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Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report
Prost Admits Mistake

Saturday May 20th, 2000

Four times world champion turned Formula One team boss Alain Prost said his outfit made a stupid mistake which led to the disqualification of Nick Heidfeld from Sunday's European Grand Prix.

Frenchman Prost, dubbed 'the professor' during his driving days because of his attention to detail, said he was very disappointed at the outcome following Heidfeld's best qualifying performance of his brief Formula One career on Saturday.

Heidfeld filled 13th place on the grid in the rain-hit session but his Prost car was ruled two kilos under the minimum weight limit by race stewards. The German had been looking forward to a home crowd audience for the first time in top level racing.

Prost said: "It was our own mistake, a stupid one and we have to take responsibility for it. There is nothing else we can do. It was a bad mistake by us and we are very sorry it has happened. We are not going to make any appeal against it."

Heidfeld's car was weighed midway through the session when it was found to weigh only 598 kg, two below the reglation limit of 600 kg.

Heidfeld said: "To be disqualified like this at my home grand prix is very disappointing to say the least. The team has apologised to me and, of course, though we discussed the idea of making an appeal, there are no real grounds for making one.

"I am very sad. It was my best qualifying so far and I felt confident about the race. Now, most likely, I will just go home and watch the race on television."

It was not the first time the young German has suffered a major disappointment at the Nuerburgring.

Two years ago, when he was favourite to win the International F3000 championship, he was unable to do so following a fuel irregularity and had to wait a further season before lifting the crown.

"The worst of all this is that Nick has suffered so much after so much effort," said Prost. "We have to make sure this kind of thing does not happen again."

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