Motor Racing: Prost pleads for 'good and fair fight' with Senna: France's former world champion set for confrontation on Brazilian rival's home soil
Friday 26 March 1993
The Brazilian Grand Prix will have all the fervour of a Glasgow football derby. Senna, the moody home-town boy, on a mission of vengeance, against the technical, precise Prost, who is intent on ending their feud.
Between them they hold six championships and have 81 grand prix victories, but their struggle for pre-eminence has, for the past four years, generated acrimony and open conflict. Senna's contempt for Prost deepened when the Frenchman barred him from joining Williams-Renault, the strongest team in Formula One.
Senna is still reluctant to commit himself to a full season with McLaren-Ford, though the car has more potential than he anticipated, and this was a race he could not refuse.
Prost accepts the prospect of confronting Senna and his devoted fans with the calm assurance of a man who has six wins from a dozen previous trips to this country. He has the security of a bodyguard permanently by his side but he pleads for an amnesty.
'Ayrton and I are very different and, for sure, we have had our problems. But I think we have respect for each other. I don't know why we can't be friends and whether we can talk again, but we can still have a good and fair fight,' Prost said.
McLaren's new MP4/8, in Senna's hands, led early on in the opening grand prix, in South Africa, and gave ground because of an electronic fault which, according to the Brazilian, rendered the car undrivable and he finished a distant second to Prost.
Prost is mindful that, given reliability, Senna could be an even more dangerous oppenent here and beyond. 'I think Ayrton will continue for the full season, as I have always thought,' he said. 'I expect him to be my biggest rival. But also I think we can be better here than we were in South Africa. We had a few problems at Kyalami and for us it was good that we came away with such a good result.'
Formula One will hope their rivalry is as positive and compelling as Prost craves. If Michael Schumacher, in the Benetton-Ford, Damon Hill, in the other Williams, and Michael Andretti, in the second McLaren, can pitch in, too, so much the better.
In the wake of Nigel Mansell's triumphal defection to IndyCars, Formula One is under still more intense pressure to justify its standing as the world's premier racing category. To achieve that it must entertain, as well as flaunt its hi-tech sophistication.
Latest in Sport
WWE Raw results: Seth Rollins and Kane punish Dean Ambrose while Brock Lesnar receives a new Championship belt
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Manchester United transfer news: Sporting Lisbon confirm Marcos Rojo deal complete with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger hits out at Aaron Ramsey red card decision
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£30000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...
£40000 - £65000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior A...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...