The end of Prost Grand Prix

Alain Prost

Alain Prost 

 © The Cahier Archive

PROST GRAND PRIX has been put into liquidation by the Tribunal de Commerce of Versailles with debts in excess of $28m. Prost and the court-appointed administrator Maitre Franck Michel have been trying for the last two months to find support to keep the team going but none of the bids were considered to be sensible enough to warrant keeping the team alive.

The team's assets will now be sold off to pay the outstanding debts and while it is possible that someone will buy the team as a going concern there are now problems relating to the entry as any new operation will have to pay the FIA a deposit of $48m if they wish to join the other 11 teams in FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The $48m would be deposited with the FIA and would then be paid back in monthly installments (with interest added) starting at the first Grand Prix of the year. If the entrant failed to appear for the championship it would forfeit the entire amount. The bond was designed to ensure that only companies which proper funding were able to compete in F1 and as no-one came up with enough cash to save Prost it is unlikely that there will be any takers for the franchise.

The news means that Prost Grand Prix staff will be laid off. Some of them have already departed to other jobs but most of the staff will end up unemployed.

It will be interesting to see what now happens with the driver market as Heinz-Harald Frentzen is expected to move to Arrows where he is expected to replace Jos Verstappen. The Dutchman would logically move to Minardi but our spies are suggesting that this may not happen and that either Frentzen or Verstappen is going to find themselves out of work. The only option then would be for a test drive with one of the big teams although most of the serious contenders already have at least two test drivers under contract. It is possible therefore that Tom Walkinshaw will try to keep both men and that will put a lot of pressure on Enrique Bernoldi...

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter

Print News Story