Berger admits to ‘talks’ with Ferrari

Gerhard Berger admits he had “talks” with Ferrari about helping his former team Ferrari out of its current slump.

The F1 legend spent two stints at the Maranello marque in the 80s and 90s, and subsequently went on to lead BMW in Formula 1 and co-own the Toro Rosso team.

Most recently he stepped down as boss of the DTM series and now admits that rumours linking him with a return to Italy were not wide of the mark.

“There were talks, actually,” Berger, 63, told Osterreich newspaper.

“But I’ll say it quite clearly – no, I don’t want to do that anymore. I like to be there as an observer and add my two cents here and there.

“But I don’t want that pressure and stress anymore for the rest of my life. I’m busy with my companies and with my children in sports – my daughter rides well and my son drives a kart and I want to show him how it’s done.”

Berger also has another, older daughter – 26-year-old old Heidi Berger.

She has attracted international attention recently by emerging as the new girlfriend of Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo.

“Heidi lives in New York,” Gerhard said. “She studies and works in film. Most recently, she was in Tokyo for three months on a Disney shoot.

“I call her regularly and know that she has been travelling with Daniel for two or three years. He’s a likeable, nice guy,” Berger added.

“If he gets another chance at Red Bull now, I’d be happy. On the other hand, I would be surprised because it doesn’t fit the Red Bull philosophy, which is based on young drivers.”

Separately, Berger also told Servus TV that Red Bull needs to think about whether Perez or Ricciardo would serve as a better de-facto ‘number 2’ for Max Verstappen.

“It’s always such a difficult question,” he said. “How strong should the second driver be?

“If he’s too strong, then you have stress in the team with constant tension and friction that becomes very difficult to manage. But if he’s too weak, then it’s still difficult because he’s not scoring enough points.”

What Berger is clear about, however, is that Formula 1 will be able to cope with more of the utter one-team, one-driver dominance of Red Bull and Verstappen.

“We have already survived the Schumacher success story and Hamilton later on,” said the Austrian.

“What the enthusiasm for Verstappen and Spielberg (the Austrian GP) shows us is that Formula 1 has such an inner strength that can withstand anything.”

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