French GP Prost preview

French Grand Prix Magny-Cours, June 27th 2001 The French Grand Prix will take place next Sunday at the Magny Cours circuit, just a week apart from the European Grand Prix. The teams have had just four days to get ready and today the Prost Acer...

French Grand Prix
Magny-Cours, June 27th 2001

The French Grand Prix will take place next Sunday at the Magny Cours circuit, just a week apart from the European Grand Prix. The teams have had just four days to get ready and today the Prost Acer team, in preparation for its home Grand Prix, has conducted a one-day test with Jonathan Cochet at the wheel of the Prost Acer AP04 (spare car).

The French Grand Prix starts the second half of the 2001 F1 season, and Henri Durand, Prost Grand Prix's Technical Director, has this analysis of the team's work and progress so far:

"This weekend again, after a first evolution package introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix, we will introduce substantial modification to the Prost Acer AP04, as we had planned in our development strategy for this season. The changes concern the engine cover, the side deflectors and the floor.

For a young team such as ours, a development programme is a key factor. The AP04 was conceived very late, for reasons related to the engine's choice. Our focus was therefore to create a car that respected the rew rules and that was reliable.

It was a big challenge but we have succeeded, since we have come across the checkered flag 13 times.

Winter testing was exceptionally good for us, because we went right on the track with the 2001 car and tyres, which was not the case for most competitors. And almost all the teams have rapidly improved their performance, compared to last season, especially in qualifying. Having put the car on the track very early, we have experienced this improvement before the competitors, but we soon had to realize were we really were. The beginning of the season has not been particularly successful but, even with no results, our car has proved to be efficient and reliable and that it simply needed, as expected, technical evolutions to improve its pure performance.

The developments did not arrive immediately, also due to my late arrival as Technical Director (January 2001). It was a big satisfaction to see that our tests on the track were confirming the wind tunnel tests and bringing regular progress to the car : every development step has made the AP04 go faster. This, the renewed confidence of our drivers and the constant improvement of our work with Michelin, has brought some very good results.In Monaco and Montreal we have scored precious points and at Nürburgring we had very good race performances.

We are very anxious to put into practice the new developments at our home Grand Prix this weekend, on a circuit the team is very familiar with and where Michelin has tested with excellent results."

-Prost

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jonathan Cochet