"This," Berger points at the picture of his McLaren days, "was maybe the most interesting time in my racing life. A competitive team, with a competitive guy like Ron Dennis, and a competitive guy like Senna on the side - that was really something, that was racing. And that was also the time when I had to go to the limit in all aspects to survive in this group!"
DC: It made you tougher?
Berger: "No, it didn't make me tougher - the problem was it made me be not what I am. I had to put my extreme lifestyle on the side a bit, but it didn't give me what I want on the other side - it wasn't like an exchange, you know; I pull a little bit away from my lifestyle and I get a bit more performance in the race car. But actually it was the other way around. Everybody is how he is - try to be yourself and then you're the best."
DC: When you came into Formula One, you obviously thought you were going to win the Championship. When you were at McLaren you saw these guys who did win Championships. In retrospect, do you think there was any way you could have won it, or did that show you that it was simply not meant to be?
Berger: "I'm not the type of guy who says 'if I do this I win the Championship', because simply I did not win the Championship - very simple, straightforward. I still think from the talent, I was on the level, or sometimes ahead, of people who won the Championship, but that's not enough - you need more. And I think I could have done more if I had the chance - if my father at the age of 12-13 years said 'okay, I'm happy to support my boy in karting to give him the time in racing to develop himself'.
"Don't forget that I start racing at 21, I did only 40 races - everyone talks about Kimi Raikkonen, how quick it was for him, but I did 40 races from the first race I ever did to my first race in Formula One, and in the 40 races at least 15 or more were Alfa-sud and touring cars. So I did maybe one and a half years in Formula Three, that's it, until I went into Formula One, and that was something where everyone was just so many years ahead of me, and they just knew the game so much better."