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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

Chaos F1, MINARDI “7 teams are attacking but only Red Bull’s consultant speaks”

The Covid-19 crisis is not the only thing destabilizing Formula 1. Less than a week away from the Australian Grand Prix there is still no certainty that it will run smoothly, even if it is now practically sure. In the mean time the decision of the organizers of the Bahrain has come, the GP will be run but behind closed doors.

In recent days however, there has been a rumour that seven teams without Ferrari engines -– Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, Alpha Tauri, Renault, Force India e Williams –have asked the Federation with a joint communiqué for greater clarity on the agreement reached by the FIA with Ferrari on the matter of the power-unit.

According to articles 4 (ii) and 4 (vi) of the disciplinary and juridical regulations FIA has decided to enter into an agreement with Ferrari to end this proceeding (having failed to show any irregularity) and to guarantee its confidentiality. The person raising the tone was Helmut Marko, the right-hand man of Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz, who used heavy words in regards to the Federation.

Gian Carlo MINARDI “I am perplexed because all the teams and motors suppliers not tied to Ferrari have kept their silence and only supporting a joint statement in which they requested greater clarity from the Federation. Only Marko raised his voice using very strong words in regards to Federation which declared that it had taken all the measures necessary to protect the sport and its role and reputation as regulator of the Formula 1 World Championship. Being only a consultant Marko cannot be pursued from the sporting point of view,” underlined  interviewed at the microphones of Minardi.it.

“To me it looks like a staged act. Let’s not forget that we’re in the middle of the renewal of the Concorde Agreement, a period that is historically full of controversy in which all the teams try to achieve the maximum result and the current financial sharing has not met with Mercedes’ approval.”

“In the mean time the World Council has supported Jean Todt’s work in regards to the secret agreement reached with Ferrari (which should have revealed its secrets on all the grey areas of the regulations), warning the seven teams,”

Has “the end” really been written?

F1 | Tests, The analysis by Gian Carlo MINARDI. Red Bull is scary

 

The lights have gone off on the second round of collective tests in Montmelò and it is certainly not easy to make an analysis, even if we ned to start from two fixed points:

– We are at the end of a technical cycle and on from the technical point of view these cars have reached their limit;

– The tyres are the same as last season.

The improvement in terms of timing, in the order of some tenths of a second compared to twelve months ago, are perfectly in line, just as it is much easier to gain half a second(if not a second) between one season and another and another with the inclusion of a new mix. Working only on the aerodynamics and the engine two-three years of development are needed to achieve the same objective.

What caught the eye was the gap of barely a second and a half between the first and the last (1’16”196 by Bottas and 1’17”803 by Albon). Honestly this gap is unrealistic and this must make us think but we will know the real forces at play in Melbourne.

What is scary is Red Bull. I have the impression it is one of the top teams, they have carried out the next major stage of development of the chassis and they had kept themselves hidden. In the latest attempt last Friday Verstappen clearly lifted his foot on T3 and his best time of 1’16”269 (a 71 thousandths from Bottas) could have been much lower.

Mercedes is illegible. They too have kept themselves under cover. Just like the satellite teams they encountered unexpected problems in reliability but they could have deliberately pushed their pieces to the limit to test their resistance.

Ferrari has grown compared to the first three days of tests, with different tests on the tyres even if they do not feel ready to fight for victory in the first part of the season.

Gian Carlo Minardi

Foto © Copyright: Moy / XPB Image

F1 | GIAN CARLO MINARDI “CLONES DISTORT FORMULA 1. FERRARI AND RED BULL MIGHT HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE RP20”

The surprise of the first three days of tests at Montmelò, together with Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering, was surely Racing Point. Both Stroll and Perez set incredible times placing themselves just behind the two Mercedes drivers.

Right from the first photos the incredible resemblance with the world championship Mercedes stood out. There is the strong feeling that Lawrence Stroll’s team, in addition to mounting Brixworth’s power unit and gearbox and using Brackley’s wind tunnel, had taken other aerodynamic solutions already present on the W10, such as the nose cone for example.

“Clones are a problem for Formula 1 since they distort the concept of constructor. Ferrari and Red Bull had already opened the way with the “collaboration” respectively with Haas, nicknamed the “Ferrarina, small Ferrari”, and Toro Rosso, but in the specific case of Mercedes took a decisive step forward by giving Racing Point the world championship car,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi.

“Perez’s and Stroll’s times confirm the generosity of the W10 project, as well as an as yet unexpressed potential. If the times are confirmed in Melbourne Ferrari and Red Bull will pay the consequences. True constructors could find themselves having to fight with a clone, or a client car as they want to call it,” continued the manager from Faenza.

“It is absolutely a road that must not be taken. The step from constructor to assembler is very short,” concluded Minardi.

Wednesday February 26 the Formula 1 teams will return to Barcelona for the last three days of tests before leaving for Australia which will host the first grand prix of the 2020 season (March 15).

MINARDI “DAS IS A DECOY. I WILL EXPLAIN WHY”

The 2020 Formula 1 season started officially with the first three days of tests at Montmelò. Even if it is hard to guess the forces at play there was no lack of surprises and twists.

In particular the three days put into the spotlight two issues, one positive and spectacular – the Mercedes labelled Dual Axis Steering – and one negative dictated by clones that I want to deal with later.

Despite being at the end of a cycle – from 2021 the technical regulations will be turned upside down – Mercedes amazed everyone with a new development that had never been seen before in Motorsport, the innovated steering system named DAS that is already present in some high end production cars. This was unlike what we had been used to with production car technology passed on to Motorsport and not vice versa. This lets us understand how far Mercedes is technologically and I am sorry that BMW did not decide to enter the Circus because it would have the skill to oppose the domination.

Despite being at the end of a cycle – from 2021 the technical regulations will be turned upside down – Mercedes amazed everyone with a new development that had never been seen before in Motorsport, the innovated steering system named DAS that is already present in some high end production cars. This was unlike what we had been used to with production car technology passed on to Motorsport and not vice versa. This lets us understand how far Mercedes is technologically and I am sorry that BMW did not decide to enter the Circus because it would have the skill to oppose the domination.

This is a project that requires a development time of about 7-8 months and carried out in parallel with FIA which has already declared it legal but at the same time bans it from 2021. Once again the International Federation has shown all the limits to its administration and approval of the regulations. Such behaviour puts the credibility of Formula 1 into serious question. I do not want to believe that they will use the excuse of a matter of safety. Otherwise everything in F1 would become dangerous.

I will stop here for now but in the next few days I will talk to you about the matter of “clones”.

Gian Carlo Minardi

Foto © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

F1 | Gian Carlo MINARDI “Sainz confirmed he is a top driver. 2020 a crucial year”

With tenth place in Abu Dhabi Carlos Sainz put together his best season in Formula 1 since he began with the colours of Toro Rosso in 2015, racing the final four rounds with Renault’s colours and staying for next season.

With 96 points to his credit, the podium finish in Brazil in the penultimate round of the world championship and finishing in the points 13 times, McLaren’s Spanish driver took sixth place on the drivers’ ladder behind Sebastian Vettel and in front of Pierre Gasly who for more than half the season had his hands on the Red Bull before handing the steering wheel to Albon, starting from Spa-Francorchamps, and “giving” Toro Rosso second place in Interlagos.

This was great progress by the 26 year old from Madrid who, together with the 20 year old debutant Lando Norris, took McLaren-Renault to fourth place on the constructor’s ladder, just behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull and taking fifth place in the grands prix in Germany, Hungary and Japan as the best results before the incredible third place in Interlagos and the sixth place in Monaco, France, Great Britain and Russia.

We didn’t only just discover Sainz Jr’s technical worth. He is a driver I have always like and the sixth spot on the drivers’ ladder is the confirmation. We are talking about a very fast, correct and modest driver. He is a top driver and will be in the centre of the drivers’ market next season if McLaren does not hurry up and renew him,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi.

2020 will be a crucial year for the drivers’ market since of the top drivers on Leclerc already had a contract signed beyond that date,” continued the manager from Faenza, “We have seen a good championship that gave us a number of interesting pints for the future with the fiery duel between Verstappen and Leclerc. I like Norris a lot and in his debut season he contributed to McLaren’s rebirth with eleven positive results, as did Albon and Gasly who with the second place in Brazil gave a very strong sign.

In the nine rounds raced with Red Bull the Anglo-Thai rookie “paid” a gap of only eleven points from the Dutchman who won the Brazil Grand Prix with a fourth place to his credit, four fifth places, three sixth places and only one finish outside the points, at Interlagos.

Historic Minardi Day 2017 | Many additions in the second edition of the Historic Minardi Day which will double the attraction at the Imola Circuit

On Saturday May 6th and Sunday May 7th Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit will host the second edition of the Historic Minardi Day. The event is dedicated to drivers, fans, collectors and enthusiasts who want to relive the emotions tied to the history of Formula 1 and the Team from Faenza founded by Gian Carlo Minardi.

Eleven years after Michael Schumacher’s last Grand Prix win with Ferrari, the 4,909m of the track beside the Santerno River will host the powerful racing cars of the team from Faenza that from 1985 to 2005 rode the scene of Formula 1, together with other historic vehicles of the World Championship as well as F2, F3 and GT racing. The enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet in the boxes and the paddock (with free entry) the engineers and drivers that lived Formula 1 history (last year 27 drivers were present). There will also be other guests such as Italian rock/pop star, Max Gazzè, an enthusiast and himself a driver who in 2004 drove a Minardi F1 car.

The gates of the Imola Circuit will open at 9.00am and the motors of the historic F1, F2, F3 and GT cars will go on track on Saturday May 6th and will only stop on 6.30pm on Sunday May 7th. After last year’s success the Historic Minardi Day will repeat its formula of opening the boxes and paddock to all the enthusiasts who will be able to touch the cars that made motor sport history, but the weekend will not lack other activities.

Historic Minardi Day – New events for 2017

The Golf Game – On Friday May 5th beginning at 2.00pm at Faenza’s “Le Cicogne” Golf Course drivers that wrote some of the most important pages of Formula 1 History, great sportsmen and VIPs will challenge each other in front of enthusiasts who will have free access into the club to meet their favourites.

Minardi Classic – In collaboration with the Club Romagnolo Auto e Moto d’Epoca (the regional Historic Car Club) – C.R.A.M.E. whose president Bruno Brusa owns a GM75 Minardi, historic road sports cars of the 1950s – 1970s will make a tour that will wind around more than 70 kilometres of the local hills with stops in magnificent medieval towns and cities of Art. The vehicles will then be on display within the circuit paddock area during the rest of the weekend.

Live Music Show – On the evening of May 6th in the Paddock after the motor are turned off for the day the spotlights will come on the Live Music Show which will see on the Minardi Live Stage Dedo & The Megaphones and an exceptional Guest Star, Max Gazzè a friend who is not only a great artist, but also an excellent driver.

A Photographic “competition” will be open to all enthusiasts who take part in the Historic Minardi Day beginning at 9.00am Saturday 6th until noon Sunday 7th.

Any type of photographic device can be used and it will be the task of each fan to post it in the format to be announced. The photos will be judged by a committee headed by famous Formula 1 sport photographer Andrea Orsi. The committee’s decision will be final.

Simulator zone – This year will again see enthusiasts challenge each other at the wheel of simulators located in the Paddock area and so become a driver for a day.

IMOLA FORMULA 1 1963-2006: LA STORIA CONTINUA HISTORY CONTINUES
The “Checco Costa” Museum within the Imola Circuit will host a magnificent display of the history of Formula 1 at Imola. Within its confines will be some of the most beautiful and important racing cars of the Formula 1 World Championship that raced around the circuit which will take fans on a trip through history.

Scuderia Ferrari Clubs – worldwide Ferrari passion will not be lacking within the paddock area of Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit thanks to the participation of the Scuderia Ferrari Clubs.

Street Food – There will be no lack of food trucks offering the flavours of the famous cuisine of the Romagna.

Tickets  – Tickets are available directly at the circuit or can be bought online on TicketOne.it. To live the whole weekend of  Saturday May 6th and Sunday May 7th  as a protagonist of the Historic Minardi Day and also to attend the Saturday evening concert, two day tickets are also available. Access is free on Friday May 5th from 2.00pm until 7.00pm at Faenza’s “Le Cicogne” Golf Club.

Entries are open for laps of the circuit
Registration is now open for laps of the circuit by owners of historic F1, F2 e F3 and GT cars and entry to the Minardi Classic Tour is reserved for classic and vintage road cars. All the information is available on the web site www.minardiday.it

Gian Carlo Minardi “The Historic Minardi Day is ready to grow while keeping its roots firmly planted in the ground. As we saw last year cars, motorsport and enthusiasts will be the heart and soul of the two days at Imola’s Circuit. I am happy to have with us the cars and such prestigious clubs as C.R.A.M.E. which will give further vitality to the Minardi Classic. Last year I had great pleasure seeing the paddock and boxes invaded by young people and families. In addition to doubling the number of days we have enriched the programmes with a number of initiatives amongst which is the Live Music Show, as well as the return of the driving simulators.”