F1 | GIAN CARLO MINARDI “WE ARE EXPERIENCING A CAPTIVATING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP”

After the three Grands Prix on national territory comes the news that Stefano Dominical is ready to fill once again the role of the new CEO of Formula 1 in the place of Chase Carey. Italy is proving to be able to play the leading role in the Motorsport world championship.

Since he is a man who has lived and breathed the Circus’ air, Domenicali will know how to relaunch Formula 1 and this could open the doors to new constructors. He has already shown he is a skilled manager. We are facing a new era where, as yet, the 2021 calendars have not yet been made public. This says a lot about the uncertainties and the problems being faced.
The World Championship has arrived in Sochi, entering the final part of the season. Last Year Ferrari took the pole with Leclerc and Vettel third. I do not believe it is possible to think of a similar result, also because at Maranello they are working quietly with the aim of using the tokens with 2021 in mind.

Amongst the many difficulties dictated by the health emergency we are experiencing a captivating world championship with a major compaction of the performances. With the exclusion of the huge gap between Mercedes and the second row, the gap from the second to the eighth has closed significantly. We have seen a number of surprises, including Alpha Tauri’s win and also McLaren’s recovery. There is always applause for Mercedes’ work which in recent years has managed to keep its domination

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | TUSCAN GP, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “I DO NOT LIKE THIS F1”

I do not like this F1 because it wants to favour the spectacle, even to the detriment of safety as we saw on the occasion of the first restart at the re-entry of the safety-car. There have been modifications to the regulations without having tried them beforehand, causing accidents and chaos. In this circumstance the drivers have no fault.

Mugello passed the test and showed how the drivers are no longer used to racing on historic circuits with the gravel immediately after the curbs. Twelve cars crossing the finish line had not been seen for a long while and certainly they do not tell the real forces at play correctly, even if I am pleased at Albon’s third place with Red Bull. Good also Renault with Daniel Ricciardo.

Once again Mercedes toyed with its rivals. They were immediately able to gain a two second advantage at every restart which they then managed, lap after lap. They have unique strength, as shown also by the fastest lap set by Hamilton at the very end.

Ferrari’s agony continued, finishing in the points zone thanks to the many retirements. Otherwise both Leclerc and Vettel would have remained outside the top-10. Compared to the other teams it is not carrying out updates. Most probably they want use all the developments allowed at one go to remedy a project that was completely wrong. Therefore the ordeal will still continue.

However, F1 must not do “go back to square one” as this is not good. They cannot continue changing the regulations which, amongst the other things, also destabilizes the reading of the race.

Formula 1 will now stop for two weeks before moving to Russia.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP TUSCANY, MINARDI “RED BULL READY TO DELIVER”

We just left behind a Grand Prix that we will remember for a long time, heated and made unpredictable by a mistake by Mercedes that was more unique than rare. It was a lurch that does not belong to its DNA but can happen.

They gave us a second thrilling race. Congratulations once again to Alpha Tauri and Gasly for both the deserved win and the excellent strategy. Carlos Sainz was very good as well, even if he must recriminate the imperfect start that cost him those 3-4 seconds which were fatal under the chequered flag.

McLaren returned to the podium and this must be an inspiration for Ferrari. After the glorious years they fell into a black hole but they have found the right path again. Ferrari is following the same path but the next change of regulations is on its side.

We are coming to the Grand Prix of Tuscany on the demanding Mugello circuit that is full of ups and down and built inside a basin that will not make life easy for the drivers who will be called to a great physical effort and for the tyres due to the very abrasive asphalt. This is why Pirelli has brought the hardest compounds, C1-C2 and C3.

The last time reference was Barrichello with 1:18.7. The simulations say that this could even go under the barrier of 1.14. Given the characteristics of the track Red Bull could emerge, even if the car of reference is still Mercedes, even without the party mode.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP BELGIUM, THE PPOINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “ALL ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPT”


The Belgian Grand Prix on the fascinating Spa-Francorchamps track has also ended. It was an anomalous race for Spa since it slid away without any major incidents with the exception of Giovinazzi’s accident that involved the guiltless Russell.

It was a Grand Prix run according to the script with Hamilton’s win ahead of Bottas and Verstappen. The script relegated the two Ferraris to mere extras. Leclerc and Vettel paid a gap of 2” per lap… Indeed, during Leclerc’s pit stop the mechanics had to put air into the valves. Most probably there had been a leak.

Once again the two Mercedes played “cat and mouse” with their direct rivals. They can do anything they want since they can count on total domination that we certainly did not discover today.

In the light of this weekend it will not be easy for Maranello to lay the foundations for a reconstruction, even if I do not understand all the silence by the top management. At this moment Binotto has been left completely alone. In a staff of more than a thousand people I do not understand how there is nobody to take all the responsibility or to come forward to review the plans for the future.

In the light of the current regulations even 2021 is already lost…

It was a pity about Sainz’s problems with the Power-Unit because he could have been one of the protagonists seeing Norris’ good result (seventh at the finish line). It was a good race by Gasly as well, eighth and ahead of the two Racing Point cars.

And now we await the two grands prix in Italy, Monza and Mugello…

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “AN ERA HAS ENDED”

Spa-Francorchamps will be the first grand prix after the signing of the new Concorde Agreement but above all it will be the first weekend without Williams in the hands of its founder. With the change of ownership an era has ended, that of the so called garage-owners.

I regret this step since we fought together in 1996 to safeguard the intellectual property of the team, taking sides against the clones.

Concerning this very issue, I understand the step backwards by Williams and McLaren (Mercedes customers) but honestly Renault’s change of course concerning Racing Point surprised me, especially after the many complaints that led to the sanction (both monetary and points), even if in the end the car remained the same. A monetary amnesty…

We are faced with somewhat bizarre scenarios and decisions, such as the idea proposed by FIA to ban the “party mode”, starting with the Monza GP, as if this were enough to stop Mercedes’ domination. FIA thought to intervene in one of the most complicated areas, the one connected to the electronics in which teams can count on the work of 30-50 engineers against the 7-8 of the Federation. It seems to me that I am witnessing an impotent Federation in the face of an attempt to reorganize the regulations.

Coming to the grand prix, last year we witnessed Leclerc’s first win, ahead of Hamilton. A year later I do not think it possible to hypothesize a similar result since we are faced with an incredible domination and supremacy. The only one who can try to oppose them is Max Verstappen with Red Bull.

On August 31 last year Antoine Hubert left us and I think it proper to send a thought to both him and his family. Motorsport remains a dangerous sport, even if it has made great strides on safety but Spa-Francorchamps 2019 reminded us that we must not let our guard down. A 22 year old young man with an important career ahead of him lost his life in that accident.

Gian Carlo Minardi

GIAN CARLO MINARDI “LA F1 DEVE RIVEDERE LE REGOLE IN OTTICA 2021”

“The regulations must be reviewed with an eye on 2021”

Gian Carlo Minardi has no doubts in his interview at the microphone of Minardi.it. In the light of the results of the first grands prix with Mercedes decidedly ahead of all the others with an estimated advantage of more than 1” on its direct rivals it will be necessary to review next season’s technical and sporting regulations.

“We have to give everybody the possibility to at least try to reduce the gap from Mercedes. Otherwise, next season’s result has already been written,” said the manager from Faenza.

Following the Covid-19 health emergency that risked putting the Formula 1 system on its knees the teams and FIA unanimously approved a freeze of many parts of the racing car, leaving little margin for the engineers to work on the future car.

The first 4 GPs gave us an unbeatable and unreachable Mercedes, so much so that at Silverstone last weekend Hamilton managed to win crossing the finish line on three wheels while still having a 6” lead on Max Verstappen and Ferrari was good at transforming every occasion into a podium finish but paying the price with abysmal gaps on the track.

Today Mercedes commands the constructors’ ladder with 146 points, 68 more than Red Bull, 95 more than McLaren and 103 points more than Ferrari which is fourth only one point above Racing Point.

“Mercedes is set to win its seventh world constructors’ title. An unthinkable pace that has no equals. Precisely in the light of these results they could think even think about staying in the Circus only as the supplier of engines,” concluded Minardi.

F1 | MONZA, MUGELLO, IMOLA. GIAN CARLO MINARDI “SOURCE OF GREAT PRIDE”

It is official. In addition to Monza (6 September – Italian Grand Prix) and Mugello (13 September – Grand Prix of Tuscany) Italy will also have another round.

Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit will host once more a round of the Formula 1 World Championship 14 years after the last round won by Michael Schumacher in 2006 with Ferrari, in front of Kimi Raikonnen and Robert Kubica.

Three grands prix on three different circuits must be a source of great pride for Italy. The inclusion of Imola gives me much pleasure both as a Motorsport enthusiast and as President of the ACI Sport Speed Commission on Circuits. It’s certainly a circuit that I’m very fond of since I live barely 14km from the Circuit and, not by chance, we chose it as the venue for the Historic Minardi Day.

We have given a major, as well unique, show of strength managing to make up for the lack of others without having to resort to a double grand prix on the same circuit which, in the case of Silverstone, could become even triple. This is a solution that I honestly don’t appreciate.commented Gian Carlo Minardi.

The Circus will return to the track alongside the Santerno River during the weekend of 1 November, a week after the Portuguese Grand prix, the other novelty together with the Eifel Grand Prix which will be run at Nurburging on 11 October.

F1 | GP HUNGARY, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “MERCEDES OVERWHELMING. EXCELLENT VERSTAPPEN”

Here in Budapest Mercedes showed all its overwhelming power in both the chassis and the engine. They were perfect in both qualifying and the race showing supremacy that is more unique than rare. With Hamilton they took the luxury of stopping for a final tyre change three laps from the finish crossing the finish line with a lead of more than 8” on Verstappen and also setting the fastest lap, leaving only five drivers at full laps.

We have to go back to the Williams era to find similar overwhelming power.

Not only do Hamilton and Bottas have a car bordering on perfection but Mercedes manages to also supply excellent material to its clients as we saw especially in qualifying. Let me be clear, I am absolutely against the clones and the assemblers because they go against the logic of the constructors’ championship.

Congratulations to Red Bull that gave a great show of strength, above all after Verstappen’s mistake in the warm-up lap. A second place, maybe unexpected, that rewarded both the driver and above all the whole team for the excellent work done. Albon is indecipherable after paying a gap of more than 1” from his team mate.
The two McLarens were missing in this grand prix but most probably their chassis was not suitable for this particular circuit that is very slow.

Chapter Ferrari: I would not give too much importance to the mistake (if we can say this) of strategy on Leclerc with the choice of the red tyres since the weather forecasts were put aside. This was shown by the result achieved by Vettel who finished in sixth place, a lap behind McLaren.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | Gp Stiria, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “MERCEDES BREATHTAKING. LECLERC FROM RICHES TO RAGS”

For some time and a few years we had already understood that Mercedes came from another planet but this weekend they gave us proof of an incredible supremacy in both the wet and the dry.

In qualifying Hamilton put himself on show with a breath-taking lap, leaving Max Verstappen more than 1.2” behind and his team mate more than 1.4” as a demonstration that in addition to the DAS there was something else. I am more and more convinced that they are developing steerable rear tyres.

They confirmed this in the race with a perfect Hamilton who dominated the race from beginning to the end, followed by the comeback by Bottas who finished ahead of Verstappen and Albon’s Red Bulls. For a good part of the race the latter raced with very high times compared to his team mate, waking up only on the occasion of the tussle with Perez. Unfortunately, Verstappen can do no more than that.

We are witnessing a very positive compaction of the forces in the field behind Mercedes and Red Bull with McLaren, Racing Point, Renault and Alpha Tauri that are giving us exciting finishes to the GPs, as was also highlighted during the winter tests. Praise once more for Lando Norris who brought home a very important fifth place for both him and the team. I am sure that these young men will give us wonderful races.

Ferrari deserves a chapter apart after experiencing a dark weekend. On this occasion, both the car and the drivers were not worthy of the expectations. Leclerc committed an amateur’s mistake. He went from riches to rags in only one week. Very possibly a part of the nervousness was also due to the poor competitiveness of the car. The situation is very serious however, as was also shown by the results of Haas and Alfa Romeo that finished outside the points.

The new developments here in Austria did not show a great step forward, even if the proof in the race is lacking since it finished too early.

In a week’s time we will be back on track in Hungary. This very tight rhythm does not help those who must chase the others.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | ALONSO TOWARDS RENAULT. MINARDI “COPPIA INTERESTING PAIR WITH OCON”

An official announcement is expected from Renault from Renault from Renault tomorrow that it will bring back to Formula 1 the two times world champion, in 2005 and 2006, with the French team, Fernando Alonso.

Two years after his last grand prix with McLaren and after his win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the experience in the Dakar Rally and in the 500 Miles of Indianapolis, Alonso is ready to re-enter the Circus beside Ocon who performed well last weekend.

At the present time Renault is a team that is difficult to interpret, even if, compared to last season, it is in line with the improvements and they are working only on the chassis and engine which were left unchanged by the regulations, as were the mixes. After the loss of Ricciardo (destination McLaren alongside Norris) they needed a point of reference and with Ocon this will be a great challenge.

Fernando’s arrival makes me think that Mercedes has already renewed both Bottas and Hamilton since the Finn’s name had often been linked to Renault. At this point, for Vettel there is the prospect of at least a year of sabbatical.

However, I do not exclude the possibility of seeing changes already this year. In Austria I noticed some “abnormal” strategies towards the drivers with their suitcases ready and this could create some discontent and upset some equilibriums.

We are faced with a new season under the sign of Mercedes that in Austria showed overwhelming power. Only the five safety cars did not let it lap practically everybody. I am more and more convinced that they are working on something exceptional in the rear, such as steerable wheels.

Unfortunately, we could not fully appreciate Red Bull’s real potential, Despite the yellow mixes (Hamilton and Bottas had the reds) they behaved well but were betrayed by reliability. Albon however, without the collision with Hamilton could have given Bottas some bother. It had an important pace, also helped by an excellent strategy. At the moment they are the only ones that can annoy Mercedes.

We are waiting for the second and third grands prix to see how Ferrari will react, especially in Hungary where a new car with some new features is expected. To date, it is the only car that did not have reliability problems but at the same time, the only car to have worsened compared to last season…

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | Gp Austria, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “FERRARI THE 5th FORCE”

The Formula 1 world championship started again with a “bang”. The grand prix showed all the problems tied to a championship that started four months late between reliability problems, mistakes by the mechanics and a certain nervousness by Vettel and Hamilton, the latter certainly helped by the marshals who decided to give him a 40’ penalty for the start of the race.

The grand prix was distorted by 4 safety cars (this had not happened in a while), just as seeing only eleven cars cross the finish line. All the teams had problems, except for Ferrari that however saved the weekend thanks to a great driver, a good strategy and a lot of luck.

Ferrari was the only team not to improve its lap time compared to the previous edition despite running with the same mixes and showed problems also on the engine front as also emerged from the times by Alfa Romeo and Haas. Beyond the result Ferrari is the championship’s fifth force behind Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Racing Point, paying a gap of more than 1” second from the top. The result in qualifying certainly reflected better the real forces at play.

It was a pity for Albon. He was the only driver to keep up with Mercedes, helped by an excellent strategy by Red Bull’s men on the wall. The work was thwarted by the collision with Hamilton who was then rightly penalized.

Unfortunately, we lost one of the protagonists right from the start, Verstappen.

Congratulations to Lando Norris who reached his first podium at 20 years of age with a McLaren in good shape, even if I did not understand the strategy used by Sainz. I hope that this is not the beginning of a political and not clean ploy in regards to the Spaniard.
Honestly, I also did not understand the strategy used by Alfa Romeo with Giovinazzi which was remedied under the safety car with the Italian managing to finish in ninth place in front of Vettel.

There was another mistake by Vettel who was nervous when he came to Austria. I did not understand his declarations during the press conference that went against what we had read up till then and had never denied by him.

This will be replayed in a week’s time, even if with different mixes. There really is little time with a lot of work to do.

In the next few days I want to discuss the clones with you which should race in a separate championship.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP AUSTRIA, MINARDI “IT FINALLY STARTS”

Tomorrow it finally starts after the very long lockdown. It will be a restart full of variables starting with the weather forecasts that promise rain for Friday.

We are faced with a situation that is anomalous and new for everybody with a calendar that at the moment is made up of 8 rounds compressed into two months with the Italian grand prix scheduled for September 6.

It starts again on a track characterized by heavy braking and demanding bends where the gas will be open to the max for 78% of the lap. It is a considerable challenge for the drivers who have been practically stopped since the March tests except for some sporadic outings on the track.

Red Bull will take to the track after the wins in the last two editions but Mercedes is still the car of reference despite the reliability problems that emerged during the Barcelona tests.

The teams have had little time to work on the developments that were initially planned and they will restart from the winter tests that highlighted great competitiveness with the cars enclosed within a gap of barely 1.7”.

Amongst this season’s anomalies we have to also add the change of colours of some drivers with Carlos Sainz’s arrival in Ferrari, Ricciardo’s in McLaren and Sebastian Vettel momentarily on foot.

We will also have to watch what will happen inside the paddock considering the significant financial problems of the teams (see Williams and McLaren) and also on the part of Liberty Media.

There is a lot of meat on the fire but one thing is certain. At 11.00 am tomorrow, Friday, the motor will roar once more.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | RUMORS MERCEDES. MINARDI “KALLENIUS READY TO BUT WOLFF’S SHARES ONCE AGAIN”

In a Formula 1 that is only apparently still, there is a lot of movement behind the curtains and not only on the drivers’ market front which in recent weeks brought Carlos Sainz Jr. to Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc and with Daniel Ricciardo who “waved goodbye” to Renault to set up home in McLaren alongside Lando Norris.

At the moment the future of four times world champion Sebastian Vettel is very uncertain, just like the permanence of some teams in the Circus.

In recent days we reported some rumours from overseas concerning the future of two contractors: Renault and Mercedes with the reigning world champions that could remain in F1 only as a supplier of engines, starting in 2022.

Reinforcing this theory are new rumours from Germany that Toto Wolff will no longer be present in all the races starting from this season, as Gian Carlo Minardi explains.

We are facing an unhappy panorama, certainly complicated by the very long lockdown, which Liberty Media have to try to remedy. There are increasing insistent rumours from Germany concerning the commitment of Mercedes limited only to the supply of the Power-Unit starting from the 2022 season,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi.

“The current Mercedes President, Ola Kallenius, who has already shown he has very strong power also on the fate of the team and seems to be buying back the shares of Toto Wolff’s who owns 30% of the Mercedes team” continued the manager from Faenza, “The current Team Principal and Mercedes-AMG Petronas CEO will not be present at all the races, as we were used to seeing up to today”

This situation is not easy for Liberty Media which will also have to deal with other teams in great difficulty, such as McLaren (forced to lay off many people) and Williams.