“Berger Steps Aside from FIA”
Former McLaren and Ferrari Formula One driver Gerhard Berger will step down from his position as President of the FIA Single-Seater Commission at the end of the year.
The Austrian took the position toward the end of 2011, but it was believed that the placement was only to last one year.
Berger, whose primary industry is Berger Logistik – a road haulage company – has also previously acted as Competitions Director at BMW, prior to purchasing the Toro Rosso Formula One team alongside Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz.
In his FIA role, Berger proved a controversial figure that appeared unafraid to ruffle feathers when they needed to be ruffled.
For all the criticisms leveled at the 55-year-old, the ladder to Formula One was a shocking mess prior to his appointment and while is still remains somewhat convoluted, the reawakening of the European F3 Championship has thus far proved a success.
Although it is far too early to declare whether the national Formula 4 categories will be as successful, there have been plenty of positive noises emerging from the various ASN’s and teams.
Berger’s tenure was not without issue however. Despite late attempts from the British Formula 3 Teams’ Association and SRO boss Stéphane Ratel to come to a deal with the board of the ATS Formula 3, the British F3 Series was lost this month and it looks likely that German F3 will go the same way.
Meanwhile championships of questionable value – such as the likes of Auto GP and Euroformula Open – continue to struggle along in an environment dominated by heightened costs and lowering relevance, while a seemingly endless supply of 1.6 and 2.0 litre Formula Renault categories pepper the continent.
There is little doubt that Berger’s approach and attitude rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way, but sometimes such a figure is needed to bring shape to what can be a chaotic industry.