Berger downplays Honda's struggles

Honda's struggles during pre-season testing are completely normal and the Japanese manufacturer will succeed in Formula One again.

That is the view of former grand prix driver Gerhard Berger, who reckons Honda's troubled time during testing was to be expected given how long it has been away from the sport.

McLaren completed the least mileage of all teams during the winter, covering nearly 1500km less than the next team and almost 4500km less than leading squad Mercedes.

Berger, a McLaren-Honda driver in the early 1990s, thinks it was only natural for Honda to have a slow start.

"In my time together with McLaren and Honda, it was extremely professional, extremely competent," Berger told BBC Sport.

"There was a big hunger for success so I think this is the culture of Honda.

"I don't think it should matter if tests at the moment are not great or if the first races are not great.

"It's normal - it would be more of a surprise if Honda were competitive from day one."

Berger has no doubts that Fernando Alonso, who left Ferrari to rejoin McLaren for this season, is aware that the Woking team will have a hard time initially, but he is convinced the Spaniard will stay long enough to reap the rewards of the partnership.

"I think once he signed up for McLaren-Honda, he knows there is going to be a learning period," Berger said. "I'm sure that he is going to be part of this learning.

"Once this is done, I'm sure he wants to take all the fruits from the learning period. I don't think it must be an intention to jump around teams.

"Alonso has some extreme high talent in certain areas, not just in driving skills but in the way he runs the politics."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Gerhard Berger
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news