Berger: Speed needs more commitment

Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Gerhard Berger has revealed that doubts about Scott Speed's commitment to Formula One are behind the delay in confirming the American's deal for 2007

Berger: Speed needs more commitment

The Italian outfit have so far only announced that Vitantonio Liuzzi will race for them this year, after citing 'contractual' issues as to why Speed has not yet been given the nod.

But speaking in an exclusive interview with autosport.com this week, Berger has said that Speed must show more willingness to work harder if he is going to get retained by the team.

"I have to say Scott is still on pole position," said Berger, when asked about his future driver line-up. "I believe that with his natural talent he can do a reasonable job. But he is not at a talent stage where he doesn't need to work.

"He needs also to bring a commitment. If he has this, and he shows this, no problem. I think we will be very happy with the two guys."

Berger suggests that Speed did not take kindly to post-season analysis of his weaknesses in trying to find areas where he could improve.

"It looks complicated, but it's very simple," said Berger about the driver situation. "We had a season with two young drivers, and in the first year obviously there were a lot of mistakes, good things and bad things.

"After the season we said 'OK, let's first analyse very carefully the season, all the races, all the tests, everything. And then let's see together with the drivers and make a plan, how to improve their weaknesses.'

"And obviously this plan you have to do together with the driver, because you need a great commitment from him, first to understand the problems, and then to be able to sort it out. Tonio did very well, he reacted very constructively and worked on himself.

"I think we'll see a different Tonio this year compared with last year. Both drivers are quite OK with natural talent, but obviously it's not everything in F1, you need a helluva commitment. I think we ask our drivers to put a similar commitment into the game as all the mechanics, all the engineers, ourselves, Red Bull on the financial side.

"For us it can be just good for next season if we feel this commitment. If this commitment is not there, it's difficult. We are very confident with Tonio that he has it. With Scott we still have some discussions going on, and before we sort out these points we don't want to confirm him."

Berger has denied, however, suggestions that he was unhappy about the amount of partying that the drivers were doing.

"That's not true. I read it somewhere, but that's not my view. I like the partying. It's part of the game. I appreciate craziness, human things, and we're Red Bull, but it needs to be in balance with the performance."

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