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After 23 years, Formula 1 will be returning to Mexico in 2015.
Four-time Formula 1 champion Alain Prost is officially becoming the brand ambassador for French automaker Renault, the company announced today.
“Renault’s history is intimately linked to that of motorsport and I have a deep attachment to the brand, with which I achieved some of the greatest successes in my sporting career,” Alain Prost said. “I accepted this mission with pleasure and I intend to accomplish it with professionalism.”
Serving as a brand ambassador, Prost will take part in sports demonstrations and use his technical expertise to represent the brand at various events.
His history with the company goes all the way back to 1976 when he became the Formula Renault French champion. That relationship with the company continued in an on-again off-again basis until 1983 when he placed second in Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
Ten years later he became the world champion Formula 1 driver with Williams-Renault. Most recently he drove to a 2012 victory in Trophée d’Andros at the wheel of Dacia Lodgy “Glace”.
As an aside, some may find it surprising that Prost accepted the role after his less than favorable portrayal in Senna, the 2010 documentary that chronicled the decade during which Ayrton Senna arrived in Formula 1 racing. In the movie, Prost is portrayed as a Machiavellian win-at-all-cost racer. It’s interesting that Prost would come back to work with Renault after having been shown in such an unsavory fashion.
GALLERY: Alain Prost
Next year’s U.S. Grand Prix could be in jeopardy if organizers of the Austin, Texas race do not agree on a contract and pay fees by the end of next week. Formula One’s head honcho Bernie Ecclestone’s patience is clearly wearing thin with negotiations and does not want to wait beyond the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix race in San Paulo on November 27th for a decision to be made.
The first race to be held in the United States since 2007 has been hyped up and highly anticipated but Ecclestone has no problems calling it off if no deal is done. Some might believe that Ecclestone isn’t so focused on working out a deal for the Austin, Texas race since a deal has been settled for a grand prix in New Jersey for 2013.
As with everything else that makes the world turn, negotiations have come down to money, Ecclestone exclaiming that “they can’t bloody well pay,” and “the teams want paying.”
Ecclestone claims that the deal has been ongoing for 18 months now, and that he doesn’t have any contract with anybody concerning the race in Austin. As of Tuesday, construction at the Austin track was halted but Steve Sexton, Circuit of the Americas president, remains optimistic.
At the end of the day though, Ecclestone is clearly becoming impatient and frustrated with the negotiations. “Since we’ve been talking to the people in Austin we’ve done two or three deals with different countries. I don’t know what the problem is for America really.”
[Source: Reuters UK]