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Gerhard Berger critical of 'underpowered' modern F1

Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger has criticised the sport for being too safe and sterile, and says that watching modern Grand Prix races puts him to sleep.
Former F1 star Gerhard Berger has attacked the current state of the sport, saying that watching today's races on television puts him to sleep.

"I didn't turn the television off, but sometimes I fell asleep in front of it," Berger told German specialist motorsports publication Auto Motor und Sport this week.

And Berger went on to explain that in his view, the problem was that the sport has become too safe and sterile in recent years. "Safety comes first, and rightly so, but the cars and the tracks are now incredibly safe," he said.

A big part of the problem in Berger's eyes is the reduction in engine power over recent years: "My gut tells me that 650 or 750 horse power for an F1 car is not enough," he explained. "I think we could have engines with 1000 horse power again.

"Together with perfect aerodynamics, huge run-off areas and the electronic aids, the good drivers are not different enough from the less good," he added. "In my time, when you did a perfect qualifying lap you were a second faster than your teammate, because you were riding a cannon ball.

"In the morning you trained with 850 horse power. In the afternoon, they have given you over the boost pressure 1200 to 1300 horse power. Another gear ratio. Another wing setting. And qualifying tyres, which made for very different braking points. You went without preparation in this round.

"You had to use all your driving skills in one lap," he added. "Therefore Senna was always on pole position even though Lotus did not have the best car. [Then] in the race, everything was different.

"The fans should watch and say 'I couldn't do that' - like they do with MotoGP," he insisted. "Overtaking must not come into existence by DRS, but because of one driver being better than another through a corner. Then there is sport."

Going further down that road, even less to his liking is the FIA's new Formula E championship for electric single-seater cars which launches in September, the 54-year-old Austrian revealing that he'd turned down the chance to become involved in the series.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012- Qualifying, Gerhard Berger and his girlfriend
20.04.2012- Qualifying, Gerhard Berger
25.05.2013- Free Practice 3, (L-D) Jean Alesi (FRA) and Gerhard Berger (AUT)
06.09.2013-  Gerhard Berger (AUT)
21.09.2014 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 is applauded by his team
21.09.2014 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner with Jurgen Hubbert (GER), Mercedes
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, 2nd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
21.09.2014 - Race, 2nd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
21.09.2014 - Race, Pit stop, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
21.09.2014 - Race, Pit stop, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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Cris Zarate

January 11, 2014 11:22 AM

Well said.... but the V6 is a great layout and also turbo.. but they should made it atleast 2 liter and bring back refuelling and scrap th current tires, as Mark Webber said on Top Gear, F1 should be flatout every lap, and not minding and prolonging the tires.. Bring back refuelling and let the drivers use the tires flatout.

Taipan

January 11, 2014 3:16 PM

Jim I completely agree but the fatalities of the past were mostly down to lack of car/track safety not excessive performance. The current cars on modern tracks could easily handle 900-1000bhp and still maintain the current high safety standards in my opinion.



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