In a press conference in Geneve on Friday, Alain Prost and Jacques Calvet announced the formation of Prost Grand Prix, as a successor to Ligier, previously owned by first Guy Ligier and then Flavio Briatore.
Prost will run Mugen-Honda engines for 1997 and continue to carry the Gitanes sponsorship in accordance with Ligier's existing sponsorship contracts. In 1998, the primary sponsorship is to come from the tobacco giant Phillip Morris and Canal Plus, a French pay-TV firm.
Calvet, the president of Peugeot, confirmed that Prost has secured an exclusive three-year supply of the Peugeot engines (currently used by Jordan) starting in 1998. Bernie Ecclestone, chairman of FOCA, has promised to assist Jordan in locating another works engine.
Further, the 1998 Prost-Peugeot world championship challenger will be designed by John Barnard, one of the most highly respected designers in Formula One, and will race on Michelin tires, the French company returning after an absence of some 15 years from F1.
Ligier Grand Prix was founded in 1976, contested 326 Grands Prix, with 9 victories and the best result of 2nd on the 1980 Constructors' championship.
Alain Prost first drove in F1 in 1980, contested 199 Grands Prix, with 51 victories and four Drivers' championships.