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Best of The Cahier Archive: Gerhard Berger

Submitted by on March 27, 2012

Gerhard Berger

With 210 Formula One Grand Prix starts and stints driving for ATS, Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren, Gerhard Berger is one of Formula One’s most experienced, loved and exciting drivers.

He got his start in Formula One at the Austrian Grand Prix in 1984, driving for the troubled ATS team. He would get in four races over the tail-end of the season before the team folded and he moved to Arrows for a full, but unremarkable season in 1985.

It was 1986 when his star truly began to shine, winning his, and Benetton’s, first Grand Prix at the penultimate round of the championship in Mexico. 11 years later he would be driving for Benetton again and take their final Grand Prix victory with a win at Hockenheimring in 1997.

Berger moved to Ferrari in 1987 and put in a dominant performance over teammate Michele Alboreto, breaking a mid-’80s dry streak for Ferrari by winning from pole position at Suzuka and the Adelaide street circuit. Despite the complete domination of McLaren, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in ’88, it would be one of Berger’s most competitive seasons. He was the only driver to snag a spot at the front of the grid and a Grand Prix win from McLaren and finished third in the drivers’ championship behind Senna and Prost.

Gerhard Berger

Following his time with Ferrari he moved to McLaren where he faced some stiff competition from his new teammate, Ayrton Senna. The pair formed a strong bond thanks to Berger’s playful nature, which has persisted through to today and Senna’s nephew, Bruno. Berger proved quick enough in qualifying, out-pacing the master eight times over his stay at McLaren, but only scored three wins and a highest finish of fourth in the drivers’ championship.

From there he would be tempted back to Ferrari, where he equaled his ’88 performance of third in the drivers’ championship in ’94, and round out his career back where it really kicked off, returning to Benetton for the ’96 and ’97 Formula One World Championship seasons.

Over the course of his career, Gerhard Berger won ten Formula One Grands Prix, secured twelve pole positions and 21 fastest laps and stood on the podium 48 times. He scored 385 points, finishing third in the drivers’ championship in 1988 and again in 1994.

Most importantly he thrilled us for fourteen seasons and 210 races with his exciting, aggressive driving style, even if, or maybe because, he only finished 115 of them.

This is the latest in our series of  photo specials showcasing the stunning images from the Cahier Archive. The collection, by photographers Bernard Cahier and his son Paul-Henri are part of a massive collection of 400 000 originals of which 17 000+ pictures are currently available on their website.

Images: TheCahierArchive©

Buy prints of these photographs from just $49

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