Berger: Ferrari not ready for F1 championship fight

The DTM promoter believes Red Bull hold the advantage over Ferrari given the Scuderia's lack of championship experience in recent seasons.


Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger doesn’t believe the Scuderia are ready to fight for the Formula 1 World Championship, but he does think Charles Leclerc is.

The Italian outfit have reignited their championship hopes after back-to-back victories in Britain and Austria, helping them close the gap to Constructors’ Championship leaders Red Bull to 56 points.

Leclerc‘s win in Austria means he now trails Max Verstappen by just 38 points in the Drivers’ Championship, however Berger believes Red Bull hold the advantage over their rivals after their close championship battle with Mercedes last season.

“I think Verstappen is even better than last year,” Berger told the F1 Nation podcast.

“I think winning the championship takes a lot of pressure away from you. People say to me ‘Ferrari are doing so many mistakes’ and I say ‘well, last year, nobody would believe Ferrari would make such a big step forward on the technical side’.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crosses the finish line to win the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Ronald Wittek

“As a Ferrari fan, if you had the possibility to say ‘Ferrari are going to be second next year with such a car’, everybody would say ‘great’.

“But, now, they are trying to fight a championship but didn’t fight for a championship for years. So they are not ready yet to fight in the championship like Red Bull, who fought until the last race last year [and know] very small detail and what it means for the championship.”

Leclerc has championship pedigree

The last time Ferrari won a World Championship came back in 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen beat out the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by one point.

Berger believes Leclerc has what it takes to end the Scuderia’s drought given the pace of the F1-75, though he believes the Monegasque driver must cut out mistakes that could prove costly come the end of the season.

Charles Leclerc at the 2022 British GP @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“He did one or two mistakes this year, which shouldn’t happen if you’re really serious for the championship,” said Berger. “Imola, for instance. Just finish in third and take the points.

“This is where Lewis impressed me so much, Lewis is just always there. Whenever the door is open, he’s on the podium and takes the points as much as he can.

Leclerc still needs a little bit of experience but, in general, is absolutely a guy that can win championships.”

Adriano Boin
Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
- Advertisment -


Max Verstappen in the Paddock ahead of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Betting Odds for Chinese GP 2024

As the Formula 1 circus rolls into Shanghai for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, betting odds are keenly watched...
Pierre Gasly of Red Bull Racing during practice for 2019 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese GP 2024 Weather: Latest forecast for F1 race in Shanghai

As Formula 1 teams gear up for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, all eyes are on the ever-changing weather...
Zhou Guanyu displays 2024 Chinese GP helmet

All the new F1 driver helmets for 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

Formula 1 finally returns to Shanghai for the first time since 2019 as the Chinese Grand Prix is back...
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull leads Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and the rest of the field at the start of the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Past Winners

The Chinese Grand Prix has showcased a series of spectacular races since its first race in 2004 at the...

Where to Watch F1 2024 Chinese GP on TV and Streaming

The 2024 Chinese Grand Prix is gearing up to be an electrifying event in the Formula 1 calendar, as...
The Chinese GP returned to the calendar in 2024 | Dan Istitene / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unpredictability and unknowns are the Chinese GP buzzwords

The Chinese Grand Prix is back for 2024 after five years away due the Covid-19 pandemic and it almost...
Race winner Max Verstappen, Second placed Sergio Perez and Third placed Carlos Sainz of Ferrari celebrate with Craig Dear, Principal Aerodynamicist at Red Bull Racing on the podium at 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz fuels Red Bull talk as Ferrari star reveals ‘best options’

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has dropped a hint over which Formula 1 team he would like to join for...
The Chinese GP is held in Shanghai. F1/X

F1 stars voice safety fears as Chinese GP organisers face scrutiny over painted track

Organisers for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix are facing questions from F1 teams and drivers over their...
Alexander Albon of Williams during 2023 Canadian Grand Prix | Williams F1 Team

Alex Albon would rather ‘stay at home’ than avoid risks despite Williams chassis fears

The extent of the issues at Williams became apparent when they revealed they do not have the resources to...
Lando Norris navigates The Strip Circuit at the 2023 Las Vegas GP | McLaren F1 Team

Disheartened Lando Norris rules out any chance of an F1 race win soon

After the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, a Formula 1 win for Lando Norris felt like an eventual inevitability, but...
- Advertisment -