The Spanish Grand Prix is traditionally an important sign for season’s performances. In these three weeks of apparent silence all big teams have worked to bring to Barcelona the developments they’ve studied, both on chassis and power-unit.
Rumors speak about an improvement of 3/4 tenths for Ferrari, but only the circuit will give us the final report. Mercedes has still frozen the engines, while Ferrari and Williams have worked on all fronts. Unfortunately, we read too little of Lotus, Sauber, Force India and Toro Rosso. This signal is not positive.
Therefore, Formula 1 prepares his arrival in the old country, with Hard and Medium compounds. A good test for tyres, on an abrasive track characterized by lateral forces that don’t stress just stress just tyres. We’ll see if Mercedes will be able – as I believe – to maintain its leadership and if Maranello confirms his second place at Williams’ expenses.
Behind the top four driver, there’s battle for the fifth position. Excluding Manor – for obvious reasons – they are all very close. It will be interesting to follow their battles. As I mentioned in recent weeks, the days following Barcelona GP will be crucial, with several boards of directors at Renault-BMW-Audi, which could reorganize the F.1. We also have Mr. Red Bull eager to join Bernie Ecclestone’s CVC. It could trigger a vortex.
With regard to Spain, I have to talk about the Spanish drivers and the Spain-Faenza’s axis. With the exception of Pedro De La Rosa, every Spanish F.1 driver started from Faenza, and many of them from the Minardi team. We start in ’87 -’88 with Adrian Campo and Sala in the ’88 -’89 season, to get to Marc Gene in 1999-2000, Fernando Alonso in 2000-2001 and Antonio Garcia who tried with us in 2002. Moving to Toro Rosso in 2009, Alguersuari arrived, till today with Sainz Jr. For Minardi Team, along with Monza and Imola, the Spanish GP was a little ‘house’ race. I do have a very good relationship with all the drivers who still meet gladly.
With Barcelona also the preliminary series are getting going. GP2 will reach its second appointment, while the spotlights will switch on GP3. The ACI Team Italia with Luca Ghiotto and Raffaele Marciello will start; they are both Trident bearer respectively in GP3 and GP2. I’ll be personally in Barcelona to closely observe our young drivers and see what device put to use in order to enhance their growth. It’s a very important step of the work planned by Aci-Sport.
Gian Carlo Minardi