Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Berger Plays Down Williams Chances

Thursday April 26th, 2001

Williams-BMW will not win the Formula One world title this year, according to BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger.

"In my view winning the title is impossible," Berger told newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview to be published on Friday. "Neither BMW nor Williams nor our tyres supplier Michelin are ready yet."

Berger was full of praise for Ralf Schumacher, who put Williams back among the top teams with the first win of his Formula One career at the San Marino Grand Prix earlier this month.

"For me Ralf is the number two behind his brother Michael but he's not far back at all," Austrian former Formula One driver Berger told Handelsblatt.

He said there was still a possibility that carmakers would set up a breakaway series even before the Concorde Agreement binding them to the existing Formula One circuit expires in 2007.

"The carmakers could agree on a new series with motorcar federation FIA," Berger said. "It wouldn't be against the contract if the teams were to field only their test drivers in the current Formula One championship."

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