May 30 – F1 Legend Gerhard Berger says Fernando Alonso’s 2023 season reminds him of his own past.
Reigning champion one by one Max Verstappen looks set to run for a third straight title this season – with fellow two-time champion Alonso, 41, increasingly emerging as his main rival in addition to Sergio Perez.
“I read somewhere that Verstappen and Perez is a Senna vs Prost rematch. Yes, Verstappen is in that league,” Berger told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
“Perez is doing everything he can to stay close to Max, but to me it looks like Verstappen is going alone.”
That leaves Alonso Aston Martin as the only true contender behind the dominant Red Bulls – a situation Berger says reminds him of 1988 when McLaren he won almost every race while finishing third home Ferrari.
“I was in the same role that Alonso is in today,” said the 63-year-old Austrian.
Senna and Prost have won 15 out of 16 Grands Prix this year 1988 – with Berger as the only non-McLaren driver to interrupt a perfect run.
“I look at it with sentiment,” Berger said. “Not because I beat the McLarens, but because winning over Ferrari was a special story Monza.
“The 1988 season reminds me a bit of that year. These are similar circumstances. I was like Alonso, in a waiting position, often in front, waiting for something to happen.”
But Berger isn’t sure Red Bull could break McLaren’s record of winning nearly 95 percent of all Grands Prix in a single season.
“We must not forget that there are many more breeds than there used to be,” he said. “So it’s hard to believe that all the races will go ahead without incidents and technical issues.
“But purely in terms of efficiency, it is certainly possible,” warned Berger.
So even if clearing Red Bull is unlikely, Berger believes Verstappen is capable of eventually breaking all existing F1 records.
“I am confident that Max can break all existing records in Formula 1, including Hamilton’s 103 victories. He says it’s not important to him, but that will change in the future.”
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