AUGUST 18, 2001
Prost denies financial trouble
ALAIN PROST left Formula 1 observers speechless on Friday in Budapest when he said that his team has no problems paying for his Ferrari engines. This flies in the face of most sources which have been insisting for some weeks that the Prost and Ferrari relationship is coming to an end because of the team's financial problems. Prost says that anyone can go to his factory "and look at the books".
Prost says that this year's engines are paid for and that he has given a deposit and guarantees on engines for next year but the team has to find the rest of the money and has missed the date on which it had to take up an option. That option has since been extended by Ferrari but it is unlikely to go beyond the end of August. After that Minardi could move to get the engines.
Prost refused to say whether he would still be in charge of the team next year and there are rumors that he has given an option to a potential buyer who will provide funding for the team for the rest of this year and next year as well. Our spies say that the money may be coming from venture capitalists but we have also heard stories that the Saudi royal family might be involved.
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