JULY 7, 1997
GERHARD BERGER says he will probably move on from Benetton at the end of this season after a disappointing couple of years with the Enstone team. In an interview with Austrian radio on Saturday Berger said he doubted if Benetton would be the right team for him next year and said he was in negotiation with Williams. His two-year Benetton contract expires at the end of this season. He said he would make a decision about his future in August.
Berger has missed the last two Grands Prix because of sinus problems - which have needed two operations - and it looks as though he will not be fit for the British GP next weekend.
Benetton, which is about to announce some of its plans for 1998, put out a statement playing down Berger's comments. "Gerhard simply said that it's too early to talk about his plans for next year," the team said. "He spoke highly of his current team, Benetton Formula, and said he had no intention of quitting the team."
The 37-year-old Austrian has been in Formula 1 since 1984 with ATS (1984), Arrows (1985), Benetton (1986 and 1996-97), Ferrari (1987-88-89 and 1993-94-95) and McLaren (1990-91-92). He has won nine of his 202 Grands Prix - the last victory being in Germany in 1994. Since he returned to Benetton last year he has had a very disappointing time, scoring only three podium finishes in 22 races. In the same period Jean Alesi has had 10 podiums but has also failed to win a race.
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