Atlas F1 News Service

Prost Not Drawn into Engine Debate

Friday June 29th, 2001

Alain Prost has refused to be drawn into discussions over his team's engine supplier for next year after Jean Todt, boss of current providers Ferrari, cast doubt on the continuation of their contract with the team.

Prost simply said that he is currently in negotiations, but the team are believed to be short of money and may not be able to afford the Ferrari units they currently rename as "Acer" engines.

"First of all we have a contract," said Prost, referring to his deal with Ferrari. "Obviously a contract can be discussed and we are talking very closely for next year and the year after - especially for next year obviously.

"Ferrari is helping us a lot not only technically on the human side and we are very close and it's very easy to talk with them about how we might have a better deal possibly."

The cost of the engine supply might be a crunch factor in negotiations, and a lack of budget has been the basis of developing rumours on a change of power. But Prost revealed that he is confident of improving funding at the team and that although this season has been difficult on the money front, next year's budget is building quite successfully.

"It's tough on the budget for this year but we already have a big part of the budget for next year in place," said Prost. "The situation is getting better and better."

Published at 16:22:36 GMT

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