Historic Minardi Day 2020 in pursuit of Formula 1, the ACI Storico Festival and the Elegance Competition

The organizational machine of the Historic Minardi Day is already working at full speed to prepare the 5th edition which, as per tradition, will have as its home Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit which will open the gates from Friday April 24, 2020.

There are many confirmations but there will be many new attractions, as Gian Carlo Minardi unveiled at the ACI Stand at the Padua Festival.

“The fact that we extended the event by one day is already a major development. Next year the engines of the Formula 1 and all the extraordinary cars that will come to Imola will be turned on starting from the Friday and they will only be turned off on Sunday April 26th,” said Gian Carlo Minardi.

“The other great development is represented by the participation of ACI Storico which will be our main partner through the ACI Storico Festival (ACI Historic Festival), a get together for all the ACI clubs in Imola. There will be no lack of occasions for meetings and conventions in a setting of fantastic cars and great enthusiasts. We must not forget that many historical races belong to ACI and that for some years it has started up many activities including Ruoti Nella Storia (History in wheels) in Italy’s most beautiful towns” in Italy’s,” continued the manager from Faenza.

“The fifth edition of the Historic Minardi Day will also be the stage for the first elegance competition dedicated to historical cars. Staying in the field of history, the “Savio Trophy” has been confirmed, as well as the non competitive outing in the hills of the Romagna.”

Amongst the new developments there will many confirmations. “The DNA of the event remains solid. The single ticket(which can be bought at the circuit-Ticketone) willgive access to the Circuit’s paddock, pits and terrace to be in direct touch with the racing cars and their protagonists. Last year we hosted 32 F1 racing cars for a trip through more than half a century of history to which were added many F2, F3, F Junior, Prototypes, Gran Turismo and Lancia Martini Racing which gave life to an extraordinary spectacle that recalled an exciting sound. In addition, many enthusiasts had the chance to experience the excitement of a lap of the Santerno Circuit aboard a Supercar of the calibre of the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, Renault Alpine, Dallara Stradale, Lamborghini and Pagani.

“Our objective is to bring back to the Circuit the atmosphere of the paddock in the early years of Formula 1 be eliminating the barriers that risk keeping fans away. With the chance to give you an appointment for April I want to thank the more than 15,000 passionate fans that that literally invaded the paddock and the pits,” concluded Gian Carlo Minardi.

 

The Racing Team Nederland at the 24 hours of Le Mans with the colours of the M192. MINARDI “It is an honour that Frits van Eerd chose these colours”

The colour scheme of the Lamborghini powered Minardi M192 that was the protagonist of F1 in 1992 with Alessandro Zanardi, Gianni Morbidelli and Christian Fittipaldi who took sixth place in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka will come back onto the track next June 15th and 16th thanks to the passion and genius of Frits van Eerd and Racing Team Nederland.

The famous Dutch entrepreneur, collector and the greatest enthusiast of Minardi in the world, as well as the protagonist of the Historic Minardi Day in Imola wanted to pay homage to Gian Carlo Minardi by also choosing the iconic yellow, white and black for his Dallara P217-Gbson #29 that will take part in the 24 hours of Le Mans, the final round of the 18-19 Super Season fot the FIA WEC Endurance World Championship.

“There is a special friendship with Frits van Eerd and I am honoured that Team Minardi always inspired him. It is fantastic that the colours of my F1 cars were chosen for the Racing Team Nederland’s cars. Frits and I will continue will collaborate to reinforce this association with the Minardi name and I will be happy to advise him- as a sort of “godfather” for his passion for motorsport – in the field of racing teams, talents and possibly new projects,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi who was present at the presentation.

Together with Frits van Eerd, at the wheel of the Dallara P217 there will be a team made up entirely of Dutchmen with Giedo van der Garde and Nick De Vries (the F2 driver who is in McLaren’s youth programme).

Road To China | 1000th Gp. MINARDI “Proud to have taken part in 340 Gp with the Minardi Team”

What sort of grand prix will Shanghai be? This is the question that many fans and experts have been asking since the first two rounds in Australia and Bahrain showed two markedly different potentials, even if, in the end, the result was the same. Two wins for Mercedes, first with Bottas and then with Hamilton and only a third place for Ferrari with Leclerc.

For Ferrari the Chinese Grand Prix will be an appeal for verifying whether they have really identified and solved the problems of reliability that ruined the celebration in Sakhir and which is the real Ferrari; the one we saw in Melbourne that suffered a major gap from its direct rivals or the “red” that won the front row of the grid two weeks ago and subsequently dominated the race with the driver from Monaco up to 10 laps from the chequered flag.

Last year Ferrari did very well with Raikonnen’s third place and I hope that this Sunday too it can repeat the result by taking this season’s first win. It will be a tough grand prix for the cars in which the engines, tyres and brake systems will be put to a hard test.

Formula 1 will cut the ribbon of 1,000 grands prix. This is an important result, of which Minardi took part in 340 rounds, 34%. This result makes me proud,, also because as of today the Minardi Team is the ninth team with the most races, behind, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Lotus, Tyrrell, Brabham, Sauber and Renault. We will tell a part of these 340 grands prix in Imola on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28, April at the fourth edition of the Historic Minardi Day, together with many friends, drivers and engineers and the newest recruits who are taking their first steps in the world of karting. There will be a parterre of high calibre cars and drivers. We are now at the last stages and we are fine tuning the final details to excite and entertain the enthusiasts who will come to visit us.

I will be waiting for you at Imola Circuit and we will be in touch again on Sunday to comment, I hope, another exciting race.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | Grand Prix of the United States, the weekend of the “first times” with Pierluigi Martini

After Team Principal (Gian Carlo Minardi) and Engineer (Gabriele Tredozi) we could not miss the Driver Pierluigi Martini, the hero who gave the Minardi Team its first world championship point at Detroit 1988 and its first front row at Phoenix 1990 with the second fastest time behind Berger’s McLaren, together with many other important results that became part of the history of the team from Faenza such as fifth place at Silverstone and Estoril, the fourth place in qualifying in Spain and the third fastest time in Australia – with starting grids made up of 27 cars – behind the McLarens of Senna and Prost and in front of Nannini’s Benetton finishing in the points with sixth place, the fourth places set in 1991 at Monte Carlo and Estoril with the Ferrari powered Minardi and the fifth places at Montmelò and Magny-Cours and racing in more than 100 grands prix.

Detroit ’88 changed my life as a driver but it was just as important for the team. When the call came from Gian Carlo I was racing in F3000. I will never forget that weekend. The M188 was a car so difficult and demanding to drive that the steering wheel had taken away the fingertips from both hands. I finished the race on the strength of desperation. After 23 laps I was in fifth position and when I read on the board on the wall that there were still 40 more laps I didn’t want to believe it but I gritted my teeth. The car, nicknamed the Camel, jolted every time it disconnected from the asphalt and I struggled more to keep it on the road in the straight than in the curves. This was due to the configuration chosen by Caliri,” remembered Pierluigi Martini with satisfaction.

Minardi chose the strategy of not changing tyres and I crossed the finish line on the canvasses. In the end I also touched the guardrail but luckily I did not break the car. It was our perfect day.”

Phoenix ’90 was the other great day, with the Minardi on the front row for the first and only time in its history. It was a great lap, even if not my best since I made the best lap in Adelaide the year before with the third fastest time behind Senna and Prost and finished the race in sixth place,” continued the driver from the Romagna.

As the engineer Gabriele Tredozi already did, Martini also highlighted the great technical leap between the M188 and the M189 that ran the first races in the 1990 world championship before passing the baton to the M190.

There was a great abyss between the two cars. The great leap of the M188 came in the summer of the occasion of the Monza Grand Prix when the car was taken up by Aldo Costa and Gabriele Tredozi who totally redesigned the front suspension which let us make up more than 2” per lap. Previously the M188 jumped on the valleys like crazy. The M189 was the car that gave us the best results, despite the cooling problems that were resolved after the Silverstone Grand Prix.”

Pierluigi Martini concluded his memories with the important result achieved, together with Sala, in the 1989 grand prix at Silverstone, “That weekend was our salvation because, thanks to the fifth and sixth places, we managed to avoid the trap of prequalifying. In the first lap I came back into the pits because the temperatures were once again very high but then, luckily, the problem was solved and that allowed us another incredible comeback

F1 | United States Grands Prix, the weekend of the “first times” with Gian Carlo Minardi

We are entering into the weekend that will bring us to the eighteenth round of the calendar: the United States Grand Prix, an appointment that for the Minardi Team is synonymous with unique results that played a part in changing its history.

We are talking about Detroit 1988, the grand prix that gave the team from Faenza its first world championship point with Pierluigi Martini (sixteenth place on the starting grid) and at Phoenix 1990, again with the driver from the Romagna who placed on the front row in qualifying (out of 27 qualifiers) in the M189 with only Berger’s McLaren-Honda ahead of him and in front of De Cesaris in the Scuderia Italia, Alesi’s Tyrrell, Senna’s McLaren, Piquet’s Benetton and Prost’s Ferrari.

As we await Austin we decided to relive these two important events with the direct protagonists and today we met with Gian Carlo Minardi,

I still remember those events with extreme pleasure, beginning at Detroit. It was the season’s sixth round and we came from the Canadian Grand Prix where we once again had problems with Adrian Campos’ car, he was the official driver together with Luis Pérez-Sala,” remembers the manager from Faenza.

We needed to give the whole team a shake and, for this reason, I took the difficult decision to substitute Adrian with Piero Martini who had raced for us in the debut season in 1985. Our main sponsor was the Spanish company Lois and I notified its President of this change, assuming all the risks. Piero came to the track without having tested the M188 and anyway he managed to qualify with an excellent 1’45″048 that earned him sixteenth place, in front of drivers of the calibre of Arnoux and teams such as Tyrell and Ligier. In the race Piero climbed up to sixth place giving us our historic first world championship point. The final laps were highly charged for us, especially after Luis’ retirement with a broken gearbox. For us it was the first point after three uneasy years since our arrival in Formula 1 and marked the beginning of constant improvement. That evening we celebrated with a dinner at the top floor of the Detroit Tower, together with the main sponsor’s president who had accepted, with reservations, the substitution of Campos,” said Minardi who continued his memory up to the first grand prix in 1990.

The following year, 1989, was a better season for Minardi. The M189 constantly climbed up the starting grid finishing in the third row in the final grands prix up to the opening race of the 1990 world championship on the track at Phoenix with the front row. It was an incredible result since it was the first years of the dominance of McLaren and Williams. In the race Martini and Sala had to give way, however, they finished at the fringe of the points zone, in sixth and seventh positions”.

Staying on the theme of the Grand Prix of America, the other result that deserves a mention is Indianapolis 2005, even if it is a story to itself. Together with Ferrari and Jordan, we honoured the presence since the Bridgestone tyres did not have the problems that on the other hand stopped the cars with Michelin tyres, crossing the finishing line in fifth and sixth positions with Albers and Friesacher,” concluded Minardi.

F1 | Spa-Francorchamps, we finally start again!

With the end of the three weeks of summer break, this weekend the Formula 1 world championship is ready to start the engines again with teams and drives committed to a double commitment on two tough tracks as Spa-Francorchamps and Monza which will lead the way to a fiery end of season.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will have the toughest task since they will not be able to make the slightest mistake. They are called to make nine perfect grands prix if they want to wipe out the 24 point gap that separates the German from Lewis Hamilton. The mistake at Hockenheim weighs very heavy.

We start with the track in the Ardennes, it is a circuit that is as historic as it is difficult in which the weather and safety car will practically do the honours. After having tested it on Sauber and Hass, the Ferraris will be equipped with the latest version of the Power Unit as Mercedes should also do.

On the tyre front Pirelli will bring to both Belgium and Italy the Medium, Soft and SuperSoft mixes. We come to this round with some unknown factors on the drivers’ market in which above all Kimi Raikonnen’s future is still up in the air. We experienced a very hot August (not only due to the high temperatures) that will redraw the 2019 starting grid. Daniel Ricciardo will say goodbye to Red Bull to wear Renault’s colours together with Hulkenberg and with Sainz taking the seat left free by Fernando Alonso who announced his retirement from F1 after 17 seasons. Red Bull will promote Gasly alongside Verstappen, while the places in Toro Rosso are still vacant. Force India, which has been placed under administration, was saved by a group of entrepreneurs led by Laurence Stroll whose son will free a place in Williams.

We expect very intense weeks. This weekend we start with Spa where the weather promises rain but then I expect many of you at Monza.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | Minardi M191B-Lamborghini, Bortolotti “An unforgettable moment”

26 years after Christian Fittipaldi and Gianni Morbidelli the steering wheel of the Minardi M191B, the protagonist of seven F1 grands prix in 1992 (before giving way to the M192) powered by the LE3512 Lamborghini engine designed by Mauro Forghieri, was passed onto Lamborghini Factory Driver Mirko Bortolotti who had the task of shaking down the seven months of restoration work carried out by the Polo Storico (historic programme) of the carmaker from Sant’Agata Bolognese.

Lamborghini’s official driver completed the twenty planned laps without encountering any problems.

Seeing the technicians working on the original plans and become excited the first time the motor of the V12 Lamborghini engine was switched on was an unforgettable moment,” commented the driver from Trento, “These ‘old school’ cars are truly fantastic and unique. Congratulations to all the members of the Polo Storico Lamborghini for having made all this possible after a restoration that lasted seven months

The M191B is now ready to go back to the racing and competing in the championships dedicated to historic F1 races.

This link will take you to the film made by the Lamborghini Racing Team

The Minardi 191B F1 with Lamborghini engine returns to racing after 26 years

Twenty-six years from its last Grand Prix, the Minardi M191B chassis #003, equipped with a Lamborghini LE3512 V12 engine and one of the protagonists of Formula One in 1992, is back on the track.

The exciting shakedown organized by Lamborghini Squadra Corse is the result of a meticulous restoration carried out by Lamborghini Polo Storico with the support of former Lamborghini Engineering personnel, the active part of the Lamborghini F1 project in the early ’90s.

The Minardi M191B #003 is the first single-seater to be restored by Polo Storico. After being on display at the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the car underwent seven months of work to return to its original efficiency, with most of the original components maintained.

The tires, fuel tank, engine control unit, seat belts, and fire extinguishing system were replaced, while the other components were carefully restored, starting from the engine designed by Mauro Forghieri. The 12-cylinder LE3512 is still able to deliver the original almost 700 HP, enabling enthusiasts to relive the emotions of the golden years of Formula One.

The guests of honor on the occasion of the grand return are Mirko Bortolotti, Lamborghini Factory Driver, and Giancarlo Minardi. The founder of the Faenza-based team recalled the fruitful collaboration with Lamborghini that lasted for the entire 1992 season: “Seeing the models of 25 or 30 years ago is still exciting. They are the last cars before the beginning of telemetry and automatic transmissions. Apart from the rumble, which still today brings back those wonderful times, it was a very flexible engine with enormous power starting from the low rpms.”

Entrusted to drivers Gianni Morbidelli and Christian Fittipaldi, the Minardi M191B #003 competed in the first Grand Prix races of 1992 before being replaced by the M192, also equipped with a Lamborghini engine. The best result achieved by the single-seater restored by Polo Storico was 11th place with Christian Fittipaldi at the wheel at the Spanish GP, and it is now ready to return to racing and competing in the championships dedicated to historic F1 races. The testing outcome was very positive: the car ran more than 20 laps without any problem and the Lamborghini engine perfectly maintained all the features that had so impressed Ayrton Senna during the tests at Estoril in 1993.

Foto: Lamborghini Squadra Corse

Pirelli110 | Minardi "Reached important milestones together"

Torino’s Automobile Museum was the setting for the celebration of Pirelli’s100 years of sporting competition. It debuted with a win in the 1907 Peking-Paris race. I wish to express my sincerest best wishes for this anniversary to the entire Pirelli brand and wish it another 110 years of success. We are talking about a historic supplier. Racing was born with it and the development of tyres has grown with the races. It has been a reciprocal exchange of information and technology.

My first collaboration with Pirelli goes back to the 1973 Formula 3 season when the Minardi Team introduced the slicks designed by its engineer Mario Mezzanotte and his assistant Turchetti. The adventure then continued in Formula 2 where we achieved some fine results such as the win at Misano and Michele Alboreto’s pole position at Pau.

After the first two seasons in Formula 1 (1985 and 1986) clad with Pirellis our roads came back together in 1989 and 1990. Thanks to the clearance by Goodyear we began developing their tyres until the end of 1988. It was an important experience. Taking part in the baptism of fire of the new tyres was extremely important for the Team and gave the drivers great benefits. At Estoril during only one day of time trials Martini tested the fine number of 30 sets of qualifying tyres, at the same time achieving the circuit’s newest fastest time (1:13:100). It was thanks to these tours de force that Pirelli achieved its excellent qualifying times. In 1989 we won a third place on the grid at Adelaide behind Senna and Mansell and in 1990 the front row at Phoenix at Phoenix.

Today we are facing a difficult season in which the tyres will be an important gauge, for better or for worse. We are talking about the most important modification of the 2017 regulations.

Minardi Story – Brazil, where it all began

On April 5, 1985 with the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Circus inaugurated its new season, and Gian Carlo Minardi with the Minardi F1 Team signed his debut in Formula 1. After building a good reputation as a constructor in the minor formulas, the stable from Faenza was ready to write a new chapter in its story and share the paddock with giants like Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Brabham, Ligier, Renault, Alfa Romeo, and Tyrrel. For his debut, Gian Carlo Minardi decides to consign his only M185 to a young Pierluigi Martini.

On Friday, April 5, in the occasion of the first free practices, we realized to have entered into F1. A dream come truth”, Gian Carlo Minardi remembers. A dream and an adventure long 21 seasons during which he was able to build a significant reputation, becoming a springboard for drivers, mechanics, and engineers. The first Grand Prix was raced on the Jacarepagua track in Rio and finished at twenty laps from the checkered flag, due to an engine problem.

Anyway, satisfactions aren’t missed. In 1990, in Sant Paul, “Piero” Martini places the Minardi M190 in the fourth row thanks to his eighth absolute time, and closes the race in the top-ten, in the nineth place. The best result is reached the following year by Gianni Morbidelli who at the wheel of the Minardi M191 achieves the eighth position, after springing from the twenty-first place, ahead of Mika Hakkinen’s Lotus and behind the Benetton of Moreno. The win went to Ayton Senna (McLaren), ahead of Pratese (Williams) and Berger (McLaren). Those were the years of the prequalifying, with a selection of cars composed of almost 40 elements, and of the points assigned to the first six placed.

Historic Minardi Day | Pierluigi Martini awaits you with his M189 at Imola

Among the greater protagonists of the Historic Minardi Day, scheduled for next June 25 at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit of Imola, there will surely be Pierluigi Martini. He will speed along 4909 track meters driving his M189 with which he conquered the first raw in the US, the score zone at Silverstone, in Estoril, in Adelaide, and the head during the Portuguese GP.“The M189 was like a tailored suit. Those cars were smaller than today’s F1 cars, and it seemed to be in direct contact with the asphalt”.

Thanks to his past, he is the symbol of the Minardi F1 Team. He inaugurated the M185, the first F1 single-seater signed by the stable from Faenza. He conquered the first world point in 1988 at the US GP and raced 104 out of 120 Grand Prix by the side of Gian Carlo Minardi. In his prize list, it also excels the win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999. He continued the duo Minardi-Martini of the 70s when his uncle, Giancarlo, raced in Formula 2 with the Passatore and Everest Stable belonging to a very young Minardi.

“It will be a great party day in which all the keens and fans of the Minardi Team, and more, will have the chance to live again an important chapter of the Italian research in Motorsport. Gian Carlo Minardi, along with his Minardi Team, had the chance develop talented drivers, technicians, and engineers who distinguished themselves in F1 and offered us numerous excitements. Along with Gian Carlo I celebrated important goals like the debut in Brazil, the first world point in Detroit, the first raw in the US, the leading place during the GP in Estoril, and many points zones” , “Piero” Martini says. “Having the chance to recall everything in Imola, one of the most beautiful circuits, will be fabulous. We’ll have the chance to watch the cars on track, but also to look at them closely”.

The engines will turn on at 9.00 in the morning with the first laps on track made by the cars from Touring and Supercars, forerunners of the shows with F2, F3, and F1 cars. Already at 8:00 in the morning, the gates of the Paddock and of the garages will be open to show the single-seaters of the Minardi Team, of Toro Rosso Stable, and some unique and historical pieces. We will have the opportunity to look at the F3 Chevron-Toyota B38 with wich Elio De Angelis won the Monaco race and the Italian Championship in 1977, the March-Bmw Schnitzer 732 drived by Ernesto “Tino” Brambilla, the Formula 3000 with which Marini won in Imola, and many others.

Playing with numbers

In these days of illusory calm, anxiously waiting the presentation of the new single-seaters, just over ten years after the last Grand Prix of the Minardi F1 team, I wanted to play with numbers and statistics.

Of course, it has been a game, but keeping in mind the scoring system of those years, the restricted economic resources, and all the difficulties in finding engines and tires, the numbers that emerged are fun and gratifying. If, on one hand the Minardi team is at the first place for the grand prix races without podium (in effect we finished three times in fourth) on the other hand we still are in the seventh place, behind giants as Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Lotus, Tyrrel and Brabham, for the total grand prix races: 340 for Minardi, 326 for Liguer, 311 for Sauber and 300 for Renault which this year will return as a manufacturer. In the standings we are in the top 40, in 36th place ahead of Prost Gp, Toleman, Footwork. It took 73 races before playing a lap in the lead (1989- Portugal GP with Martini) compared to 178 races needed by Sauber and 82 by BAR. 

On drivers’ front, Pierluigi Martini is in the fourteenth place for the number of grand prix raced with the same manufacturer (103) on 118 starts accomplished during his F1 career that placed him in the 48th place (in the first one there is Barrichello with 323 GP) and in the sixth place among italian driversAmong the top six youngest debutants, the Minardi team is embodied by Fernando Alonso (19 years and 218 days) and Esteban Tuero (19 years and 320 days). Not bad.

As we said these are just numbers, but if we want to keep playing making suppositions, we notice that with the current scoring system, the Minardi team would have gone to points starting from its debut season thanks to “Piero” Martini’s eight place in Australia. In twentyone seasons, we would have not reached the top 10 only in 1987. The other great regret regards the supply of engines. Today, manufacturers are required to provide the same Power-Unit, unless exceptions made ad hoc, as in the case of Red Bull for 2016. As Minardi team, we had tryed to draw attention on this rule (unfortunately in vain), since sometimes we were forced to run with an engine of three generation before. Despite everything, however, in some circumstances, we managed to stay ahead of far more noble manufacturers. Little satisfactions.

With an extra smile, we are preparing to live and closely follow another intense season of Formula 1 … and may the best win.

Gabriele Tredozi's PS04 to remember Justin Wilson

The traditional appointment with the Lorenzo Bandini trophy has taken place in Brisighella celebrating the amazing 2014 season of Mercedes, F1 World Teams’ and Drivers’ Champion.

Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe personally came and do the honors collecting the prize. Prestigious rewards also went to Gabriele Tredozi, historical engineer for the stable from Faenza and “dad” of many Minardi F1. Tredozi personally arrived in Brisighella at the wheel of his PS04 with a special F1 suit dedicated to his friend, driver Justin Wilson, tragically perished after the Indicar race.

It was a terrific day. The spectators clapping sportingly and warmly for Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe were numerous, not only from RomagnaGian Carlo Minardi remembers. “I am very glad for the prize with the gold medal to Gabriele Tredozi, an engineer that I really esteem being aware of his great worth”.