NOVEMBER 30, 2000

Prost expected to announce Villadelprat and Durand appointments

PROST are expected to announce the appointments of Joan Villadelprat and Henri Durand to strengthen both their management and technical ranks for the 2001 season.

Spaniard Villadelprat is set to be confirmed as the new chief operating officer at the French team and is expected to work alongside team boss Alain Prost and current sporting director John Walton.

Prost also hope to tempt Frenchman Henri Durand away from McLaren. Durand is an aerodynamic specialist and, according to reports in France, is at the top of the Guyancourt-based team's wanted list.

A Prost spokesperson refused to reveal names, but said an announcement will be made "in the next two weeks" about the future of the team and its personnel.

The spokesperson added: "At the moment, most of the team are away on holiday. But they will return in the next week or so to continue the hard work on the new car. There will be an announcement soon after that.

"We also have two tests planned for December, but as yet dates and a track are yet to be confirmed."

If Villadelprat is appointed it will provide Prost with much-needed experience in his team. The Catalan is the former team manager of Benetton and has also worked at McLaren and Ferrari.

Four-time World Champion Prost is desperate to build and develop a staff that will help the team improve on a dismal 2000 season where they failed to score a championship point.

Prost said: "We are, I am certain, going to have a bigger budget next season and we will reorganize and improve. I know we can achieve it, but it will take a long time.

"For us, the main thing is new organization. I know what we need to do. We will have new sponsors and a bigger team with more people next season."