JULY 28, 1997
Prost wins relocation battle
ALAIN PROST has won his battle with the French authorities to move his F1 team from Magny-Cours to Paris. Last week a French government committee agreed that Prost could push ahead with the plan but that a final clearance for the move would have to come from the minister of development Dominique Voynet, a member of the Green environmental party. Prost had threatened to quit France if the government refused to allow the move.
The relocation to Paris will now take place as quickly as is possible with the intention of having the new site at Satory, near Versailles, ready by February. This will now include all the necessary departments for the entire team, including a state-of-the-art windtunnel. The Magny-Cours facility will remain open for some time to ensure that the changeover is as smooth as possible. Prost's biggest weakness at the moment is his lack of design staff under the team's chief designer Loic Bigois. The team's longtime drawing office manager Claude Delbet is busy recruiting some new faces while research and development (under engineer Damien Py) and future projects (under George Ryton) are also being expanded.
There continues to be speculation that Bernard Dudot will leave Renault Sport to join Prost to act as a technical coordinator between the team and Peugeot.
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