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On this day in history the F1 champ Alain Prost is born in 1955 near Saint-Chamond, France. Prost was the four-time Formula One victor in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

270px-Saint_Chamond_Paysage

Prost won his first race in the French Grand Prix 1981, but before he made his debut in Formula One racing, Prost made his name in kart racing.

In 1985, Prost was the first Frenchman ever to win the inaugural F1 world championship race.

After a quick Google search, you will notice driver Ayrton Senna pops up along side Prost’s name. The two had a fierce rivalry even though they were both drivers from the McLaren team.

Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna

The pair gathered 15 out of 16 wins in the 1988 Grand Prix events, yet this didn’t make the team any more friendly on or off the track.

It was rumored Ferrari fired Prost because of his public criticism of the team.

After a sabbatical Prost joined the Williams team in 1993 and claimed his fourth F1 world championship and set a then-record career total of 51 F1 victories.

Prost retired the next year to avoid the possibility of Senna becoming his teammate again on the Williams team.

In 1994 Senna in fact did join the Williams team, but unfortunately lost his life on the track at the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994. He was only 34 years old.

Alain Prost gained the nickname “The Professor” because of his cool, calculated driving style and intellectual approach to the track. He would preserve his tires and brakes throughout the race to save them for the finishing laps.

His driving was reportedly based off his personal heroes Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.

The only racers who bested Prost were Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio. Schumacher collected seven championships through 1994-2004, and Fangio won five titles between 1951-1957.

Michael Schumacher (ibtimes.co.uk)
Michael Schumacher (ibtimes.co.uk)
Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio

After Alain Prost retired he competed in several bicycle races, became the ambassador for Uniroyal and was the first former driver allowed to sit on the stewards’ panel after racing regulations were changed.

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