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2017 F1

2017 F1 ‘not huge extra challenge’ for drivers – Berger

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The beginning of the new era of formula one will not solve all of the sport’s problems.

That is the view of F1 legend Gerhard Berger, who is just beginning work as the new boss of the premier German touring car series DTM.

But he was asked by Austria’s Krone newspaper to comment on the beginning of the new F1 regulations, with the much faster cars to make their race debut in Australia this weekend.

“I don’t think it will be a huge extra challenge for the drivers, although the best guys may stand out a bit more,” said Berger.

“But overtaking will be harder, because the braking zones are shorter. I just think that although the new aerodynamic regulations are in the right direction, it’s still too complicated and too engine-dependent,” he added.

Berger also hit back at the paddock perception that Ferrari may now have pushed its nose ahead of the formerly-dominant Mercedes.

He insisted: “Mercedes remains the benchmark. I think they have approached it very elegantly and skilfully by leaving Ferrari at the front (in the winter).

“Whether they are three or five tenths in front, I don’t know.

“I think Ferrari has taken a great step forward, but I doubt they are as good as they look,” Berger added.

He is more bullish about Red Bull, the team owned by his former sponsor and long-time Austrian friend Dietrich Mateschitz.

“A new set of regulations with the mastermind Adrian Newey, for me this is the guarantee of success. They will put together the whole puzzle at the last second and it will be down to the engine factor — whether the Renault is strong enough to attack the Mercedes.

“We will find out,” said Berger.

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