F1 Legend Alain Prost Draws a Parallel Between Sebastian Vettel & Himself: “Seen As the Bad Guy”

Published 12/25/2021, 10:54 AM EST
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari talk after practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were arguably the fiercest rivals Formula 1 has ever seen. The two multiple-time world champions shared seats in McLaren for the 1988 and 1989 seasons. While McLaren won double championships in those seasons, the intense rivalry between the two saw a steep rise. Prost accused the team of favoritism towards Senna, quite like Sebastian Vettel in Ferrari.

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The Frenchman was a part of Mclaren for six years between 1984 to 1989 (and in 1980), while the Brazilian star joined the team in 1988 and stayed till 1993 before joining Williams for the 94′ season, also his last in F1. The infamous championship defending crash in the 1989 Japanese GP was the height of their bitter rivalry.

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However, Prost felt that there was a unanimous preference towards Senna, who was the “younger guy” in the team. He believes this was in some ways similar to what Vettel might have gone through after Leclerc entered Ferrari in 2019.

Alain Prost draws parallel with Sebastian Vettel

Vettel switched to the Maranello team at the end of the 2014 F1 season. He finished second to Lewis Hamilton in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. However, his wish to win the 5th title in red remained unfulfilled. In 2019, Ferrari replaced Kimi Raikkonen with young sensation Charles Leclerc.

Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 2, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference Hassan Ammar/Pool via REUTERS

However, the entry of the Monegasque whittled away Vettel’s priority status in the team and he subsequently left the following year. Alain Prost drew a parallel with the fellow four-time world champ in this context. In a recent podcast hosted by 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, Prost made this honest admission.

“I thought about the good of the team, but already in the first season I sensed a preference for Ayrton on the part of everyone.” 

“The public was divided between Senna and me and I was seen as the bad guy. Besides, he was the young guy who was advancing, while I was the older driver,” said Prost, as reported by PlanetF1.

“A bit like what happened in Ferrari with Leclerc and Vettel,” added the Frenchman.

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Sebastian Vettel joined the Aston Martin F1 team for the 2021 season. Apart from a P2 finish in Baku, it was a below-par season for the German star. Despite that, he seems confident about the upcoming season governed by a whole new set of regulations. Meanwhile, his former teammate Leclerc finished 7th in the drivers’ standings, two places behind Sainz.

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With resolved engine issues, the Red Team will look to pave their way back to the top in the coming seasons. Do chip in with your thoughts on the same.

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Rituraj Tripathi

264 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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