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Gerhard Berger: F1 must change to keep fans interested

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Gerhard Berger has called for Formula 1 to place a greater onus on driver skill in the future, believing that the series has become too predictable and risks losing fans as a result.

Berger enjoyed a 14-year career in F1 that saw him race for Ferrari, Benetton and, most famously, partner Ayrton Senna at McLaren between 1990 and 1992.

The Austrian remains a keen observer of F1, having previously owned a stake in Scuderia Toro Rosso.

In an interview with the Salzburg Nachrichten newspaper in Austria, Berger hit out at the modern-day sport, saying that it was too predictable.

“Fans want to see more fighting on track and more action,” Berger said.

“Back in my time a F1 car was like a loose cannon. We had 1,400 BHP and didn’t have so many driver aids.

“But today it’s clear after the first corner who will win the race.

“You have to go back to a system where the driver is the key to success in F1. There should only be four or five drivers who are able to pull it off.

“You have to make this change in order to keep fans watching the races.”

Berger also feels that drivers are not punished enough for mistakes nowadays and that cars are too reliable, making the result a formality.

“Nowadays every car makes it to the finish line, there are no surprises anymore,” Berger said.

“Back in the days you couldn’t be sure until the end. Even on the last lap of the race you couldn’t be sure. And driver errors were punished severely.

“But today, all suspense is gone right after the start and you have huge asphalt run-off areas, where, with a little bit of luck, you don’t even lose a position when you go off.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.