F1: Don’t blame drivers for Ferrari crisis – Berger

(GMM) Ferrari cannot blame its current problems on the drivers, according to F1 legend and former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger.

The 63-year-old Austrian had two different stints at Maranello in the 80s and again in the 90s, and he says the reason the team is lagging behind is because it lacks top personnel.

“You have to convince people to move to Maranello and that’s not easy,” Berger told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “They are concerned that they cannot win there.

“There are also other big teams now, such as Mercedes, Aston Martin and even the up-and-coming Audi, who are also trying to attract engineers from Red Bull.”

Berger says he even suspects recent rumors linking Lewis Hamilton with a move to Ferrari could even have been triggered by Maranello for tactical reasons.

“Sometimes certain strategic moves can be used to attract engineers, in this case from Mercedes,” he said.

“I don’t believe the drivers are Ferrari’s real problem, just as they weren’t in 2022 either. It’s not about their driving skills.

“(Charles) Leclerc and (Carlos) Sainz are exceptionally strong,” added Berger.

Charles Leclerc under the umbrella in Canada – credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, whose late father Gilles is one of the most famous Ferrari drivers of all time, agrees that the team’s latest crisis is “not new”.

“Don’t just look at this year,” he told Le Journal de Montreal ahead of the Canadian GP, which takes place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“When you keep changing direction as they do, you never have a base to work from. And we see that everyone passes the buck. It’s never anyone’s fault.

“There is no decision-making and this instability is costing Ferrari dearly. Over the last ten years, they chose to go back to their roots and be an Italian team, but it doesn’t seem to work, especially in Formula 1.

“In the process, the team has lost good people and rebuilding all this takes a lot of time,” Villeneuve added.

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