Alain Prost believes Formula 1 has lost a “character and a gentleman” following the news that legendary driver Niki Lauda passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning, whilst also describing his former team-mate as his idol when he was getting into racing.
Lauda’s passing was announced via a family statement, which states that he died peacefully in his sleep. The news has hit Prost hard, with the pair having known each other for four decades.
"The world of F1 loses a character, but above all a gentleman," Prost told AFP.
“There are champions, people with awards, but here we lose a gentleman who has never complained about anything in his life, his condition, his accident, and who has always won.”
"I am totally upset, moved and very sad, it is an incredible shock for me.... These are much stronger feelings than I could have imagined. It's about 40 years of my life, someone who means a lot to me."
Prost and Lauda were team-mates together at McLaren for the 1984 and 1985 seasons, with Lauda winning the first and Prost winning the second. The Frenchman describes the three-time champion as his idol, and more importantly, his friend.
"He's the idol of my youth when I started karting,” Prost continued.
“Then there was the period when we were teammates, which was the most splendid and brilliant period I've ever known because there was this mixture of success with McLaren - he won the championship in 1984, me in 1985 - but above all this very strong friendship that was created at that time."
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