AUGUST 26, 1996
Prost and Ligier
REPORTS from Italy over the weekend suggested that Alain Prost has done a deal to acquire the Ligier team from Flavio Briatore in the wake of Briatore's buyout of Guy Ligier, which was announced at the Hungarian GP.
Our sources say that Prost reached a decision on the Sunday of the Hungarian GP, but that the deal will not be announced for a few more weeks while the team's future backing is structured.
These rumors may account for the recent stories which suggested that Flavio Briatore was on the verge of buying a majority shareholding in the Minardi team and that this would be paid for with money raised from the sale of Ligier.
If Prost is going to take over Ligier, it is a good time to do so if he wants to put together his F1 "dream team". He has always said that if he is to run his own team that he wanted John Barnard to be the technical director, Barnard's position at Ferrari appears to be more and more tenuous. Italian sources say that Barnard and his Ferrari Design and Development staff are being increasingly blamed for the problems with the F310 and that the facility is going to be closed down next year. Barnard's Ferrari contract expires next summer.