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'McLaren tactics will backfire'

June 19, 2007 12:19 IST

Former Formula One world champion Alain Prost believes that McLaren are playing with fire in granting Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso equal status in the team.

"I think it's a mistake to have two cars of the same status in the same team," the 52-year-old Frenchman was quoted as saying in Spanish daily El Pais on Monday.

"In the end it will work against them because it will create too many tensions."

Double world champion Alonso has made it clear he is uneasy with the euphoria surrounding his McLaren team mate Hamilton who leads him in this season's standings after Grand Prix victories in Canada and the United States.

Prost had a series of more serious run-ins with late Brazilian Ayrton Senna when at McLaren in the late 1980s.

Between them, the two drivers won 15 of the 16 races in 1988 but their rivalry turned into animosity.

Senna won the title in 1988 but Prost triumphed the following year with the two McLarens colliding at Suzuka in the penultimate race of the year. Prost retired, Senna won the race but was then disqualified in a huge controversy.

Prost moved to Ferrari in 1990 and Senna got his revenge in Japan, colliding with Prost again and winning the title back.

The Frenchman said that technology is now more important than driver skill in Formula One.

"The cars are very evenly matched because of the new limitations and the technological advances and it is very difficult to overtake during a race," he said.

"Races are now decided in the pits. The strategy of the team directors is what is important, the only things they can't control are driver errors."

Prost added that Hamilton's greater experience of using the McLaren team's race simulator has given him the edge over Alonso this season.

"Hamilton has used the simulator much more than Alonso and he drives more smoothly than the Spaniard," he said. "As a result I think it is easier for McLaren to adjust their cars to Hamilton's characteristics.

"But that doesn't disguise the fact that Alonso is a super driver, a great, great driver."

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