There will always be debate about who is the greatest Formula One Driver; is it Fangio, is it Senna, is is
Schumacher, is it Prost and so on. If one is to simply go by wins it is obviously Schumacher since he
captured six world championship. That said the others in this short list have their devotees
who can use other criteria to bolster their drivers claim to this title.
We aren't here to say the Frenchman Alain Marie Pascal Prost is the greatest F1 driver but his
impressive resume does put him into contention. He is a four time world champion with 51 GP wins
in 199 GP races. Although he spent most of his career with McClaren having the most GP starts,126, in
a turbo F1 car, he did drive for Ferrari over the 1990 to 1991 seasons. His time at Ferrari wasn't
very productive and he was fired fro the team after his winless 1991 season only to return in 1993
after a one year sabbatical to finish his career with Williams by winning the F1 Championship.
The car that Prost drove while at Ferrari was the 641/2 and although the 1991 season was
unproductive he came within 6 points of the 1990 championship. The 641/2 was competitve being
powered by a nonturboed 3.5L V12 with hydraulicly operated valves putting out 680hp. Prost might have won
the 1990 championship if Senna hadn't intentionally crashed into Prost at the last race in Japan putting them
both out of the race leaving the pre-race standings with Senna leading in points intact.
The 641/2 like many of the F1 cars of the era wasn't total dominated by aerodynamics and so
have a beauty and appearnace clarity without all the additonal wings and winglets. And unlike more
mordern GP cars you can actually see the driver and not just his top of his helment.
This car represent the last of this breed not only in appearance but also in lack of overally complexity.
Future cars in the Schumacher era would have launch control, traction control, yaw control and so forth.
In fact it could be argued that for later GP cars the driver simply had to know how to steer the car and
have to stop the car.
Prost's and the 641/3 in F1 isn't completely cemented but it si most like that both of their accomplishments
will live in the shadow of Schumacher and his Ferrari's. Perhaps to illustrate this point a detuned 641/2
recently sold at auction for $484k US; a figure that any of Schumacher's will most likely easily best.