. But for me there is a place beyond statistics where the sheer awe of a driver's skill almost brings tears to your eyes. Magical drives that burn themselves into the brain and leave you thinking you'd seen the impossible. My reasons are purely emotional and, for determining an all-time best, quite sufficient.
Remember, I said my
all-time best, not the statistical best
Now the best for last. A gem from Ulrik
Ctrl300, on May 16 2006, 03:19 AM, said:
Although Senna was the rain master, Prost raced in the wet and did well at it too. But in those days monocoques were far less stiff than now and it was quite possible to have a poor car in the dry turn out to be very good in the wet, which resulted in many, you included, having a scewed view of Senna talent. The only thing Prost refused was to go out when the condotions where so bad that they would be unable to see the car infront in time to properly avoid it when breaking down hard. He was very concerned with safety, and he was a visionary in that field. Senna's disregard for safety eventually cost him his life.
As for Prost doing his set up work just goes to show that Senna did not have a great insight into the car when arriving at McLaren, and that Prost was a much nicer fellow taking the time to help out his new team-mate and rival. Senna was a loud brute, Prost was easy manered, but both where extremely intense and ambitious drivers.
Furthermore, Senna did things on track that was so hideous that the whole paddock was left screaming, even RD, but he never, not once, got sanctioned for it. He got his own way all the time, playing by his own rules. Disgusting to say the least.
In the words of Prost:
"Anyway, before the 1989 season I had dinner at the golf club in Geneva with Honda's then chairman, Mr Kawamoto and four other people. And he admitted that I was right in believing that Honda was more for Ayrton than for me."
"He said, 'You want to know why we push Senna so much? Well, I can't be 100 per cent sure.' But one thing he did let me know was that the new generation of engineers working on the engines were in favour of Ayrton, because he was more the samurai, and I was more the computer."
"So, that was an explanation, and I was very happy afterwards, because then at least I knew very well that something was not correct. Part of my problem had been that Ayrton was so bloody quick, it wasn't easy to know how much was that, and how much was Honda helping him. So after this dinner with Mr Kawamoto, I thought, 'Well, at least I'm not stupid - something really was going on, and now I know the situation.'"
Whatever, the situation was not to improve. Quite the opposite, in fact. In 1989, the fragile relationship between Prost and Senna broke apart utterly, and that existing between Alain and McLaren was not a lot better.
"Until then, I never had a problem with anyone at McLaren, but '89 was different. My contract was due to expire at the end of the year, but Ayrton's was not. Ron knew the future of his team was with Honda - and therefore with Senna. He tried hard to persuade me to stay, but in reality he couldn't keep both of us, and I told him in July that I would be leaving at the end of the season. In my opinion, he was not fair with me in '89. We're still very good friends, and, despite everything, I still even now think of McLaren as my team. But Ron knows my feelings about that period."
"At the time, I was completely disillusioned. After everything I'd done with the team, and for the team, I didn't think I should have been treated like that. But at the end of the day, you know, Ron was trying to push his company to the front, and of course I can understand that a little."
It was at Imola that the most bitter feud in motor-racing history took seed. Senna and Prost, as usual, qualified 1-2, a second and a half clear of the rest, and Ayrton suggested that they not jeopardise their prospects by fighting at the first corner, Tosa, on the opening lap: whomsoever got there first would keep the lead. Alain agreed. At the start, Senna led away, and at Tosa Prost duly fell in behind him.
Then, however, the race was stopped, when Gerhard Berger had a serious accident. On the restart, it was Prost who got ahead - but at Tosa Senna snicked by into the lead.
"Afterwards, he argued that it wasn't the start - it was the restart, so the agreement didn't apply. As I said, he had his own rules, and sometimes they were very... well let's say strange. It had been Ayrton's idea, in the first place, and I didn't have a problem with it. Afterwards, though, I said it was finished; I'd continue to work with him, in technical matters, but as far as our personal relationship was concerned, that was it. And the atmosphere in the team became very bad, of course."
"By the time we got to Monza, I was ahead of him in the championship, by about 10 points. But that race. was the real low point between McLaren and me. Senna had two cars, with 20 people around him, and I had just one car, with maybe four or five mechanics working for me. I was absolutely alone, in one part of the garage, and that was perhaps the toughest weekend of my racing career. Honda was really hard against me by then, and it was difficult trying to fight for the championship in that situation. In practice, Ayrton was nearly two seconds quicker than me - OK, as I said, he was certainly a better qualifier than I was, but two seconds? That was a joke."
In the race though, Senna retired, and Prost won; by the time they headed off to Suzuka and Adelaide, the last two races of the 1989 season, Alain led by 16 points. By now McLaren-Honda essentially worked as two different teams, which happened to operate out of the same pit. Once again, the two red and white cars were in front row, both its drivers in defiant mood, Senna knowing he had to win, Prost making it clear he'd be no pushover.
"I told both the team and the press, 'There's no way I'm going to open the door to him any more.' We talked very often, you should know, about the first corner, the first lap, and Ron always said the important thing was that we shouldn't hit each other, we should think of the team. Well, as far as I was concerned, Senna thought about himself, and that was it. For example, at the start of the British Grand Prix that year, going into Copse, if I hadn't moved three or four metres out of the way we'd have hit each other, and both McLarens would have been out immediately. That sort of thing had happened too often; I had had enough."
"As for the accident between us at the chicane, yes, I know everybody thinks I did it on purpose. What I say is that I did not open the door, and that's it. I didn't want to finish the race like that - I'd led from the start, and I wanted to win it."
"I had a good car; I'd been very bad in qualifying, compared with Ayrton, and I concentrated entirely on the race. In the warm-up I was nearly a second quicker than him, and for the race itself I was quite confident, even when he started catching me."
"I didn't want him too close, obviously, but I wanted him close enough that he would hurt his tyres; my plan was then to pus hard over the last ten laps. As it was he tried to pass - and for me the way he did it was impossible, because he was going so much quicker than usual into the braking area."
"I couldn't believe he tried it on that lap, because, as we came up to the chicane, he was so far back. When you look in your mirrors, and a guy is 20 metres behind you, it's impossible to judge, and I didn't even realise he was trying to overtake me. But at the same time I thought, 'There's no way I'm going to leave him even a one-metre gap. No way'. I came off the throttle braked - and turned in."
A year later the two were back at Suzuka, once again to settle the World Championship, and this time it was Alain who had to win. Although no longer in the same team, he and Ayrton had not in any way diluted the intensity of their strife. Prost, said Senna, had better not try to turn into the first corner ahead of him: 'If he does, he's not going to make it...' In the event, at 150mph, the McLaren ran into the back of the Ferrari.
"Well, what can you say about that? After I'd retired we talked about it, and he admitted to me - as he did to the press - that he'd done it on purpose. He explained to me why he did it. He was furious with (FIA President) Balestre for not agreeing to change the grid, so that he could start on the left, and he told me he had decided that if I got to the first corner ahead of him, he'd push me off."
Senna was a prick. End of story.
Edited by Autumnpuma, 15 September 2006 - 06:24 AM.