Monday April 2nd, 2001
The Prost team issued a statement today, clarifying the reasons for the long first pitstop of Jean Alesi at the Brazilian Grand Prix which, according the the team, had cost Alesi a sure chance of scoring points in the race.
The team said the pitstop went wrong "due to a recurring problem the Team has experienced with the new refuelling system, introduced for the 2001 F1 season.
"In fact, the same problem had occurred at the previous race in Sepang, Malaysia, during Gaston Mazzacane's pitstop. Therefore, prior to the Brazilian race, the team, in collaboration with Intertecnic (supplier of the system) had thoroughly rechecked and revised all the refuelling rigs.
"On Sunday, as Jean Alesi came in for his pitstop, his refuelling rig jammed into alarm mode (exactly as in the previous race with Gaston's rig) refusing to deliver the fuel. Taking into account the minimum automatic reset time, the pitstop lasted 15 seconds more than normal. Without this incident, Jean would have probably finished the race in 6th position, scoring the team's first point of the season."
Prost also added the team informed the FIA of these incidents. "We are actively working with the Intertecnic technicians to determine the cause of the problem in order to find a definite solution to it," the team said.