Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost took the wheel of his stunning 1991 Ferrari 643 and participated in a demonstration run at the Dubai Autodrome Circuit over the weekend.
Prost’s Ferrari 643 demo run was part of the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival event at the venue which was met with a resounding round of cheers and acclaim from the energetic crowd of spectators.
Prost handled the Scuderia’s classic 643 with relative ease and accuracy as a seasoned F1 driver, and just for kicks, the Frenchman unleashed the V12 symphony from its power unit. The demo run highlighted his unwavering passion for Formula 1 and served as an ideal tribute to his remarkable career.
French drivers Alain Prost and Jean Alesi, along with Italian driver Gianni Morbidelli, drove the Ferrari 643 during 1991 F1 season.
The 643 was developed after Prost pushed the crew to rebuild the 642 due to a series of issues. The 643 generated 710 horsepower at 13,800 rpm with a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox.
Driven by a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12 engine, the Ferrari 643 was a contender that raced in the 1991 Australian, British and French Grands Prix, placing fourth at Magny-Cours.
Prost, who was a three-time champion at the time, became disillusioned with the car and this led to the dramatic breakup between Ferrari and the Frenchman.
When the Ferrari 643 was ready in the middle of the 1991 season, Prost and Ferrari’s relationship was at its lowest. The car ultimately proved to be cause of the dispute, unexpectedly ending the Frenchman’s two seasons at Maranello.
Prost made the grave mistake of criticizing the Ferrari to the media at the time, which is unacceptable if you compete for the team.
“I’ve never driven such a bad car,” Prost said at the time. “Yesterday with a full tank of gas we noticed that the steering locks up completely in big curves, that’s a very serious mechanical problem that worsened during the season.
“Competing in a Grand Prix in these conditions is very trying, I did not feel like an F1 driver, because a good truck driver with big arm could have done just as well.”
Ferrari responded by terminating his contract, as then-Scuderia team boss Claudio Lombardi said: “Ferrari took this decision to stop with Alain Prost both for the last Grand Prix and for next season.
“The relationship between a top driver and a top team involves the performance of the driver and then the behaviour of the driver.
“For the first point we are very happy with the performance of Alain Prost. I personally worked with Alain for the last four months and I think he is really a very good driver and a fantastic test driver. The second point is behaviour.
“The behaviour of Alain Prost during this season has not been at the level that Ferrari would like from a top driver.
“His behaviour inside and outside the team meant that Ferrari had to stop the relationship.”