The touring car race that foretold F1's most famous war

The touring car race that foretold F1's most famous war

The rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna came to define McLaren like no other spell in their history. It presaged a period of decline and rebirth as new partnerships were forged that ensured McLaren remain one of F1's most successful constructors, says DAMIEN SMITH

They first met properly at the opening of the new Nürburgring in May 1984. Alain Prost, just returned to McLaren from Renault and bidding for his first world title, even picked up Ayrton Senna at the airport, his 'enthusiastic' driving keeping the rookie amused and on edge all the way to the track.

Conversation was amiable, Prost would later recall, and in different circumstances the two might even have become friends. But that wasn't the destiny for the two greatest racing drivers of their generation. Not yet.

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