NOVEMBER 10, 1997

Prost signs Trulli

PROST GRAND PRIX has confirmed that it has signed Jarno Trulli as Olivier Panis's team-mate for the next two years. The Italian raced for the team in seven Grands Prix this year - as a replacement for the injured Panis - scoring his first points for fourth place at the German GP. At the Austrian GP he led half the race in impressive fashion before dropping back and ultimately retiring with engine trouble.

Trulli was negotiating with Prost for a one-year deal as Frank Williams is known to be keen to secure his services at some point in the future. Prost was originally offering only a three-year deal but seems to have compromised. Both parties will be well aware that there is a buyout clause in the contract for 1999 which Williams can pay if he still wants Trulli.

Alain Prost says he has been very impressed by Trulli this year. "I was impressed by his desire to learn," said Prost, "and by his motivation and the quality of his work. He has a great deal of potential and I know he will be a big asset in our effort to achieve the ambitions we have set ourselves for next year with Peugeot."