Who is currently the best Formula 1 driver in the field?
W eber: Alonso. Because he is the most constant of all, who makes the fewest mistakes, simply the most perfect Formula 1 driver. Sensational that Vettel has become world champion. But he also made a few mistakes. If he turns it off, I'll revise my opinion.
Berger: For me, Alonso, too, I see it like Willi. Fernando also has a killer instinct like no other. Hats off, but also to Vettel, especially at that age. I don't quite see the mistakes as Willi does. There weren't that many. Alonso allowed himself more in that last year. The Sebastian had more technical problems, especially compared to Webber.
Types like Alonso or Hamilton walk over corpses for success. Does Vettel have this toughness too?
Berger: Yes, I would say. I worked with him. Sebastian always makes a friendly face, but behind this mask he can be pretty tough.
Weber: Racers in this category have to be born egomaniacs. If you are considerate of anything in sport, you will only come in second or third. Besides Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, Kubica is one of them.
Berger: I also include him in this category. Unfortunately, it is underestimated.
Is it Michael Schumacher's problem that there are so many copies of him?
Weber: The problem from Michael is that he showed Formula 1 how to do it right. With his hard training, with his unlikely ambition. He was the first to come into the paddock in the morning and the last to leave. He was never satisfied with himself, he pushed himself to the limit. And he questioned everything. It all left its mark. With the drivers and the teams. Michael made a mark. At that time for the better for him. Today it strikes back. Because there are many drivers who work the same way and are just as good as a whole. Everyone who drives in Formula 1 has talent anyway. The rounding off of this talent is art. It's like a bullet. If you knock out a piece of it, it will no longer run smoothly. Michael brought this round running into Formula 1.
Berger: I have to correct you, Willi.Ayrton Senna brought this system and hardship in. He opened our eyes to all of us. We were all apprentices compared to him. Who was training to enter the pit at the time? Nobody except Senna. Who prepared for the new season in winter with a heat of 40 degrees? Just the senna. He jogged 30 kilometers every day in the heat. We did gymnastics a bit in winter, and when we came to Brazil for the season opener, we couldn't breathe because it was too hot for us.
Weber: That's right. Senna was the type of inventor. That's why he and Michael were so crazy. They saw each other and immediately fell in love.
Berger: After two or three races, Senna noticed exactly: someone comes along who does it just like me.
Is it an impossible mission from Schumacher's point of view to believe that at the age of 42 he can stand up to all his copies?
Berger: I would say very clearly: This is a 'Mission Impossible'. The driver who trains the same way, works just as hard, has raced since childhood, but is 20 years younger, just has to think twice. Schumacher's chance is only to get as close as possible and then play out his experience.
What role does age still play today? The risk factor is being pushed back more and more.
Berger: The same thing happens here as with every normal driver, of course on a different level. You can no longer see so well, your reflexes are different, your attitude changes. You take off the gas when you do things, you didn't even think about that before. I notice it while skiing. I used to jump over an edge without knowing what was behind it. In the air I thought about what to do if something unexpected turned up. As you get older, take a look at the spot first before you jump over it at full throttle. As a racing driver, you think the same way. I used to stay at the Hotel Fossati at the top of the roof at the Italian GP in Monza. When I was young and heard that morning that the rain was drumming on the roof, I was happy. This is my chance, I thought. At the end of my career I couldn't sleep properly with the sound of rain on the roof. The last thing I wanted was rain in Monza.
Read on Thursday (20.1.) In the third and last part of the F1 get-together: Is the four-cylinder engine the right way to go in the formula 1? Should VW get into the premier class? And why is there only one Adrian Newey?