Motor Racing: Prost gets green light from Fisa

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The Independent Online
ALAIN PROST, three times the world drivers' champion, won his second significant victory within a week yesterday when motor sport's international ruling body, Fisa, cleared the Frenchman of allegations that he had defamed the sport's organisers with remarks he made in a magazine interview.

The Williams driver, who celebrated a record 45th grand prix victory in South Africa on Sunday after a year out of racing, was cleared to compete in the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday week and for the rest of the season.

Fisa's not-guilty verdict eliminates the possibility of Ayrton Senna replacing Prost at Williams and raises the likelihood that Senna will stick with McLaren this year. A spokesman for McLaren said yesterday, however, that the outcome of the Prost affair did not affect their continuing negotiations with Senna, who is presently employed on a race-by-race basis.

Max Mosley, the president of Fisa, said that the body's World Council had decided to clear Prost of the charges. Both Prost and his team manager, Frank Williams, were given a lengthy hearing in a Paris hotel. Mosley said the council accepted the two men's explanations and that the affair was now closed.

Prost said yesterday: 'I made my apologies to the World Council. I did not intend to defame anyone.' He had claimed he was misquoted in the interview, published in January by the French magazine, Auto Plus.

'The most important thing now is to go to Brazil. The arguments are over and we can just talk about sport now,' Prost said. Last week at Kyalami, Prost said he would quit Formula One if he was suspended.