Berger handling Rosberg contract talks
29 May 2016 – Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has confirmed that he is helping 2016 championship leader Nico Rosberg negotiate a new contract with Mercedes.
Berger, who raced for ATS, Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren in Formula 1, says he has taken on the role to allow Rosberg to focus on his title challenge.
"It was pretty simple: I have known Nico since he was a little boy, as I raced against his dad Keke for years," Berger explained to the official Formula 1 website.
"Last week both contacted me to see if I could do them a favour and negotiate Nico's new contract, as he wants to fully concentrate on the championship.
"I said, 'Of course!' It's kind of a friendly turn."
Rosberg has been linked with a switch to Ferrari for the 2017 season, but Berger made it clear that agreeing a fresh deal with Mercedes remains the target.
"I think everybody understands the others' position: Mercedes wants to keep Nico and Nico wants to stay with Mercedes," Berger went on to comment.
"But, of course, there has to be a firm view in the details – a rigid setting of the scene.
"To be honest, it would really surprise me if we also started to negotiate with another team, but you never know. Clearly Mercedes is the first address for us."