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Zandvoort 83
"What astonished Formula One was that Prost had actually made a mistake." - Christoper Hilton


Mr. Nigel Leung sent me a YouTube link showing the Prost-Piquet collision in the 1983 Dutch GP in Zandvoort. On the 42nd lap Prost tried to overtake Piquet.

"He was virtually alongisde Piquet," Christoper Hilton wrote. "The Renault hit a bump, rose a fraction at the rear and as he braked the rear wheels locked, the car twitched the other way, into Piquet... Prost continued but the car was damaged and he plunged off himself a few moments later."

Mr. Leung identified himself as a fan of Senna. His incomprehensible, 8-Chinese-character long, message seems to suggest that he was comparing the incident with Suzuka 90.

I am happy that Mr. Leung brought this to my attention because this incident in 1983 shows exactly how different Prost is from Senna. But Mr. Leung was wrong to compare it with Suzuka 90:

Zandvoort 83: Prost was in his 4th season in F1 hunting his first world title. He has been learning and soon became a driver known to make very few mistakes.
Suzuka 90: Senna was in his 7th season. He was an established (though undeserved) world champion (1988).

Zandvoort 83: Prost hit a bump by mistake and lost control.
Suzuka 90: Senna deliberately hit Prost at high speed.

Zandvoort 83: "For sure it's not his fault," admitted Prost. "It was my fault."
Piquet agreed that Prost didn't do it on purpose.
"It was his mistake," he said. "I don't think he did it on purpose because it is also his championship. But it doesn't bother him or me. Everybody can make a mistake."
Prost and Piquet were playing a gentleman sport. The two even dined together that evening.
Suzuka 90: Senna admitted that he did it on purpose one year later. "I told myself OK you try to work clean - and then you get [expletive] by stupid people. If on Sunday at the start, because I'm in the wrong position, Prost gets the jump and beat me off the line, at the first corner I'll go for it. ... I contributed to it but it was not my responsibility." It was a crime well-planned and committed.

Zandvoort 83: The mistake cost Prost the championship. Had he not hit the bump and passed Piquet and won the race he might have become 1983 world champion.
Suzuka 90: Senna claimed his 2nd world title in the most unsporting manner ever in the history of any sport.

Zandvoort 83: Prost felt sorry and was embarrassed but he learned his lesson. He made very few mistakes in his career.
Suzuka 90: Senna smiled and waved triumphantly to his fans after the potentially fatal impact. He never learned any lesson although, as Damon Hill said, "he made many mistakes in his career."

Thank you, Mr. Leung. What a wonderful idea of an update to Alain Prost Grand Prix Homepage!

Alan Wong
December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas!!