1993: ALAIN PROST

Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)

Year: 1993
Driver: Alain Prost (France)
Team: Williams Renault
Car: Williams FW15C
Results: 7 wins, 12 podiums, 13 poles, 6 fastest laps

1993 saw a major shake-up of drivers, especially among the top teams. Across the grid a number of experienced drivers retired or moved to other series and new faces emerged. After hearing that Prost would be his teammate again in 1993, Mansell left Williams to race in the CART series. The Frenchman had a clause in his contract which prevented rival Ayrton Senna from joining the team that year. Prost was part of a new-look driver line-up at Williams, with test driver Damon Hill, son of Graham Hill, coming in to replace Riccardo Patrese. Uncertainty also surrounded the McLaren team, whose iconic driver Ayrton Senna was reluctant to re-sign for 1993 as the team had lost their Honda engines and were not expected to be competitive with their customer Ford engines. McLaren signed Michael Andretti, a successful IndyCar driver, and Mika Häkkinen who had impressed for Lotus in 1991-92. Senna eventually signed on a race-by-race basis for the team and was partnered by Andretti for most of the season.

Prost won his fourth, and final, title, but in a year where he was regularly challenged by teammate Hill, and Ayrton Senna driving an inferior McLaren. Shortly before the Portuguese Grand Prix in October 1993, Prost announced he would not defend his world title, as the clause in the Frenchman’s contract did not extend to 1994 and Senna would be able to join Williams for the upcoming season, and instead opted to retire as the driver with the record for most grand prix victories — a record which stood for almost a decade. On the podium in Adelaide in 1993, Prost’s last race, he and Senna embraced, and it was as if — now that Prost was no longer a rival — Senna saw no reason for any more hostility. Prost was surprised by the gesture. It was the end of historic Prost vs. Senna era.

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