Ex-F1 team owner reveals he rejected ‘several super interesting’ offers

Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger was one of the names linked to the previously vacant team principal role at Ferrari, following Mattia Binotto's departure.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard has revealed that he’s decided to re-evaluate his life, with a “lot” having happened to the Austrian over the last few years.

Since retiring from Formula 1 at the end of 1997, Berger has been an extremely busy man.

The former Ferrari driver has remained heavily involved in motorsport this century, with the 63-year-old having been the boss of BMW’s F1 outfit when they returned to the sport in 2000, before becoming a co-owner of Red Bull sister team Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri).

Berger was the co-owner of the team from February 2006 until November 2008, when he sold his share back to Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

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He soon returned to motorsport as the head of the FIA’s single seater commission, a role he held from 2012-2014.

His most recent job in racing was as the boss of the DTM series, a role he only recently departed from.

His departure from the DTM came amid speculation that he would take the team principal role at Ferrari following Mattia Binotto’s exit; however, this wasn’t the case.

Berger has revealed that he stepped down from his role at the DTM having spent time thinking about his life, with the last few years having been hugely significant to him.

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I’ve lost a few friends – Mansour (Ojjeh), Niki (Lauda), Didi (Mateschitz),” he told Speed Week.

“A lot happened in just a few years.

“Then I didn’t just want to work and earn money anymore. I then got infected with covid and thought about it even more.”

Despite having departed the DTM to seemingly enjoy his life, he still received several “super interesting” others from various Formula 1 teams, all of which he rejected.

A role in F1 seemingly doesn’t “fit” into Berger’s plans anymore, with the Austrian wanting to spend more time with his family.

“There were several, and they were all super interesting,” said the Austrian.

“But as I said, they didn’t fit into my life plans anymore.

“I would like to take my six-year-old son to his first kart races, and my nine-year-old to horseback riding. I want to have more time for them.”

Of course, whilst Berger was linked to the Ferrari team principal job, it was former Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur who was awarded the role at the Scuderia, with many speculating if it’s the right call from the Maranello-based outfit.

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Berger believes it’s too soon to “judge” the Frenchman, with the season needing to begin before people can decide if Vasseur is the right man for the position.

“Let’s wait for the new season,” said Berger. “We can’t judge anything yet.”