Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger believes the team needs a few “strong leaders” to regain some of its lost glory in F1. Berger highlighted where Red Bull and Mercedes stand in comparison to Ferrari’s team structure. The Austrian also questioned the viability of Ferrari’s current setup.
Jean Todt, Rory Byrne, Ross Brawn, and Michael Schumacher. These were the 4 men responsible for making Ferrari a terrifyingly dominant team in the early 2000s.
While it was ‘The Michael’ who was responsible for clinching wins and Championships, Ferrari was rock solid as a unit back in the day.
With Bryne, Brawn, Todt, and Schumacher, Ferrari had no weak links that would have caused issues on or off the track. The Italian team was simply on another level – strategically, politically, and technically.
Today, the team usually suffers in any one or more of these areas, and ultimately fails to end its championship drought. Even on days when Ferrari have a superior car, the team makes questionable strategic calls or the drivers err.
Berger believes Mercedes and Red Bull shine in that regard when compared to Ferrari. With Red Bull, the team has a shrewd advisor in Dr. Helmut Marko, a strong Team Principal in Christian Horner and one of the greatest F1 engineers in Adrian Newey.
Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, Berger said:
“It needs to have 1,2,3 strong leaders. I like Mattia Binotto – nice guy, also clever guy, also good guy. But when you compare Ferrari, which has one leading person on the technical side, on the political side and the race strategy side and so on.
“Red Bull has Christian Horner- extremely competitive, Adrian Newey, Helmut Marko. If you take Mercedes you have the same thing- Andy Cowell, Niki Lauda, Toto Wolff. Everybody at the same time, improving the team.
“I’m wondering if the setup of Ferrari is strong enough.”
Berger went on to talk about the old Ferrari ‘dream team’ of Schumacher and Co. The Austrian is of the opinion that having a strong group is key to winning Championships.
“It’s this group what it really needs to move to a Championship team,” concluded Gerhard.
As things stand, the Maranello outfit is considerably off the pace, with Red Bull and Mercedes in a league of their own.
Can the Scuderia still salvage something in 2020?