The Formula 1 World Championship has arrived at the Nurburging in Germany, a round that was certainly not foreseen at the start of the year but it is part of this anomalous season. The Circus arrives at this track in a time of year when the low temperatures and the weather forecasts could play an important role since temperatures no higher than 9-10° are expected.

On a track that is important for the aerodynamics with medium-slow curves Pirelli has brought the C2-C3-C4 compounds and I believe that Red Bull will have the possibility to put itself between the two Mercedes with Max Verstappen.

After Honda’s announcement Red Bull and Alpha Tauri are looking for a new engine supplier. As of today there are only two possible options: the return of Renault or passing to Mercedes with the Germans ready to remain in F1 only as engine suppliers. I see the latter option as the most probable. With the exit of the Japanese, who confirmed the programme they declared since the day of their return, an uneasy winter is starting for Stefano Domenicali since three engine suppliers are few for both the image of the World Championship and twenty cars.
For this weekend Ferrari will carry out a further slight evolutionary step which however is part of a more long term project already aimed at 2021 and 2022.

The novelty will be the debut of Mick Schumacher in Friday’s practice with Alfa Romeo. The German will take to the track with Giovinazzi’s car. Depriving Antonio of a session on a circuit that, unlike Raikonnen, he does not know, I find is an absurd decision (the latest in his regards). He is penalized once again.

Gian Carlo Minardi


The news came like a bolt out of the blue. The Japanese company announced its withdrawal at the end of next season, leaving both Red Bull racing and Alpha Tauri without a supplier.

“Certainly for those directly interested it was not unexpected news and they will already be moving on a number of fronts,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi reached by telephone at Mugello where he is involved in the ACI Sport Racing Weekend.

Honda’s departure is the result of the new Concord Agreement which allows everyone to leave Formula 1 with only a year’s notice without having to pay a penalty. Honestly, it’s not a good sign for the paddock. This news has blown everyone away, even if it was part of the initial plan by the Japanese who had stated right from the start their stay was up to 2021,” continued the manager from Faenza.

Honda is ready to end a cycle that was certainly not easy, even if they had started to reap the rewards with Red Bull which must now knock on the doors of Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes. “This decision opens many scenarios, one of which is the change of strategy by Mercedes with a programme directed solely at supplying engines. Mercedes could sell its team.

In addition to the supply by Mercedes, the other channel could be the return of the Renault Power-Unit which from next year will be in the World Championship with the Alpine brand. “The relations between Red Bull and Renault were not the happiest for which the collaboration had an abrupt ending but at this time anything is possible” Honda’s exit could also be read as the failure of the hybrid era “The reality is that in this moment there are no news constructors interested in entering the world championship and from 2021 we will have only three engine producers. Not the best for the image of F1,” concluded Gian Carlo Minardi.


The regulations must be studied and I am surprised that at these two mistakes by a six times world champion like Lewis Hamilton. After the penalties I saw him disheartened, even if he tried to set the fastest lap but this time Bottas did not want to give him a thing.

His bad day certainly favoured the Finn and Verstappen, as well as having given us spectators a finish that had not yet already been defined.
The grand prix slipped by without too much excitement, on a track that is decidedly anonymous and does not exalt the quality of the drivers.

Effectively there was no driver in particular who put himself on show. Certainly Valtteri Bottas made himself the protagonist of a perfect Sunday during which he did nothing wrong followed by a good Max Verstappen.

t was also a good race by Sergio Perez who shows with results on the track that he deserves to stay in F1 despite being badly dumped by the team.

It was a difficult weekend Ferrari as well. I do not find it correct to be satisfied with Leclerc’s sixth place. The small updates introduced at Sochi were useful but the road is still long.

In two weeks we will arrive in another historic track like Nurburgring before touching two tracks which are new to this Formula 1, Portimao and Imola.

Gian Carlo Minardi


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


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


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


After Monza 2008… Monza 2020 – Excellent Pierre Gasly and all the Alpha Tauri team that guessed the right moment to carry out the pit stop. The grand prix was certainly as anomalous as it was fantastic after it was shaken up by the red flag when Magnussen went off the track.

I honestly thought this was an excessive decision since it did not seem to me that the Haas was in such a dangerous position but the marshals “invented” something that livened up a GP that had the final result practically already written. The mistake by Mercedes and then by Alfa Romeo with Giovinazzi completely overturned the pace and the race’s final result.

It was an incandescent finish with a nice comeback by Sainz who crossed the finish line second behind the Frenchman. It was an incredible result that rewarded his work. It was also a great result for Honda that most probably used two different strategies: very conservative with Red Bull and more aggressive with Alpha Tauri. Such a great difference in performance could not be explained otherwise.

The new regulations could have penalized the two Mercedes but in the end everybody suffered except those directly involved, as Hamilton showed in his incredible comeback from last place to seventh at the finish with a race pace 2” faster than all the others.

It was a black day for both Ferrari that also has to deal with reliability problems and Red Bull. Very good McLaren with both Norris and Sainz. It would have been a deserved win. This must make the people in Ferrari think. McLaren is the confirmation that you can come out of the abyss and climb back up the ladder quickly.

In a week we will go to Mugello, a new track on a weekend that could be conditioned by the rain.

Gian Carlo Minardi


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


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


Once again we witnessed a grand prix run at a pace at least 7” slower than qualifying (1.22 against the 1.15.584 of Hamilton’s pole). Bottas and Hamilton went below the 1’20 barrier only in the final laps with the Finn setting the best time after the change of tyres with 1.18.183 on the very last lap thus taking the extra point

Honesty I find this quite unacceptable. This is certainly dictated by the management of the tyres since, after having found the right peace of mind and after having lessened the petrol, the two Mercedes drivers raised the pace considerably, with only Verstappen trying to oppose them but he paid the price in any case with a twenty two second gap at the finish.

Once again the race and the management were perfect for Hamilton who outclassed his team mate who was the protagonist of an error at the start that cost him dearly in terms of time and distracted by the attack by Stroll and Perez (fourth and fifth at the chequered flag).

It was a weekend to forget for Ferrari with Leclerc’s retirement and Vettel seventh but lapped. At least he took his task to the finish without making any mistakes.

We have six finished only grands prix but we are faced with a season that practically has almost nothing more to say. We are reliving the golden years of Williams with Mercedes that manages to lap practically everybody. Only the top three, Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas, crossed the finish line having completed all the laps…

In the middle of the field it was a good performance by Sainz and Gasly who brought important points to McLaren and Alpha Tauri respectively. On the other hand, both Renaults finished outside the pints.

Gian Carlo Minardi


“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.


The Silverstone Grand Prix gave as a thrilling finish Mercedes dominating strongly due to a superior pace almost 1.3” faster compared to Leclerc’s Ferrari, with only Max Verstappen able to (almost) stay in its wake.

Only the two safety-cars avoided that the two Mercedes would practically lap everybody with Hamilton crossing the finish line on three wheels. Luck helped the British champion but during the 51 laps he accumulated an incredible lead and showed an unassailable domination.

It was yet another good performance by Verstappen who brought home the point for the fastest lap thanks to the pit-stop during the second last lap following the problem that struck Bottas. It went well for Renault with Ricciardo and Ocon, respectively in fourth and sixth place, as well as McLaren, despite the front left problem that also struck Sainz who was forced to cross the finish line only in fourteenth place, with Norris in fifth place.

Also noteworthy was Gasly’s seventh place with Alpha Tauri. Albon, helped by the tyres, was the protagonist of an important comeback who had kept the fastest lap for a long time which was then taken away only by Verstappen.

An interesting and exciting grand prix was certainly filed away, one that, also confirmed Mercedes’ excessive power (first in the constructors’ championship with 68 points ahead of Red Bull), the problems in Ferrari and especially the good challenge between McLaren, Renault, Alpha Tauri and Racing Point.

In a week’s time we will have Silverstone II where we will have even softer compounds…

Gian Carlo Minardi


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.