Over a month ahead of the new 2011 season opener in Australia, Gerhard Berger doubts Mercedes can be a contender for the world championship.
The former Ferrari and McLaren driver notes that the silver W02 car is already behind on the winter test tracks and “there is no logical reason why they should catch up”.
Mercedes’ Norbert Haug has admitted that, if a race was held today, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg would not finish in the top ten.
But hopes are high for a major upgrade package for the first race.
“I have my doubts”, Austrian Berger told Sport Bild magazine.
“I believe Red Bull have the best car again, and I see Ferrari and McLaren at eye-level behind them,” he said, adding that Renault could be “a surprise”.
As for Mercedes, Berger is concerned that the Brackley based team’s recent revamp is in the area of “new race engineers” and new technical boss Bob Bell rather than a boosting of “the aerodynamics department”.
“So there is no logical reason why they should catch up with McLaren or Ferrari,” said Berger, “let alone Red Bull.”
© RIF | GMM