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Berger: BMW gave up on F1 too soon

22 January 2011


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.


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