Melbourne (AUS), 6 March 2003 -- Gerhard Berger is about to slow down his pace. When his contract as BMW Motorsport Director runs out on 30 September 2003, the 43-year-old Austrian will be retiring from the post. Until then Berger will continue to...
Melbourne (AUS), 6 March 2003 -- Gerhard Berger is about to slow down his pace. When his contract as BMW Motorsport Director runs out on 30 September 2003, the 43-year-old Austrian will be retiring from the post. Until then Berger will continue to collaborate on the team's future strategy, but he will gradually be winding down his operational involvement.
"This decision was far from easy for me," admits Berger. "My job as BMW Motorsport Director means a great deal to me, especially as I have a deep-rooted and special relationship with the company. After all, BMW gave me the opportunity and its trust to prove my entrepreneurial capabilities as well after my active career as a racing driver. My relations with the decision-makers at BMW have been excellent, and working together with Mario Theissen as a directing duo has not only functioned extremely well but has also been very successful."
In the words of Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director responsible for technology among other areas, "Gerhard, with his considerable experience, competence and circumspection, has played a crucial role in our successes of recent years. His longstanding association with BMW found its natural continuation in his task as BMW Motorsport Director, and the two of us have complemented one another superbly." Theissen (50) will remain as sole BMW Motorsport Director after Berger's contract runs out.
"With his wealth of experience and his connections, Gerhard Berger was the ideal man to fill the post. But we accept that, after all his years in motorsport, he now wants some more time to devote to private things. There will not be a successor to Gerhard Berger in this post," says Dr Burkhard G?schel, BMW Board Member responsible for Development and Purchasing.
Gerhard Berger, who lives in Monaco with his family, was a Grand Prix racing driver from 1984 to 1997. He was at the same time an active businessman and managed the commercial side of his career himself. He had already cemented a bond with BMW early on in his touring car racing career. His entry into Formula One was accompanied by the BMW 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, and in 1986, at the wheel of a Benetton BMW, he celebrated the first of ten Formula One victories. He contested a total of 210 Grand Prix races, made it onto the podium 48 times and claimed 12 pole positions.
Berger took up his position as BMW Motorsport Director in October 1998. This new managerial task, in tandem with Mario Theissen, turned into a similar success