Gerhard Berger


  • Wörgl, Austria Place of Birth
  • 27 August 1959 Date of Birth
  • 1984 Austrian Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Benetton Current/Last Team

Gerhard Berger retired from Formula One racing at the close of the 1997 season, marking the end of an era for the sport’s superstars from the turbocharged mid-eighties. Competing against legends like Senna, Prost, Piquet, and Mansell from 1986 to 1995, Berger’s career win count might have been higher than ten without such formidable rivals.

BornGerhard Berger
27 August 1959
Wörgl, Austria

Starting with a modest racing background in Alfas and moving through the German and European Formula 3 series, Berger built a reputation as a reliable and quick driver. He joined the ATS team in late 1984, and his sixth-place finish at Monza hinted at his potential despite a severe accident in the off-season that resulted in neck injuries. Yet, Berger was back on track for the 1985 season with Arrows-BMW.

Berger’s move to Benetton in 1986, powered by BMW engines, highlighted his capabilities, leading to his first Grand Prix victory in Mexico after initial setbacks. A subsequent move to Ferrari in 1987 saw him overcoming challenges to win in Japan and Australia. Despite a tough final year at Ferrari, overshadowed by Nigel Mansell and a severe crash at Imola, Berger achieved a win at Estoril before switching to McLaren to partner Ayrton Senna.

His time at McLaren started with difficulties, but eventually, he was able to complement Senna well, securing several Grand Prix victories. Returning to Ferrari in 1995 proved challenging due to the ‘active’ suspension system and was marred by several incidents, though he managed a podium finish. Despite personal tragedies, including the deaths of close friends and colleagues at Imola, Berger persevered, ending a winless streak with a victory at Hockenheim.

In 1996, with Ferrari’s signing of Michael Schumacher, Berger felt sidelined and chose to rejoin Benetton alongside Jean Alesi. Despite initial struggles with the car’s handling, Berger performed well, achieving a second-place finish at Silverstone. His final season was interrupted by health issues and personal loss but culminated in a triumphant win at the 1997 German Grand Prix before he retired from racing after 210 races.

Berger remained involved in Formula 1, overseeing BMW’s successful return as Competitions Director until 2003. In 2006, he expanded his involvement in motorsports by acquiring a stake in Scuderia Toro Rosso, alongside engaging in a business exchange with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz involving his family’s haulage company.

Gerhard Berger Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career1984–1997
TeamsATS, Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari, McLaren
EnginesBMW, Ferrari, Honda, Renault
Career points385
Pole positions12
Fastest laps21
First entry1984 Austrian Grand Prix
First win1986 Mexican Grand Prix
Last win1997 German Grand Prix
Last entry1997 European Grand Prix

Sources: and


Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
Belgian Jordan Grand Prix 1983 Belgian Grand Prix Retired
Italian Minardi 1981 San Marino Grand Prix Died
British McLaren 1980 Austrian Grand Prix F1 Legend
Brazilian Williams 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix Died, F1 Legend
French Jordan Grand Prix 1989 French Grand Prix Retired


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
ATS German 1977 Historic
Arrows British 1978 Historic
Benetton British, Italian 1986 Historic
Ferrari Italian 1950 Current
McLaren British 1966 Current