AUGUST 17, 1998
Prost confirms drivers...
AS we predicted a month ago Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli are to stay with Prost Grand Prix in 1999. Trulli has also agreed to stay with the team in the year 2000 after which Benetton has an option on his services. Trulli had been expected to stay at Prost for just one year and then go to Williams, but the current moves at Grove suggest that the team will not have a vacancy until 2001 at the earliest.
Panis's future is less clear. He was not happy with the way Prost developed this year and looked to leave but there were few opportunities for Olivier. He will thus stay with Prost although both he and Alain Prost say that the deal will only continue beyond next season if both are happy with the relationship.
During the announcement Prost said that he hopes that Peugeot will continue beyond the end of 2000 although the French car maker says that it will only stay in the sport if Prost is successful. Peugeot's F1 record is beginning to be an embarrassment to the company which has been involved since 1994 without winning a thing. The company's recent announcement that it is to enter the World Rally Championship with the 206 model has been interpreted as a way of getting out of F1 in the future if Peugeot does not start winning soon.
It is noticeable that in recent weeks there has been no sign at races of Automobiles Peugeot president Frederic SaintĘGeours, who used to be a regular visitor. The last time he was seen was shortly after the announcement that Peugeot was going to return to rallying.
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