French former racing driver Alain Prost thinks that Scuderia Ferrari has the potential and ability to successfully challenge rivals Mercedes in the second part of the 2017 Formula One season, as German driver Sebastian Vettel is currently leading the Formula 1 Driver Standings, with a 14-point advantage over Lewis Hamilton: “I think we are definitely in for a thrilling second part of the championship and it will be interesting to see if Ferrari can match Mercedes like we saw several times this season. Mercedes still has the strongest car on most tracks, but Vettel was able to maximize the results and his consistency has been very impressive.” – the four-time Formula One Drivers’ Champion said, as reported by the Italian media on Sunday.
As Formula One embarks on its quest for its future power unit platform, Alain Prost believes F1’s manufacturers will never accept to go back to V8 or V10 engines. Formula 1 sporting manager Ross Brawn is hard at work defining the engine which will power Grand Prix racing into the future, as basic discussions which have taken place at several working group meetings appear to favour a twin-turbo V6 concept with simplified hybrid technology.
For Alain Prost, the choice makes sense as a mentality change and a paradigm shift within the industry precludes manufacturers from returning to the naturally-aspirated formula which was in force until 2013: “The way they are thinking now, there are no constructors who would like to go back to normally-aspirated engines. They would like to have engines at least not as complicated as what we have today, but keep the electricity involved in a different way, maybe using it in different things. They would not like to go back, which makes sense.” – the French former racing driver explained.
Manufacture interest in Formula E is undoubtedly ramping up, as Mercedes and Porsche’s recent commitments demonstrates. But Prost believes a two pronged approach by manufacturers involving F1 and the burgeoning all-electric series is right: “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of technology. Maybe you could change the regulations sometimes and use different technology. If a constructor on the road is going to make different cars, why wouldn’t you be in Formula 1 and Formula E at the same time? It makes sense. We are learning a lot. It’s good for everybody. When you are a worldwide company, you have a different way of marketing or selling products. You have to be in all kinds of things. It’s a world where it’s moving a lot. If you are in different areas, it’s better.” – Alain Prost concluded.