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#F1SPRINT, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “ THE FIRST WAS GOOD, BUT…”

Pole position won with the fastest lap is something irreplaceable but as a first experiment the sprint race passed the test.

They were 17 very tight and exciting laps as Formula 1 should always be, especially Fernando Alonso’s comeback. His first lap was spectacular. Starting from eleventh place he took

However, I am of the opinion that some expedients must be taken. In order to increase the spectacle the points at stake should be increased to encourage the second tier drivers to take a few more risks, transforming these 100 kilometres into a real race rather than qualifying. In doing so we will have two grands prix, one a sprint and one regular, over the weekend, leaving the task of assigning pole position to qualifying.

Now it will be interesting to see tomorrow’s grand prix too to have a full panorama.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 COMES TO IMOLA. GIAN CARLO MINARDI “REASON OF GREAT PRIDE TO BE TFor Gian Carl Minardi “HE FIRST IN EUROPE”

Three weeks after the opening round in Bahrain won by Lewis Hamilton after a good battle with Max Verstappen (second across the finish line) this weekend the Formula 1 Circus will land in Imola with the stopping in Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit to give life to the “Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna GP”

For Gian Carlo Minardi this will be the first Gran Prix as the President of the Imola Circuit “Having Imola as the World Championship’s second round, the first in Europe, is a source of great pride and Emilia Romagna, together, together with the Motor Valley, its monuments and its food, is ready to relaunch the World Championship. The Grand Prix represents a great opportunity in terms of worldwide visibility and, together with the Circuit’s Director General Riccardo Benvenuti, we are also working to make this extraordinary territory known. We are grateful to all the institutions for the great effort put in place and our aim is also to consolidate Imola’s presence within the upcoming calendars

Supporting the GP will also the second round of the F2 Championship and the first round of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine “Starting Monday the motor homes will also start to arrive and the anti-Covid safety procedures will also begin with swabs every day to be able to gain access to the Circuit,” continued Minardi.

In these months we have worked hard with the aim of repeating, and also trying to improve, the result achieved last year. We have decided to intensify the service on the track to reduce to a minimum the neutralizations resulting from the re-entry of the safety-cay. Imola is a circuit of historical characteristics with gravel off the track where every mistake can carry a heavy price. Furthermore, given the possibility of rain the weather could be an interesting variable for the spectacle.”

On the race front the challenge for the win will be a matter between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen “Behind them however will be a good group made up of McLaren, Ferrari, Alpine and Alpha Tauri. I am convinced that Tost’s team will able to achieve a good result as happened already in Sakhir

F1 | GP SAKHIR, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “A MORTAL SIN TO LOSE PEREZ. RUSSELL DID NOT MAKE US REGRET HAMILTON’S ABSENCE”

This F1 world championship never ceases to give us incredible emotions. Once again we witnessed a grand prix full of twists and turns with the final placings uncertain up to the final lap on a track that, at least on paper, could have passed into anonymity.

Leclerc’s collision with Perez, which also involved the innocent Verstappen, gave us the first spark which forced the Mexican driver to a crazy comeback that ended with his first career win.

Applause certainly goes to Perez. After his retirement a week ago and despite his uneasy position, he showed great determination and cold bloodedness. It is a mortal sin to see such a motivated and strong driver in difficulty for 2021.

The mistakes made by Mercedes during the pit stops that (almost certainly) cost Russell his first win were also incredible. After having dominated free practice on Friday he closed qualifying in second place barely 26 thousandths of a second behind Bottas. At the start he did not let himself be intimidated, taking the race lead immediately and completing the grand prix without making the slightest mistake and overtaking beautifully and decisively many times despite a situation that was not easy even for him. He did not make us regret Hamilton’s absence and confirmed he is a top class driver. He gave the answers that were expected of him. Today’s performance could make Mercedes’ President, faced with Hamilton who has not yet signed the new contract, think.

It was a pity that Leclerc and Hamilton were not in the game as well. With the departure of the driver from Monaco there was no basis with which to compare Sebastian Vettel’s absolutely disappointing performance. The German driver made a lot of mistakes. Who knows if Racing Point, next Aston Martin, is still convinced of the choice made…

Gian Carlo Minardi

HISTORIC MINARDI DAY 2021 | THE F1X3 COMES TO IMOLA WITH ALEX CAFFI AND NICOLA LARINI

We are pleased to announce the first big news in view of the edition number 5 of the Historic Minardi Day which will take place over three days from April 9 to 11, 2011 at Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit as has already been announced in recent weeks.

Despite the health emergency that forced the organization to postpone the fifth edition by a year the organizational machine never stopped working to put together an even richer programme for all the fans that will come to Imola.

Thanks to former F1 driver Alex Caffi, who was already a leading player of previous editions of the Historic Minardi Day with the 1974 Ferrari B4 and the 1967 Ensing N179 (ex Clay Regazzoni) with which he won the 2016 Monte Carlo Historic Grand Prix, two F1X3 cars will take to the Santerno track driven by Alex Caffi, together with Nicola Larini which will let fans experience the thrill and the power of a real Formula 1 car with a lap of the circuit.

In fact, the cars managed by Alex Caffi Motorsport derive from the chassis  of the Jordan EJ13 that were brought onto the track during the 2003 World Championship by Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralph Firman, achieving a victory with the Italian driver in the exciting Brazilian Grand Prix and the EJ14 of Giorgio Pantano, Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock that got its best results with two seventh places (Monte Caro and Canada) and ninth place in the constructors’ championship.

For further information and to book a lap contact Alex Caffi Motorsport now at this email address: squadracorseangelocaffi@gmail.com

F1 | HONDA IS LEAVING, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “THEY CONFIRMED THE INITIAL PROGRAMME. MANY SCENARIOS ARE OPENING”

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.

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 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

MINARDI M192 | GIAN CARLO MINARDI’S DEBUT IN “HIS” IMOLA

Sunday May 7, 2017, Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit. This was certainly another important date in the history of the Minardi Team and especially for Gian Carlo Minardi.

Since we began this trip amongst the cars from Faenza many of you fans have asked us to tell the story of the Lamborghini powered Minardi M192 but we deliberately waited.

As we said, May 7, 2017. Why this date rather than go back to May 17, 1992, the day of the M 192’s debut in the Formula 1 World Championship at the San Marino Grand Prix (the 5th Grand Prix)?

We are again at the Santerno circuit but the occasion was the second edition of the Historic Minardi Day, the event created by Gian Carlo Minardi together with his brothers and brought to the track alongside Formula Imola.

Collector and driver Fritz van Eerd made available to Gian Carlo Minardi the M192-Lamborghini (ex Fittipaldi. Zanardi and Morbidelli) who thus made his absolute debut at the wheel of one of his cars. In fact, we discovered that before then Gian Carlo had never wanted to try one of his cars.

The circuit’s pit lane and terrace were full of fans and the Gian Carlo’s exit from the pit was accompanied by a roar and applause.

“It was a magic moment and I must thank my friend Frits van Eerd. This event will stay in the history of the Historic Minardi Day, also because I’m sure I set the slowest ever lap at the wheel of a racing car,” remembered a smiling Gian Carlo.

The racing car designed by Aldo Costa mounted a Lamborghini engine-gearbox group and is characterized by a highly visible front wing inspired by the Jordan (which proved to be rather unstable).

This solution was the main cause of the performance problems of the car as it was extremely hard to find a good compromise between slow and fast, while on some circuits such as Hungaroring and Spa it was downright undriveable.

At high speed the front wing loaded too much forcing penalizing choices on the set up to avoid under steer at speed. In view of the Italian GP in Monza the team decided to take a step back and returned to the design of the M191 and the balance of the car changed radically.

Not coincidentally, on that weekend Morbidelli took 10th place on the starting grid while in Japan Fittipaldi took a deserved 6th place.

It was a car with major potential, unfortunately created badly, but it is still in the hearts of many fans. Since May 7, 2017 there is also another reason.

MINARDI PS01 | FERNANDO ALONSO’S STAR IS BORN

Fernando Alonso(ESP) European Minardi PS01 – Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne, Australia 2nd-4th March 2001

For the 2001 season Minardi wanted to produce a car with the weights moved as low as possible, based on the experienced gathered from the previous season’s car.

The PS01 was created with a low nose cone and with a rather square shape, combined with a strongly spoon shaped wing and pull rod front suspensions.

However, these suspensions penalized the car’s aerodynamic development in a season in which it would have been an advantage to raise the nose cone to reduce the negative effects connected to the new aerodynamic limitations introduced by the Federation.

Even from the aerodynamic point of view the rigidity of the suspension with the layout of the pull rods revealed all its limits. The arrangement of the radiators always lying forward with a view to always being able to create low sides was unprecedented.

Minardi also introduced a second version of the titanium cast gearbox casing in the August trials in Monza and made its debut in Germany with Fernando Alonso. The experiment was repeated in Hungary with both drivers and used in the race only by Tarso Marques (who had come back to Faenza). The new gearbox, again created by CRP, was even lighter and stiffer compared to the first version introduced as an absolute novelty in Spain in 2000.

  • L-R: Fernando Alonso(ESP), Tarso Marques(BRA) Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying, Spa Francorchamps 1 September 2001 DIGITAL IMAGE

Furthermore, the B version made its debut in Germany with a much more compact rear section and with a wheel base that was 28mm shorter.

The 2001 season also saw Fernando Alonso’s debut in Formula 1 when he stood out on his debut in the Circus with an encouraging 12th place in Melbourne. At the Malaysian GP of March 18 Alonso scored another good result but his 13th place was three laps behind the winner… Marques took a satisfying 9th place in Brazil, as he also did in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The last round of the season on the Suzuka circuit in Japan again saw Fernando Alonso as the great protagonist. The driver from Asturias ran the whole race at such a high rhythm that it was described as “53 qualifying laps”. Unfortunately, the final 11th place did not properly express the happy combination of man and machine in that race but remained n exceptional result taking into account that the speed performance of the Minardi was inferior due to the low power of the Cosworth V10.

Despite all the team’s efforts the 2001 season was filed away with zero points but there remained the awareness of having introduced Alonso’s talent to the international audience with the Spaniard after passing onto Flavio Briatore’s court as Renault’s test driver the season after.

Fernando Alonso(ESP) European Minardi PS01 – Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka 12 October 2001.

MINARDI M02 | NEW TECHNOLICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND ATTAINING 250 GP

Gustav Brunner designed an innovative racing car for the 2000 season. The M02 presented a lower and more pointed nose cone, compact sides, high exhausts and a slimmer central part of the car’s body.

A further improvement compared to the M01 was represented by the new totally titanium gearbox produced by CRP in Modena which had extremely limited dimensions and introduced in the Spanish GP.

Furthermore, during the season Minardi introduced two other new developments. The first was the first F1 racing car to adopt set down brake callipers and the never before seen double U shape of the rib to ease the entry and exit of the driver from the cockpit.

Once again the car’s weak point was the engine, the V10 Cosworth which was renamed Fondmetal. With a more powerful engine and adequate development the Minardi M02 could have placed in the middle of the standings.

After the positive start to the season the financial support of Telefonica grew (the livery changes as well) which continued to support the Spaniard Marc Genè who was joined by the Argentinean Gaston Mazzacane with Luca Badoer called back to Ferrari to continue in his role as test driver.

In the opening Grand Prix of the season in Australia on March 12 Genè took the M02 to 8th place with Mazzacane repeating the result on May 12 at the European GP at Nurburgring. At the A1 Ring in Austria the Spaniard once again finished in 8thplace.

On August 27 on the occasion of the Belgian GP between the ups and downs of the Ardennes the Minardi Team crossed the finish line of 250 GP.

During the season the Minardi Team again placed in the top-10: Mazzacane was 10th at Interlagos and on the home track in the temple of speed in Monza where Marc and Gaston crossed the finish line in 9th and 10th places respectively. Thanks to these results the Minardi Team once again took 10th place in the Constructors’’ ladder in front of the Prost of Alesi and Heidfeld.

Unfortunately the season was marked by the discovery of Rumi’s incurable medical condition which forced him to sell his shares, with Paul Stoddart as the new purchaser.

MINARDI M01 | NURBURGRING, BETWEEN JOY AND PAIN

The Minardi M01 designed by Gustav Brunner after his period in Ferrari represented a very ambitious project for the team from Faenza. Unlike the racing cars that had preceded it the car presented no component that came from a previous model. The whole car was new.

Both the hub-holder and the guide box were cast in titanium, while the gearbox casing was represented a pioneering work of magnesium casting. The rear of the M01 was undoubtedly the most successful part from the aerodynamic point of view with the engine hood and the side appendages that improved the air flow in front of the rear tyres.

On the drivers’ side Gian Carlo Minardi and Gabriele Rumi, who joined the company in 1997, called to Faenza Luca Badoer who had put himself on show in 1996 before becoming a point of reference in the development of the Ferrari and at his side was the Spaniard debutant Marc Genè, supported by Telefonica.

Badoer did not disappoint the expectations by showing all his technical and speed values, especially during the European GP run on the new Nurburgring on September 26

  • Minardi M01 Lunch

Under pouring rain that contributed to reducing the differences between the major and minor team by lowering the influence of the power of the engines, Badoer took his M01 into the top placings achieving fourth place in front of Ralf Schumacher in the Williams, Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR and his team mate Genè by setting impressive times which brought him closer to Barrichello in the Stewart (3rd).

The dreams for glory of both Luca and the Minardi Team were shattered by the failure of the gearbox during the 54th lap, 13 laps from the chequered flag, which forced him to park the racing car on the side of the track. The Spaniard relieved the team’s morale by giving the team its first world championship point with 6th place the finishing line.

This wonderful race was a comforting demonstration of the quality of both Luca Badoer and the Minardi M01 which once again had only the engine as its Achilles heel.

However, the two eighth places in the San Marino GPs on May 2 by Badoer and the Canadian GP on June 13 by Marc Genè should also be remembered.