Former BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger has praised the engine manufacturer for its uncompromising approach to Formula One and considers himself lucky to have been involved with the company. Berger stepped down from his position this year ...
Former BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger has praised the engine manufacturer for its uncompromising approach to Formula One and considers himself lucky to have been involved with the company. Berger stepped down from his position this year after having been with BMW since it started the partnership with Williams in 2000, but he is still full of enthusiasm for the marque.
"BMW doesn't copy; BMW designs and produces everything in-house. And all components of the new BMW P84 engine for the 2004 season have been designed and produced by BMW. At the end of the day all BMW drivers will be benefiting from this attitude, as technology transfer from Formula One to production and vice versa has been an important factor for BMW from the very first day of the F1 project."
The Austrian plays down his own contributions to BMW and explained that his role was less visible than that of a driver but work goes on behind the scenes. "I have been lucky," said Berger. "I was offered a chance by BMW. WilliamsF1 is a competent team -- and Mario Theissen (BMW motorsport director) was a partner I was getting on very well with from the very first day."
"A manager's contribution to success had to be measured differently than that of a driver, whose performance can be judged by the stop-watch. A manager's main task is to find the right people and to make sure that they will be integrated and are feeling comfortable as part of the team."
Despite having left BMW, Berger is not about to live an idle life and admits racing will always be his passion: "I think it will last about a year," he said at the end of the season, about his supposed retirement. "Having been a racing driver I have to take up only those challenges I will enjoy. Nevertheless, it's my goal to return to motor racing, as I am not really interested in any other business."