|First race||Austrian Grand Prix||Spielberg||August 19, 1984||Race results|
|Last race||European Grand Prix||Jerez||October 26, 1997||Race results|
Gerhard started racing Alfasuds, but Formula Three soon followed; as did success as he chased Ivan Capelli for the European title in 1984. At the end of that year he had a shot at Formula One with ATS, finishing sixth on his second outing, even though he was not eligible for points.
Things looked good for 1985, but Gerhard broke his neck in a road accident. Defying doctors' orders, he was up and about far ahead of their predictions and joined Arrows for 1985, scoring points in the final two races. A move to the new Benetton team in 1986 produced his first win, in Mexico, and helped Gerhard land a ride with Ferrari for 1987. Again he peaked at the end of the year, this time with two wins.
Another win and more consistent scoring saw him to third overall in 1988, and then came his final season with Ferrari - where he failed to finish a race until September. Angered by this lack of mechanical fortitude, Gerhard moved to McLaren for 1990 to drive alongside Ayrton Senna. Seldom as quick as Senna, at least he taught the Brazilian to smile and Gerhard was a regular front-runner until the end of 1992 when he returned to Ferrari. The pressures of leading Ferrari through its longest non-winning streak was huge, but he brought this to a close at the 1994 German Grand Prix. He should have added to this in Australia, but ran wide, letting Nigel Mansell through, yet finished second to ensure he ended up third overall. Unable to live with Williams and Benetton in 1995, Gerhard brought his Ferrari home third six times.
He headed back to Benetton in 1996, but the wins did not come, as shown when his engine blew when leading in Germany. A strong second in Brazil was a false dawn in 1997, but he sprung back from missing three races with sinus trouble to win from pole in Germany and then announced his retirement. Gerhard went on to run BMW's Formula One programme from 1998 to 2003, then took the helm of the Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2006.
Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books