How Even McLaren F1 Boss’ Divine Intervention Couldn’t Salvage Prost’s Honda Relationship

Published 07/27/2021, 12:40 PM EDT
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 25: Alain Prost, Special Advisor to Renault Sport F1 walks to the garage before qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The 1989 season of Formula 1 is arguably one of the best seasons the sport has witnessed. McLaren dominated the championship that season, but things often got heated – not just between their drivers, but with their engine supplier as well.


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Finding himself behind his teammate Ayrton Senna on the grid, Alain Prost often criticized Honda for not providing him with a power unit as competitive as Ayrton’s.

Given his accusations on the Japanese engine manufacturer, then-McLaren team principal Ron Dennis gave Prost a book, titled, ‘How To Work With Japanese People.’


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Prost recalls the book he received by McLaren boss

Appearing on the Prost In The Paddock podcast, the Frenchman recalled Dennis’ attempts to improve the relationship between Honda and his driver.

“It has been my worst season (1989) of my career. Many years after, we had a discussion with Ron Dennis and he said, ‘I’m going to offer you a special small book and this book was ‘How To Work With Japanese People.”

“I said no, I’m very interested, but maybe you should have given me that a long time ago. And I read the book and said everything was on the book, I did the opposite.”

Alain Prost, Grand Prix of South Africa, Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, March 14, 1993. (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images).

“I had very good relations, fantastic relations. It looks very good.

“But in fact, because they were always saying, yes, I did not understand, you know. But they were really, really perfect and I could not accept that’s the truth,” he concluded.

My F1 career is underrated: Alain Prost

Alain Prost is arguably one of the best drivers in Formula 1 history. The Frenchman has four world championships to his name and even held the record for most Grand Prix victories until Michael Schumacher surpassed this record during the 2001 Belgian GP.

However, during the conversation of the GOAT of Formula One, Alain Prost often considers his career to be underrated.


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“I’ve been asked for 40 years who the best driver ever is! I have never replied because I wonder if I would have been as good as [Juan Manuel] Fangio driving his car, for example,” said the only Frenchman to win the world championship.

Alain Prost, Grand Prix of Germany, Hockenheimring, July 28, 1991. (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images)

“He was the best of his generation, like I was with Ayrton, like Michael Schumacher in his time or Lewis Hamilton today. Undeniably, though, I am underrated.”


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Do you agree with Prost? Let us know!


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Pingaksh Sharma

259 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.