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Berger: BMW gave up too soon

Gerhard Berger criticises BMW for pulling the plug on its F1 programme and says the patience was always missing.

BMW should have persevered with its F1 programme, that's the view of the companies former motorsport director, Gerhard Berger.

Berger, who raced with the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton, winning twelve grand's prix during a career spanning more than a decade between 1984-1997, and who was BMW's joint motorsport director with Mario Theissen between 1998-2003, told Auto Motor Und Sport this week that the German manufacturer gave up on the sport too quickly.

Indeed Berger reckons BMW never had the patience necessary to succeed and achieve what Red Bull Racing managed in F1 2010, when the Milton Keynes-based squad clinched both titles. BMW pulled out of F1 in 2009, just four years on from purchasing the Sauber team and splitting with Williams. The engine supply deal with Williams had started in 2000.

“The way BMW had set up its own team was correct. But they should have shown perhaps a little more perseverance,” Berger said. “It's interesting with F1 that you cannot get the title at a first attempt.

“It takes a lot of very hard work until the successes come and you need to stick at it. The conditions needed to achieve what Red Bull has now reached and the reason why that didn't happen for them was always the patience was missing. Dietrich Mateschitz of Red Bull had it. He had bad years, however he continued. And now it has been rewarded. Now he gets a return on his investment.”

Willi Weber, who managed Michael Schumacher and who now manages Nico Hulkenberg, meanwhile agreed with that assessment.

“BMW stepped out absolutely too early. But in F1 winning is everything,” Weber chipped-in.

Related Pictures

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Gerhard Berger - BMW
Berger`s attempt to pass himself off as Marc Gene didn`t fool many.
Gerhard Berger - BMW Motorsport
Gerhard Berger - BMW
Gerhard Berger and Willi Weber consider who has made the most money from Formula One.
BMW`s Gerhard Berger [left] and Mario Theissen

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January 23, 2011 5:40 AM

Turkey, you could say the same for Honda may be Toyota but then there was the financial crisis, I don’t think so. Both Honda and Toyota are said to have had unlimited budgets and most probably resources believed to be the biggest or at least the biggest in F1. At least in the V10 era they had the most powerful engines they both were alternating top spot as regards HP outputs with BMW. But the three of them got nowhere with having the most powerful engine at any one time during the V10 era because on the car design side the three of them were missing that important thing called Ross Brawn/Adrian Newey. An example is what turned out to be the Brawn 01 and the RBR of last year. I will put it at, they really shaped their own disteny. It doesn't looks like Mercedes have any links missing.


January 23, 2011 11:57 PM

They will, some major equipment cannot be bought off the shelve that’s why things will take time to materialize. Please do note that this is not a matter of supporting them or being a fan of theirs.

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