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.