Gerhard Berger thinks a driver wearing red will win the 2019 world championship.
That is despite the fact that, at all four of the races so far this year, Mercedes has completed a record-breaking early run of 1-2 finishes.
But F1 legend and DTM boss Berger does not think the title fight is already over.
“No, I don’t think so,” he told Speed Week.
“Ferrari has not yet exploited its potential, and Red Bull has plenty to look forward to.”
It is a fact, though, that despite a lot of pre-season promise and obvious pace, something has not quite clicked for Ferrari in 2019.
Berger, who drove for Ferrari in the 80s and 90s, backed Mattia Binotto as the new team boss, but he thinks the joint role of technical director is too much.
“He is responsible for everything with no relief,” Berger said.
“At Mercedes they have Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda and James Allison and Andy Cowell. Red Bull is similar with Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey. But Binotto needs more support as he is the key to success.”
Not just that, number 1 driver Sebastian Vettel is under assault from his new young teammate Charles Leclerc, but Berger thinks Vettel cannot be underestimated.
So for the 2019 world champion, he said: “I would put my money on Ferrari.”
But that could be wishful thinking, given Mercedes’ utter dominance since the start of the power unit era in 2014.
“It’s not Mercedes destroying the championship because the team does a brilliant job. But the regulations make it impossible for the others to catch up,” he said.
As for how Liberty Media is going as the new F1 owner, Berger said: “The new management brought some good news, but somehow the soul of Formula 1 is lost.
“What really bothers me is this virtual safety car. It’s a real bore for the TV viewers compared to the real safety car that increased the tension,” he said.