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F1 | ITALIAN GP, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “WEEKEND IN MICHELE’S NAME”


With these values it truly takes very little to alter those results that seem already written and defined. It all began with two mistakes in the pits that brought Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen together at the first after the relative stops. Neither of the two wanted to lift his foot off the peddle and, as a spur of the moment comment, I would say that the blame is fifty-fifty. In the first lap they had already given each other a “small kiss”.

The tension between these two drivers is certainly very high and FIA should go into damage control to bring them back onto the right path. This tension then deprived us of the two main protagonists but at the same time gave us a wonderful and very tight grand prix with six drivers within the space of just eight seconds. There was no lack of penalties, as in the case of Perez who “gave” third place to an excellent Bottas who has started from the back of the grid. Full points for McLaren. With the double and the fastest lap by Daniel Ricciardo in the last lap the team strongly consolidated third place amongst the constructors, at Ferrari’s expense.

A wonderful weekend has ended with ACI that wanted the presence of the eighteen medals winners from Tokyo at Monza. The celebration Saturday morning with which the Parabolica curve was named after Michele Alboreto was moving and I had the great honour of being beside President Sticchi Damiani, Jean Todt, Matteo Binotto and Michele’s family.

There was a great friendship with Michele. He began and ended his career in open wheels with the Minardi Team, giving me the first and only win. He took the last point of his career at the Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of the M194. We had been making many plans aimed at the growth of young drivers. We are carrying out this project with the school that bears his name, collecting important results with ACI Sport.

Once again Monza has given an important signal. This Grand Prix deserves continuity. And to conclude this extraordinary weekend, as of today the high chicane at Imola takes the name of the Fausto Gresini curve.

In two weeks the tussle will start up again with the Russian GP.

Gian Carlo Minardi

#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 | GIAN CARLO MINARDI “GASLY DESERVES THE HIGHEST MARK”

We are ready to experience the seventh weekend of a world championship that is giving us a lot of satisfaction, starting with the wonderful duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. We come to Austria which will be the setting for a double race in which the most important variable will be the tyres since for the Austrian GP the C2 will be replaced by the sifter C5.

On paper the track favours Red Bull, just like Paul Ricard should have favoured Mercedes, even if the results on the track told us another story. We are faced with a very hard-fought season where very little is really needed to overturn the result.

Once again the challenge at the lead will be between the seven times British champion and the Dutchman, while the number two drivers will be able to play for third place on the podium, as well as playing a decisive role in the fight for the constructors’ ladder.

Naturally this also applies for the teams behind them. To date Pierre Gasly deserves the highest marks for the season he has raced but the team is not supported by its number two driver as happens amongst its direct rivals from Aston Martin to Alpine. If Yuki Tsunoda does not reset himself accompanied by a dose of humility it will be very hard for Alpha Tauri to keep fifth place. It needs the contribution of both drivers to reach its objectives for the season.

After the double zero points the people in Ferrari must try to react so as not to worsen the gap from McLaren. They could defend themselves in qualifying while on race pace the gap widens.

Gian Carlo Minardi

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

F1 | GP BAHRAIN, THE POINT BY MINARDI “MOTORSPORT IS DANGEROUS. NEVER LET THE GUARD DOWN AND FIA MUST INVESTIGATE THE EXPLOSION”

Motorsport is dangerous” We must never forget this.

We have undoubtedly seen first hand the gigantic steps that have been taken on the safety front and today we must say thank you for the Halo and the Hans, as well as all the rescuers. It is important to continue to work on this road without lowering the guard.

We had not seen such a frightening accident in decades and luckily everything went well. Grosjean was skilful and reactive managing to get out of that ball of fire in 20” but FIA must absolutely investigate the causes that set off the fire.

The grand prix was, to say the least, eventful, seasoned by the collision between Stroll and Kvyat after the restart and ended with the Canadian overturning but without any harm to the driver. For Racing Point it was surely an unlucky Sunday considering Perez’s retirement a few kilometres from the chequered flag due to the failure of the Mercedes power-unit.

It was a body blow for them considering the possibility of taking third place in the constructors’ ladder vanish and it is now firmly in the hands of McLaren thanks to today’s fourth and fifth places by Norris and Sainz.

It is a real shame, as well as absurd, that a driver fighting for fourth place in the world championship (Perez is fifth behind Ricciardo) will not be on the grid next year.

It was a grand prix based on the tyre strategy with many stops which rewarded Lewis Hamilton (95th win) ahead of the two Red Bulls of Verstappen and Albon who returned to the podium. In Red Bull they are deciding about Albon’s fate and it will not be an easy decision since at this time it would be useless to break the balance inside the team. Verstappen is the first driver and needs a right hand man who brings the highest number of points to the team.

With today’s performance Ferrari definitively raised the white flag for taking new positions on the constructors’ ladder. Leclerc’s tenth place (1 point), the result of Perez’s retirement, is really too little. Next weekend we will see the second step in Bahrain (the penultimate round) but on a new configuration for the world championship which can be compared to an oval with a lap time that could be lower than a minute. This situation is even more unfavourable for the SF1000.

Gian Carlo Minardi

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 | RUMORS MERCEDES. MINARDI “KALLENIUS READY TO BUT WOLFF’S SHARES ONCE AGAIN”

In a Formula 1 that is only apparently still, there is a lot of movement behind the curtains and not only on the drivers’ market front which in recent weeks brought Carlos Sainz Jr. to Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc and with Daniel Ricciardo who “waved goodbye” to Renault to set up home in McLaren alongside Lando Norris.

At the moment the future of four times world champion Sebastian Vettel is very uncertain, just like the permanence of some teams in the Circus.

In recent days we reported some rumours from overseas concerning the future of two contractors: Renault and Mercedes with the reigning world champions that could remain in F1 only as a supplier of engines, starting in 2022.

Reinforcing this theory are new rumours from Germany that Toto Wolff will no longer be present in all the races starting from this season, as Gian Carlo Minardi explains.

We are facing an unhappy panorama, certainly complicated by the very long lockdown, which Liberty Media have to try to remedy. There are increasing insistent rumours from Germany concerning the commitment of Mercedes limited only to the supply of the Power-Unit starting from the 2022 season,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi.

“The current Mercedes President, Ola Kallenius, who has already shown he has very strong power also on the fate of the team and seems to be buying back the shares of Toto Wolff’s who owns 30% of the Mercedes team” continued the manager from Faenza, “The current Team Principal and Mercedes-AMG Petronas CEO will not be present at all the races, as we were used to seeing up to today”

This situation is not easy for Liberty Media which will also have to deal with other teams in great difficulty, such as McLaren (forced to lay off many people) and Williams.

MINARDI M194 | MICHELE ALBORETO CAME TO FAENZA AND REACHING 150 GP

The 1994 season began with the new corporate structure with the entry of the new group of partners led by Lucchini
On the drivers’ front Minardi-Scuderia Italia placed its trust in the very fast and skilled Pierluigi Martini and Michele Alboreto who with the M193B took sixth and fifth places in Monte Carlo and Spain before debuting the new car, the M194, which was presented on the occasion of the Canadian Grand Prix, the sixth round of the world championship.

Equipped with the 3500 cc FORD HB V8 engine, the car was a development of the M193 and had aerodynamic modifications as a result of the new technical regulations adopted after the accidents in Imola and Monte Carlo, some of which were the skid block, the reduction in the size of the diffusers and the flow deviators on the front wing.

Despite the introduction of the new regulation in mid-season which penalized the team from Faenza on the economic front, in Hungary the electro-hydraulic gearbox was tested by Alboreto and from Spa-Francorchamps was fitted in Martini’s car as well.

The M194’s first mark did not take long to arrive: on July 3 at Magny-Cours Pierluigi Martini was once again in the points with fifth place behind Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Sauber after having started from 16th place.

During the 16 GPs Minardi took another seven positive results in the Top 10 (in that period the points were attributed only to the first 6 finishers): 8th place in the first grand prix in Brazil, 9th in Canada, 10th in Silverstone, 7th in Hungary and 8th, 9th places in the selective and fast Spa-Francorchamps with which on August 28 Martini and Alboreto celebrated the Minardi Teams 150 GPs and 9th place in Adelaide.

From the penultimate round, the Japanese Grand Prix, the engine hood was introduced.

The tenth season in F1 finished with another 5 points and 10th place in the Constructors’ ladder with 14 teams registered.

 

 

F1 in the time of COVID-19 | Silverstone tries to double MINARDI “ I can’t see the change of direction as feasible”

Fernando Alonso(ESP) European Minardi PS01 – British Grand Prix, Silverstone 15 July 2001 – DIGITAL IMAGE

The world of Motorsport, and not only, is in an uproar and we read almost every day new proposals to try to save what can be saved. The Formula 1 Circus does not absolutely seem to want to take into examination the idea of cancelling the 2020 season. With the Canadian Grand Prix we have reached seven rounds that must be rescheduled but now we are coming to important hours for France and the months available continue to shrink. China and Monte Carlo have already cancelled their events for the season.

The most recent idea to try and save the season comes from Stuart Pringle, the manager of the Silverstone circuit which, according to the calendar, should (the conditional is compulsory) host the world championship during the weekend of July 19th.

“It will be very difficult to carry out this solution as firstly the aspect of safety must be considered. The escape routes must be designed according to the direction of the travel of track, which will be followed by the issue of the homologation of the circuit and on a historic track such as Silverstone any such change of direction is not so fast,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi interviewed by www.Minardi.it

“A few years ago the Adria circuit had taken into consideration the creation of a private championship alternating races from one direction to another. What stopped the project was the safety factor tied to the positioning of the escape routes and obtaining the double homologation of the system. For this very reason I do not consider the idea proposed by Silverstone to be feasible,” concluded Minardi.

F1 | Gp Australia, MINARDI “Thursday, the first challenge”

CWell here we are, between controversies and unknown factors all the teams got to Australia, the stage for the first round of a long and demanding season, even with the unknown factor of “COVID 19” .

Despite the closing of the Albert Park Hotel near the track and the staff placed in quarantine after having recorded its first positive case to Covid-19 the weekend of racing is still confirmed even if the Premier of the State of Victoria admits that all could change in an instant.
Teams and drivers arrived in Melbourne after only six days of testing, not enough to define the forces in the field but enough to fuel various controversies.

The first race of the season will be run on Thursday with the Federation called in with the first most complex and in-depth verification of the regularity of all the cars. Any disputes could start from there.

Under the magnifying glass there are the World Champion Mercedes, with Red Bull that could be asked, under the regulations, for an explanation of the grip of the rear bracket that last year FIA had retained regular but also Racing Point, the well built “clone” of the 2019 Mercedes that surprised at Barcelona.

The verifications will also be the testing ground for knowing if there has been an end to the secret agreement between the Federation and Ferrari which the seven teams without Ferrari engines did not like with Red Bull’s Marko using tough regarding on FIA.

Controversies aside, Melbourne will be the opportunity to tidy things up and to understand the real forces in the field. At Barcelona we witnessed a very interesting compaction of the field with all the cars enclosed in a gap of barely 1’15”. And if this is so we expect a great tussle. Mercedes is still the team to beat, even if reliability is an unknown factor. We will see what will be the response of RP’s Perez and Stroll.

We expect a weekend full of uncertainties, including on the weather front with some rain expected in Friday but a sunny Sunday. The only certainty is with the tyres, the same as last season, with the teams that have practically confirmed their 2019 strategies. Ferrari and Red Bull have opted for 9 sets of the C4 Softs, like last season and with Mercedes which will have 10 available, one more than to 2019.

It is a track of traction and braking with little grip since it is a purely street asphalt which could easily see the entry of the safety car.

In brief, there are all the premises for experiencing and enjoyable weekend full of developments. Qualifying will start at 7.00am and the Grand Prix at 6.10am (Italian time live on Sky Sport F1 HD).

Gian Carlo Minardi