Interview with Gerhard Berger

Red Bull
Interview with Gerhard Berger
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You have always thought a lot of Nico Rosberg. Nevertheless, Lewis Hamilton became world champion for the second time. Did Rosberg disappoint you?

B erger: I still believe that Rosberg is incredibly good. His bad luck was that he got Lewis Hamilton as a teammate. Until then, Rosberg had every teammate under control. He even gave Michael Schumacher a headache. With another teammate, Rosberg would probably have won the last 2 world titles. That's just the lot you can draw when you drive to the top. A Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso can then be drawn for you. And Lewis is just an exceptional talent.

Rosberg has dominated the last 3 races. Did he find something, or was Hamilton out of breath?

Berger: If you're three times world champion, then it's not just in Subconsciously the air out. Hamilton has been thinking about the next World Cup since Austin. That's how it is knitted. In a duel like Rosberg against Hamilton, nuances can be decisive. I wouldn't be surprised if Lewis gawked like a madman again at the beginning of the 2016 season.

What does Rosberg have to do to crack Hamilton?

Berger: I believe that Hamilton is walking a very fine line. He's always very close to throwing his nerves away. If Nico ever succeeds in disrupting him, then he has a chance. For example, have a strong first half of the season. Then Hamilton would have more problems with Rosberg's success than the other way around.

You will be surprised by Hamilton's consistently good form. His way of life is rather counterproductive.

Berger: I think Lewis is a good Formula 1 world champion. It doesn't just show off on the racetrack. It takes guys like that. The question is what is good and what is not. Everyone is different. When I came to McLaren, Ron Dennis wanted my life to change. He told me how to live for sport, how to drive. He wanted to perfect me on the model of Lauda, ​​Senna and Prost. I let myself be persuaded. I am backwardsinstead of going forward. Everyone has to create their environment the way they need it. This lifestyle suits the Lewis. That actually promotes him. Such a life would be fatal for a Sebastian Vettel. He's a different guy.

Is Vettel the legitimate successor to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari?

Berger: Yes, of course. Vettel is very similar to Michael in the way he works. And Ferrari does it well. A pattern can already be identified. Niki Lauda was the first to have long-term success at Ferrari with this work style, discipline and precision. These characteristics are particularly evident at Ferrari because they do not correspond to the nature of the Italians. Everything is there at Ferrari. You just have to take matters into your own hands.

A driver can do that?

Berger: Yes, that works. During my time at Ferrari, I only partially took it in hand, but I didn't have the same consistency as Lauda, ​​Schumacher or Vettel by far. If they have someone like that to drive them, then they march too.

Was that Alonso the wrong man for Ferrari despite his class?

Berger: Not the wrong person. But not the right one either. Because his working style is different.

Can Ferrari catch up with Mercedes in 2016?

Berger: I wouldn't rule it out. Mercedes is favorite. They did their homework best. Experience has shown often enough that winning streaks can come to an end quickly. You think you know how it's going and it turns out totally different. If Renault gets its engine up and running with the help of Mario Illien, Red Bull will have a chance too. Maybe not straight to the title, but you can definitely get closer.

Are you surprised that a hag with all his meticulousness does a season like 2014 where he was beaten by Daniel Ricciardo?

Berger: The question is: Did Vettel slip up, or is Ricciardo like that Well? I value Ricciardo very highly. He consistently overtakes, is consistently fast, knows what he wants, has his own personality. Don't let your friendliness fool you. He's got a killer instinct on the racetrack. He still has to prove whether he'll be the high-flyer.

And who are the high-flyers?

Berger: The world champions Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso. I still count that one.

Can a season like 2015 at McLaren-Honda be oneDestroy top drivers like Alonso?

Berger: 3 years ago we all said: Alonso is the best. Today I don't dare to say that anymore. He hasn't proven it for a while now, couldn't prove it, and at some point you forget how good he used to be. Some of his maneuvers are still good. But that's not enough.

Who are tomorrow's high-flyers?

Berger: For me it’s very clearly Verstappen. Although Carlos Sainz did a surprisingly good job. What I love about Verstappen is his strength in the race. He doesn't put up with anything. It is overtaken and overtaken back immediately. He doesn't seem to be panting while driving. Stand sideways and talk calmly on the radio. His talent was already evident in Formula 3. The skeptics have always maintained that he had a more powerful engine here or there. I told them: Take a look at the wing it drives. Much flatter than the others. That's why he was off the track a few times. But he still never took off the gas. I am convinced: this is a future world champion.

Would Verstappen, at 18 years of age, have been as good at the Formula 1 you would like right from the start?

Berger: It would also take him longer to get connected. But in the end he would be exactly the right driver for such a formula. He has the vehicle control to handle such a car. It would have taken a year. As was the case with Senna, Prost, or me. We first had to get used to the primal power of turbo cars. Today a test and driving a simulator are enough and you've got it.


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