A1GP Nicholas Prost 2008/09 review

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

NP: “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!”  

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

NP: “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.”

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

NP: “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.”  

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

NP: “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.”   

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