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NOVEMBER 25, 2000

Peugeot boss Provera reveals Prost knew engine deal was dead

PEUGEOT motorsport manager Corrado Provera has revealed that the Prost Grand Prix team knew that the engine manufacturers would be withdrawing from Formula One before last season even started.

Prost Grand Prix chairman Alain Prost criticized Peugeot at the start of last season as their French engine suppliers Peugeot failed to provide engines in time for his pre-season testing schedule.

Prost subsequently went into last season not as well prepared as the team boss would have liked and proceeded to score no championship points as drivers Jean Alesi and Nick Heidfeld finished just 10 races between them.

Peugeot announced their withdrawal from Formula One towards the end of the season, but Provera said that he officially informed Prost of his decision to quit Grand Prix racing in November 1999.

Provera said: "We both decided that we couldn't announce it in order to avoid disruption to the team.

"I am proud of the fact that these 170 further ex-colleagues will be still having a real and even more important chance of showing how good they really are.

"But this has been an awful year because we have known since the end of 1999 that we had to withdraw. This has been personally and professionally something very difficult to undergo."

Prost will be supplied with Ferrari 'works' engines next season as the Guyancourt-based team bid to banish the memories of a devastating 2000 campaign where they finished last in the Manufacturers' Championship.