Berger judges nephew Lucas Auer's F1 test

Lucas Auer

Gerhard Berger was on hand at Budapest this week to oversee the F1 test of his nephew and DTM racer Lucas Auer.

The 22-year-old Austrian tested the waters of F1 with Force India in Hungary, running for half a day on both Tuesday and Wednesday and clocking  in with 49 laps and the seventh fastest time on day 2.

Uncle Gerhard dispensed a bit of advice and was relatively impressed with what he saw.

"I think Lucas was able to show what he could do," said the former F1 driver.

But Berger also insisted that it's a difficult task to judge young talent from the outside with no inside knowledge of fuel loads or settings.

"The teams all use different strategies," he said.

"McLaren, for example, sent Lando Norris out every time with empty tanks," he told APA news agency.

What comes next for Auer, however, is very unclear. The 22-year-old drives full time in the German touring car series DTM, but his employer Mercedes has just announced its departure after 2018.

"Of course that complicates the situation," said Berger, who also happens to be the series' boss.


Mercedes is leaving Formula E to join a host of carmakers in Formula E, but Berger is not sure the all-electric series would be the right move for Auer.

"If a driver has to go from one car to another after a few laps, it's a demo rather than a race, but maybe it will be different in the future," he said.

Despite Mercedes' retreat, the Austrian is confident the DTM will survive the departure and retain its status as Germany's most popular racing series.

"I absolutely assume that there will be a DTM even after 2019," said Berger.

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