When Gerhard Berger (right, with Niki Lauda) spoke out in defence of embattled FIA president Max Mosley in the Monaco Grand Prix press conference many people assumed Berger, an ally of Mosley’s, had been put up to it by FIA communications director Richard Woods.
However new rumours have emerged linking Berger with Mosley’s job. So perhaps his press conference remarks were a statement of his intentions were he to become FIA president. Here’s what he said:
Well, I never commented because I think it’s an entirely private thing. I think there is nothing to comment on. It’s something that has happened with grown-up people, nothing which is against the law and I have to say I’m very surprised how many angels there are around here, especially in Formula One. Suddenly everyone seems to be very clean and very nice.
But to connect this to the job of Max Mosley, as an FIA president, I don’t think is right. I’ve been in Formula One a long time now. I’ve seen many things. I’ve been racing in the Max Mosley era and in the position that I’m in now. I think there are very few people – maybe nobody – who has had such an impact on safety for motor sport as Max. If you think back, especially after what happened in ’94 at Imola, it needed a very strong guy to change a lot of things: race tracks, crash tests, etc and to see an accident, like Kubica’s last year in Canada for example, before, you would have had no chance to survive.
I think he has had a lot of input even in road car safety, in the Euro NCAP, all these improvements in the crash tests save a lot of lives. I think it’s not fair to see it through the glasses as some people have tried to see it at the moment. I think it should be totally decided by the automobile clubs and by himself, how the future of the FIA goes, but it should not be run by newspapers or us.
I just know one thing: the sport needs a strong guy, a competitive guy, a strong guy who understands the business, and we definitely have this with Max and hopefully we will have in the future. That’s all I want to say.
Berger is the fifth most experienced Grand Prix driver with 210 starts and has won races for McLaren, Ferrari and BMW (the latter as an engine builder) and he managed the Munich outfit’s partnership with Williams. He now manages the Toro Rosso team, but it is set to be sold within the next 18 months.
Is Berger after Mosley’s job? Would he make a good FIA president?
The FIA senate will discuss the Mosley scandal on June 3rd.