Berger linked with Ferrari

 

Austrian Formula One veteran Gerhard Berger said yesterday he could not confirm speculation he would be replacing Ireland's Eddie Irvine at Ferrari next season.

"There were rumours that under certain circumstances I might drive for Ferrari in the upcoming F1 season. At this point, this cannot be confirmed," Berger said in a press release.

Berger, 38, admitted he had recently visited his former team's Italian headquarters in Maranello and had met with Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo. "It is true that I was in Maranello and had dinner with Luca di Montezemolo - this was arranged a few weeks ago," he said. "But this does not really allow conclusions about my future."

Last month, Ferrari said Irvine would again partner Germany's two-times world champion Michael Schumacher next year.

Berger will be leaving the Benetton team at the end of the season. His future has been the subject of much speculation as virtually all the top teams have announced their line-ups for next year. "If there are no complications, I will announce my plans between the races in Suzuka and Jerez," he said.

Australian Mick Doohan's expected happy homecoming turned sour when he tumbled 11 laps from home to hand the Australian 500cc motorcycling Grand Prix to his Spanish team-mate Alex Criville.