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Prost warns of problems ahead for Mercedes duo

NEWS STORY
24/05/2014

Four-time world champion Alain Prost has warned that the rivalry between Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could end in tears.

The Frenchman, whose bitter rivalry with Ayton Senna is the stuff of legend, beleives that despite the fact they have been friends since their early teens their rivalry for the title threatens to see the relationship deteriorate possibly with a detrimental affect on the team.

"It is difficult," Prost told reporters ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. "One little problem inside the team, or a little bit outside, and then it could start really very quickly.

"It is very rare that you have a full friendship until the end," he added. "especially if you are really fighting very hard. It looks like the team know how to approach it, but we’ll see. It also depends on the characters of the drivers."

Recalling his bitter rivalry with Senna, which culminated in a number of still controversial incidents, none more notable that their clashes in Japan in 1989 and 1990, Prost recalled that their relationship disintegrated following one particular incident in 1988.

"In 1988 with Ayrton, we had quite a good relationship. It was not a problem," he recalled. "It only started when we had the agreement in Imola and the agreement fell away. It started from this point."

The two, who won all but one race that season, had made a pact that whoever led at the first corner should be allowed to maintain the lead. However, while started from pole (as ever), the Frenchman made the better start and led the pack into the first corner, only for the Brazilian to subsequently overtake him.

"It could have been a very small detail but if you have a sort of tension, you can see something happening in the team that is a little bit different and then if you have this problem coming over the top... that could happen this year," warned the four-time champion.

"But it’s different because its Mercedes. It’s also 20 years later. And they are all talking about that so they know they are very aware of how it could turn out."

Though giving little away, Prost revealed that the German team had even sought his advice on the issue.

"I still have some people asking me what would you do," he admitted. "Which is very interesting because they ask me if I was in their position what could be the recommendation. I don’t want to tell you what I said."

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1. Posted by Dreadnaught, 24/05/2014 8:58

"What has suddenly pulled his chain ? Is he hoping to take over from Todt at the FIA in due course ? It was, "of course", Senna's fault that their relationship became bitter ? I would suggest you could go back to Monaco when the race was stopped just as a very young Senna was about to overtake a much more experienced Prost in very difficult conditions.
As Senna was to often find Prost had "friends" in his corner. He should let sleeping dogs lie and not start stirring up a situation at Mercedes. Rosberg seems very solid. We shall see. "

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