Marko backs Berger over extreme heat comments

Dr Helmut Marko has backed fellow Austrian and F1 legend Gerhard Berger’s view that it is up to the drivers to be ready for extremely hot races.

With the FIA accepting responsibility for the group of drivers who suffered with heat stroke and dehydration in Qatar last Sunday, Berger said the issue is actually “simply a question of fitness”.

“If you’re in great shape, you won’t get sick,” he told Servus TV.

In the increasingly safety-oriented world, 80-year-old Marko said Berger’s comments are a breath of fresh air.

“What Gerhard said was very refreshing,” he told Osterreich newspaper. “He also got to the heart of why he didn’t win that much himself.”

Marko also said it’s notable that new triple world champion Max Verstappen made it to the end of the extreme Qatar race – with victory.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked if Berger was right that the best drivers in the field are also the best prepared physically.

“Max was still all together at the finish. He did have the advantage of being able to drive three or four leisurely laps after the pitstops until he got the tyres up to temperature.”

“The others probably always had to drive at full capacity.”