The last driver to win a Formula 1 race at the Paul Ricard circuit says installing a chicane on the Mistral straight has robbed the track of its identity.
Prost won the 1990 French Grand Prix for Ferrari on a version of the track which used a shortened Mistral straight. It was his fourth win at the track, the first of which came on the full-length configuration.
Lewis Hamilton said the famous Signes corner at the end of the straight can easily be taken flat-out due to the approach speed and downforce levels being used. Prost says removing the chicane would change that.
“Obviously it would be very fast,” he said. “Signes wouldn’t be a corner completely flat [out]. So it is different.”
Several drivers have criticised the chicane but Prost pointed out the organisers believe it will create an overtaking opportunity.
“They wanted to do [the chicane] for a place where you can overtake. Also for the grandstand for the spectators.
“You always have good reasons, it’s difficult for me to criticise. But if the drivers have to say something it’s good they can also express an opinion.”
Prost said he is “not very optimistic” Sunday’s race will provide much excitement. “I just had a long discussion with Pat Symonds and Ross Brawn about the future. We know that we are not in the best situation about the show.
“Sometimes something happens and you don’;t know why we have some good races. It depends a lot on the tyres and the way you use the tyres.
“If everybody does the same strategy it’s going to be a boring race. If they do a different strategy… that’s why I’m really in favour of changing the tyres and having more choices and more freedom with the tyres.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year