mario wrote:He did? That casts a whole new light on the event, though it does explain why Berger was taking such a strange line into the corner (he couldn't have made it round the corner with the trajectory he was taking). Did he give any other reasons why he wanted to deliberately crash out of the race though, besides from being secure in the WDC? And would it be possible to direct me towards the part of the text where he makes that admission?
I only have the German version which probably won't help you. I translated that part for you though...
And then there was this very last turbo race, the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. I could kiss goodbye to a repetition of last year’s win, as our fuel misery was too blatant and I already secured my position in the championship (3rd behind the McLaren Honda drivers Senna and Prost). Alboreto didn’t have a perspective either (5th in the championship and he knew he would be replaced at Ferrari by Mansell). Nobody in our team could think of anything smart so we decided to just hurtle off and make a good show until we would eventually run out of fuel and then we would fly home. That “tactic” was of course kept a secret, generally.
That way I could at least book an ideal flight to Europe that I normally would never be able to get.
After the qualifying, I met my mate (and blood brother concerning nonsense) Barry Sheene. Barry was England’s legendary motorbike hero of the 80s, he then moved to Australia and worked as a TV presenter for Channel Nine, therefore the channel that broadcasted all big sports events in Australia. Barry wanted to get information for his commentary for the following day and asked me how the race was going to be. “I requested a helicopter for 2.45pm, so I can get the Lufthansa flight.”
“But the race ends at…”
That way, my friend Barry could shine as a competent prophet, a true insider. The experts talked about the match Prost vs Senna, only Barry Sheene said he bets on Gerhard Berger, he’s in the form of his life, will go at an immense speed and it wouldn’t surprise me if he could even handle the superior McLaren Honda...
Of those who were ahead of me in the grid Alain Prost was informed, the frustrated Alboreto told him our plan. But first, I had to fight Ayrton Senna who didn’t know what was going on when already on the second lap a Ferrari started to throw his weight around. It was a great show for the spectators, we even banged wheels once. After I caught him, I had to go after Prost, again a nice performance for the public. As I overtook, Alain didn’t bother, he surely had to grin as I went away in the distance like a young god.
I then drove several laps with full speed, drove away from everybody else and needed to think about my flight schedule. How would I end the race?
I came up on two lapped cars, one was the blue Ligier of Rene Arnoux. That was just fine because Arnoux was one of the most goofy drivers in Formula 1, someone who never looked in his mirrors and was always in the way. So I overtook the first car and in the same attempt Arnoux as well in a very ambitious maneuver, and the Ligier’s rear wheel was in my way, small collision, all over. “A very disappointed and depressed Gerhard Berger, brilliant leader of the Australian Grand Prix, is not available for any comment. Rapid departure because of huge disappointment, we see the Ferrari driver as he enters a helicopter but we will never forget the race of the young Gerhard Berger. I told you, ladies and gentlemen, that man is calling the challenge…”
Barry Sheene on Channel Nine