Austrian former Scuderia Ferrari Gerhard Berger is happy to see his old team back at the front of Formula 1 and admitted that a successful Maranello team also means a successful Formula 1.
The Italian side’s resurgence comes after Ferrari endured their worst Constructors’ Championship performance for 40 years back in 2020 and, while they were able to partially recover some of the gap to Red Bull and Mereceds in the 2021 Formula 1 championship, the introduction of the sport’s new rules and regulations have seen Ferrari take advantage by interpreting the 2022 rules better than their rivals, which has allowed the Maranello team to get back to the top of the field, battling it out with Red Bull in this start of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Now that the sport’s oldest and most successful F1 team can once again fight for race victories, their former driver explained how important it is to the whole of Formula 1 to see Ferrari challenging for important targets after several difficult years:
“I’m very happy that Ferrari can once again have a say in the championship title,” Gerhard Berger said, in a recent interview for Speedweek – “Ferrari is still the core of Formula 1. If there is too long a lean period, like in 2020 and 2021, then that is not good, a winning Ferrari is very important for the entire Formula 1 brand.” – he added.
Red Bull and Ferrari were involved in a close battle in the first two races of the season, each scoring once race win (Ferrari in Bahrain, Red Bull in Saudi Arabia), before the Maranello team completely dominated the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit. For now, reigning Constructors’ champions Mercedes seem far behind, but will most likely be able to reduce the gap as the season progresses, which will only add to the drama of the year.
“I think this duel between Red Bull Racing and Ferrari is great. If Mercedes then catches up at some point, it will be a top three fight,” Gerhard Berger added.
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Mercedes in particular are working on understanding and reducing the effect of porpoising on their car – the ‘bouncing’ seen in 2022 that has come back to Formula 1 after the re-introduction of ground effect aerodynamics. The former Ferrari driver explained that this concept is not new in the sport and many of those involved in Formula 1 today had also worked on attempting to control porpoising way back when.
“We already had this bouncing on the cars in the 1980s. Adrian Newey dealt with it then, now he’s technical director at Red Bull. And the top man at Ferrari in this field is the South African Rory Byrne, who was also in Formula 1 back then and is still a special advisor to Ferrari today.” – Gerhard Berger concluded.