- Interview -
His family, a victory
After a brilliant career and four Formula 1 world championship titles, ALAIN PROST (61) is enjoying his life on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva to the full. At the peak of his fame, he enjoyed countless joy-filled moments and these days, although his priorities have changed, his happiness remains unaltered. His sons, Sacha, Nicolas and the latter’s wife, Delphine, at the helm of a CLOTHING brand, are all very close to him.
One imagines that for a four-time F1 world champion, such a win is the happiest moment in a career. Is that the case?
Alain – Winning four Formula 1 world champion titles stirred emotions in me that are hard to describe with words but in any event, they are extreme. Following this period in my life, I am happy to have had a chance to take up a number of challenges that have enabled me to experience different things.
When one stops a sport after achieving this kind of level, is it hard to return to a normal kind of life and more ordinary moments of joy?
Alain – When it comes to sport, after a career in Formula 1 you will never experience the same kind of adrenaline in anything else. We try and find different sensations in other sports like cycling
for example. In my personal life, I have always appreciated simple moments and above all those shared with family.
If I asked you what the happiest moment in your career had been, what would you say?
Alain – It’s a whole package. To have achieved all that I have achieved but also to have survived accidents. If I had to pick a single event, it would be the Adelaide Grand Prix in 1986. This victory gave me my second world champion title and I have a wonderful memory of it.
Every time we see you, you appear to be a joyful, fulfilled man. Do you have a particular conception of life?
Alain – I try to enjoy life to the full. I divide my time between my passions, sport and my family. It’s all a question of balance.
Currently, what are the areas of interest that make you joyful?
Alain – Unquestionably my family. My children and now, my grandchildren. Areas of interest evolve over time and I am always in search of other experiences.
You are a family that gives the impression of being extremely joyful and bonded. How do you explain that?
Sacha – We have always had a very strong bond. I have the impression that I have always shared a lot with my brother Nico. He has taught me a lot since we were children. When Delphine arrived, she soon became like a sister to me. We spend a lot of time together and get on really well.
What values did your father pass on to you?
Nicolas – Undoubtedly perfectionism. He is renowned for that as a Formula 1 driver and this determination to go the extra mile can be transferred to every sector.
What memories do you have of your father’s Formula 1 victories? How was the joy experienced?
Nicolas – When my father raced I was not allowed to watch the races live. But I remember every victory as being a moment of huge pride.
Can you tell me about a happy memory in particular that you experienced as a family and that made an impression on you?
Delphine – Last season when Nicolas won the Formula E race in Miami, we were together to celebrate his victory. Competing has the ability
to create a buzz and trigger unique emotions. Those are magical moments.
You created your own clothing brand, 8Js, as a family. Was that intentional or quite by accident?
Delphine – A bit of both. Let’s say that from the moment we had the idea of creating 8Js, it was obvious that it would be together. We each have our own preferred areas and our skills are very complementary.
After being in existence for two years, how is your 8Js brand doing?
Sacha – The brand has developed enormously and so have we! We have taken the time to pick the best-known shops in the world to represent 8Js. Points of sale such as Bongénie and Harrods had faith in us and continue to be part of the development of the brand. We are building a name, 8Js, which must reflect our values. I think we have a somewhat old-school approach to developing the company. We are taking the time required to build the brand on solid foundations.
What would you like to happen and what projects do you have?
Sacha – My greatest pride and joy will be to see 8Js become a benchmark brand in chic sportswear for men as well as women and children. I will do whatever it takes to make
Alain, are you proud of your children?
Alain – Yes, totally! No matter what they choose as a career and their success levels. I am very happy that Nicolas and Sacha have found the right path for them and work together.
Based on an interview by Anouk Julien-Blanco