WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Sep 12, 2008


Gerhard Berger (born 1959)
Gerhard had started out racing AlfaSuds before jumping via a few Formula Ford races into the German and European F3 Championships. By 1984 he was a leading contender, and his performances earned him a chance with the ATS F1 team in his home GP in Austria. Berger had hurt his neck in an accident, but said nothing and dragged himself to a test at Zandvoort.

In four races, he proved himself erratic but fast, and soon switched to Arrows and its BMW-powered team the following year. With Benetton in 1986 he made full use of the turbocharged four cylinder BMW's prodigious power, and won his first GP, in Mexico, after a canny performance on Pirelli's tires.

Berger’s spells with Ferrari and McLaren earned him another eight victories and the reputation as a fast and safe driver who, while perhaps not quite in the Senna/Prost/Mansell mold, was quite capable of fighting at the front in the right machine.
After the fire at Imola in 1989, when Gerhard crashed his Ferrari at the same Tamburello corner that would later claim Senna, he was back racing within weeks. The depth and honesty of the emotions he explained in the aftermath of the deaths of Ratzenberger (another Austrian diver) and Senna were indications of a pure heart. When Berger was in the cockpit, a dedicated professional took over, and Benetton had good cause to appreciate that in a difficult 1996 season. One year on, as he was suffering from debilitating illness and his father was killed in a flying accident, Berger returned to the cockpit at Hockenheim and annihilated his opposition. It was his final victory, and at the end of the season he retired. Berger went on to to become the manager of BMW's competition program in F1 with Williams but in 2004 he left that role. At the start of 2006 it was announced that he had become a 50% shareholder in Red Bull's Scuderia Toro Rosso.

No comments:

Post a Comment