F1 | GP MONTE CARLO, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “ALWAYS AND ONLY MAX. MINI AND FORNAROLI TAKE ITALY TO THE TOP”

Gabriele Minì’s win in the Formula 3 feature race (with pole position and fastest lap) and Leonardo Fornaroli’s second place in the sprint race are the most beautiful image for Italy in this weekend in the Principality of Monte Carlo. These two boys can make us hope for a brighter future, and to them must also naturally be added Andrea Kimi Antonelli who is currently a protagonist in Formula Regional.

On the Formula 1 front, Max Verstappen showed all his talent in Monte Carlo, outclassing Sergio Perez, protagonist of a rookie’s mistake in qualifying. Precisely in qualifying Verstappen made himself the protagonist of an extraordinary lap in which he snatched away pole position from Fernando Alonso. In turn, the Spanish driver demolished Lance Stroll.

One more Monte Carlo exalted the champions. Luckily the rain came to save us from a pedestrian race, giving us some excitement, as well as making the boys take out their “grip”. Nando took home his fifth podium in six races. Too bad about the team’s mistake mounting the dries despite the driver’s indications to use the wets. This probably would not have changed the result but we would have witnessed a tussle with the Dutchman, also in virtue of the minor close encounters with the guard rail.

It was also an excellent performance in both qualifying and the race by Esteban Ocon and Alpine closed the weekend with third and seventh place to its credit. As promised, Mercedes came to the track with many innovations, “giving itself” fourth and fifth place, as well as the best lap with Lewis Hamilton.

In the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona we will be able to analyse better these innovations because in Monte Carlo the drivers make the main difference.

It was a pity for Yuki Tsunoda. After his wonderful gesture in Faenza (helping the population to shovel away the mud), he would have deserved the satisfaction of reaching the points zone. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by a brake problem strongly caused by the streets of Monte Carlo. As we would have expected, with the arrival of Europe   and better-known tracks, even the rookies put themselves on show in both qualifying and the race. Oscar Piastri took his first point thanks to tenth place behind teammate Norris, while De Vries finished in twelfth place. Only Sergent was not able to confirm Saturday’s good work.

Now for Ferrari. They came to the track with some modifications, postponing the important package to the weekend in Spain. This time even qualifying was not exciting and a series of mistakes was made by the team and by the drivers which requires an in-depth analysis, as well excessive wear of the tyres. As we know, major technical changes will be introduced in Barcelona: in the hope that it will contribute to a Major step forward because sixth and seventh place is really too little.

Gian Carlo Minardi

 

F1 | MONTE CARLO GP, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR LECLERC AND ALONSO. IF YOU CAN DONATE FOR THE EMILIA ROMAGNA REGION”

I look forward to the Monte Carlo weekend with pleasure to find a bit of normality after the events that strongly affected the territories of the Emilia-Romagna Region. A week after the disaster, the emergency is unfortunately not over yet and we at the Imola Circuit are trying to re-establish a touch of normality, as well as having given our contribution to the population by making the square available to house the water pumps coming from France, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Pumps which are already in operation with the capacity to extract thousands of litres of water every hour.

Amongst other things, the Local Council of Faenza, like the regional government, has decided to set up a fund raiser to support the people and the communities affected, thanks to the generosity of those who want to take part in this initiative.

On the ticket front, I also put my trust in the passion and the strength of our supporters who could reconfirm for the 2024 event. An effort by each one of them would be transformed into a big assist for the motor sport community.

In any case, the world must carry on and we have come to the weekend of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship after the cancellation of Imola. There is surely a lot of expectation both because Mercedes has brought many new developments (see suspensions and new barge boards) and for the ban on using the tyre warmers with the full wet tyres. This very experiment would have begun from Imola.

Unlike Toto Wolff’s men, Ferrari ‘s people decided to wager mainly on reliability, delaying the introduction of the new developments to Spain. We are faced with an anomalous GP in which qualifying traditionally plays a priority role. Up to now qualifying has not been a weak point for the “reds” and it could take advantage of this occasion.

The same also applies to Fernando Alonso. If he is supported adequately by the car the GP will be favourable for him. I heard the news of the Aston Martin – Honda agreement with pleasure. This is synonymous with continuity and growth. Those who enter (or come back to) the Circus to compare themselves with others is always welcome. This agreement can transform itself into a further technical leap for Aston Martin, a team in strong growth as it demonstrated in this first part of the season. Alonso-Honda? The agreement is for 2026 but, as much as I wish the best for “Nado”, it will be hard for me to see him still in the Circus for that date.

The race on the streets of Monte Carlo has been anticipated by the latest Hamilton – Ferrari “rumour”. The seven times world champion has been cornered with a downward economic agreement. I honestly think this is hard and I believe it is all talk. At the present time Ferrari has major difficulties on the car front and it would make no sense to lose a fast driver like Leclerc (even if not absent from mistakes) in favour of a driver, even if a 7 times world champion, of a certain age who at this moment has the wages of Russell. On the other hand, I do not see why Leclerc would move to Mercedes, even if with some problems to resolve, and alongside the British driver.

I would leave everything as it is and concentrate the efforts on the car.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | IMOLA, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “FORMULA IMOLA’S TEAM WAS IMPECCABLE”

As we know, due to the continuation of the weather emergency and the flood that hit the Emilia-Romagna region the “Qatar Airways: Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix” scheduled for May 19-21 was cancelled.

Albeit with a heavy heart, it was an absolutely correct decision in full respect to the tragedy which struck all the population of the Emilia-Romagna region with repercussions also on the Marche region,” was the analysis of Gian Carlo Minardi when we contacted him by telephone while he was at Imola’s Circuit waiting for the meeting to verify the damages suffered.

Excellent work had been done over the last seven months and the Formula Imola team, to which I extend public congratulations, was impeccable. Even the evacuation plan drawn up in the previous months worked perfectly despite an apocalyptic scenario that was not conceivable..

On Thursday morning the paddock had already been cleaned and secured. Unfortunately, the situation surrounding the Circuit was, and still is, disastrous, completely under water and mud. All the security forces-doctors, paramedics, firemen and carabinieri- are involved 100% in rescuing people and it was unthinkable to take this human capital away to dedicate them to the Grand Prix.

“Today (Friday 19 May) we will start to count the damages that the Circuit suffered, even if they should luckily be very limited. As we have already announced yesterday, the mechanism for the refund of the tickets bought has already been activated via the TicketOne platform. As an alternative, people can convert tickets with tickets for the 2024 event,” continued the President of Formula Imola.

Given the current emergency in the region, the methods and times of refund will be announced with a subsequent notification which will be sent via email in the next few days by ACI Sport, a branch of the Automobile Club d’Italia, through the provider of the official ticket seller, TicketONe.it. Even Trenitalia through its portal has advised that it will be possible to request refund of the full ticket.

“Now we only have to roll up our sleeves and rebuild to start e programme for the future,” concluded Gian Carlo Minardi.

F1 | GP IMOLA, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “IMOLA READY TODAY 170,000 TICKETS SOLD” EVERYBODY CHASING AFTER VERSTAPPEN, WITH A SPECIAL EYE ON THE ROOKIES

We are at the gates of the Qatar Airways Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix , the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship and the first round in Europe.
Up to now Red Bull has been the master: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have taken six doubles. Only Lewis Hamilton, at the Melbourne Grand Prix, managed to interrupt the streak by putting his Mercedes behind the reigning world champion and ahead of Fernando Alonso with Perez only fifth across the finish line.

One week before the GP we contacted Gian Carlo Minardi, President of Formula Imola, to understand what to expect at Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit: “Imola is not only the first round in Europe but it will also be the stage for the new system of qualifying which will see all the drivers race with the same compounds in the three sessions: Hard in Q1, Medium in Q2 and Soft in Q3. I don’t know exactly what to expect but it will be interesting to analyse this new development.

“On the race front Red Bull absolutely presents itself as the favourite but most of the teams – Mercedes and Ferrari first of all – will bring new innovations onto the track to try to reduce the gap and try to put some pressure on Verstappen and Perez. Also keep an eye out for Fernando Alonso, who comes from four podium finishes in five GPs

“In the circuit we are finalising the work to welcome the fans better. Compared to the last edition we have made many changes, starting with the new stands bringing the capacity to 89,000 places (compared to the 73,000 of 2022). We have already sold more than 170,000 tickets for the three days (30,000 more than 2022). There are still 10,00 tickets available for the Sunday and a few places for Friday which is traditionally the calmest day under this respect,” said Minardi, “We plan to grow even more also thanks to the opening of three on site sales points where it will be possible to buy tickets on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We have also worked hard on the logistics front increasing the parking spaces. Furthermore, thanks to the agreement with Trenitalia it will be possible to reach Imola with the Frecciarossa, Intercity, Eurocity and regional trains and then walking the 1,200 metres through the historic city centre which separate the station from the circuit. There will be no shortage of entertainment off the track thanks to a rich Fan-zone which will be accessible with any kind of ticket.

The weekend’s intense programme will also see Formula 3, Formula 2 and the Porsche Cup on the track, “Also to be followed are the training championships which are part of FIA’s pyramid to reach F1. This is an opportunity to get to know and support the possible champions of the future. After the first two rounds in Formula 3 Gabriele Mini occupies fourth place and Leonardo Formaroli ninth place”.

In these weeks the news that Daniel Ricciardo is ready to replace Nyck de Vries after having his seat made at Alpha Tauri has been causing quite a stir. “Ricciardo is the third driver of both Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. Therefore, the seat had already been ready for some time. Unfortunately, Red Bull, and in particular Dr Helmut Marko, are known for pillorying young drivers even before giving them the opportunity to express their potential to the fullest.

“We are coming from a series of new circuits for the rookies. In Miami the drivers had only one session of free practice available before entering the heart of the weekend. I am certain that Nyck de Vries, just like Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri, hasn’t forgotten how to drive a car. With the arrival of Europe and on tracks that they know they will all have the chance to show their worth and the Imola round will be interesting from this point of view. For me Piastri is a pretender to becoming a major name in the next Formula 1,” concluded Minardi.

F1 | GP MIAMI, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “ONLY ONE MAN IN COMMAND”

Max Verstappen and Red Bull also took out the Miami Grand Prix, the fifth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Starting from ninth place the Dutchman made himself the protagonist of a long run of 46 laps before his pit-stop and also taking out the fastest lap of the race, snatching it from Sergio Perez. Once he mounted the “yellow” tyres he immediately set about chasing his teammate taking out not only the win but also the extra point for the fastest lap.

It was an unconditional one-way domination. Verstappen showed that he is one with his car and all the team. Starting from pole position, accompanied with a pinch of luck, Perez was unable to counter the strength of the world champion.

Back on the podium was an excellent Fernando Alonso (the fourth in five races,) consolidating Aston Martin as the second force of the World Championship despite Lance Stroll going missing.

On the Ferrari front, right now the drivers must drive beyond the limits of the car to try and keep up with the rivals. The two mistakes made by Charles Leclerc are synonymous with the difficult moment. As happens in football, it is proper to support the team when it wins and fights for an important objective, but it is just as important to make the support heard also in the less happy moments when no titles are at stake.

In Imola, just like Mercedes, they will bring many new developments with the hope that this could be the start of the comeback. Leclerc will also want to make people forget the mistake he made precisely a year ago in Imola.

It was a discrete performance by Mercedes that took out fourth place with George Russell and sixth place with Lewis Hamilton who got the better of the driver from Monte Carlo at the end.

One final thought, Leclerc’s mistake in qualifying was sacrosanct but when much is said about safety and then we go racing on a circuit with completely paved escape routes (instead of sand or gravel) which did not help to slow down the cars before hitting with the barriers.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Imola in two weeks got the sixth round of the World Championship to support Ferrari and your favourites.

Gian Carlo Minardi

GIAN CARLO MINARDI CALLS ALL THE FANS TO IMOLA “WE’RE READY. A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AWAITS US”

If, on the one hand the Azerbaijan GP gave us the usual unstoppable Red Bull which set the third double of the season (in the first four rounds), on the other hand Ferrari set its seal on the double pole position and on the two podiums with Charles Leclerc interrupting the positive streak of Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin (always on the podium since the start of the season).

I was left positively impressed by the two times set by Leclerc in the final part of the GP with the fuel tank full and hard tyres. The driver from Monte Carlo lapped in the same times as Verstappen and Perez staying in the tussle for the fastest lap, together with Nando (which then went to George Russell after the pit-stop). It was exciting. A positive sign, above all connected to the wear of the tyres, one of the SF-23’s Achille’s heels,” commented the President of Formula Imola, Gian Carlo Minardi.

Leclerc crossed the finish line little more than 21 seconds from the winner Perez, paying a gap of 44 tenths of a second per lap. “A major step forward compared to the 7-8 tenths of a second at the start of the season. Ferrari managed to make the most of the month without races to make its car grow, also because now demanding tour-de-force awaits them with 5 GPs in six weeks”.

After Miami the world championship will come to Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit for the Qatar Airways Gran Prix of the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna from May 19 to 21.At Imola I expect even smaller gaps. Ferrari and Aston Martin could start to interfere in Red Bull’s schedule. Amongst other things it will be the setting for a new form of qualifying: the drivers will face Q1 with the hard compound, Q2 with the medium and Q3 the soft. An unknown factor to keep us entertained and a major reason to support Ferrari. Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and all our favourites. I hope to see many fans also on the Friday and Saturday when there will also be support races”.

The President of Formula Imola called all the enthusiasts and fans together to experience the first European round with many new features, and an intense racing programme between Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3 e Porsche SupercupIf the teams have taken advantage of this month long gap to develop their racing cars, we have worked to make the Circuit as accessible and comfortable as possible. In order to satisfy the needs of the fans we have set up another six grandstands and other new developments will be announced soon. Furthermore, the weekend’s programme will be full of races, with many Italians already protagonists. Above all in Formula 3” Tickets are on sale on the Circuit’s website.

F1 | GP AZERBAIJAN, THE POINT B Y GIAN CARLO MINARDI “NOT AN EXCITING FORMAT. FERARRI IS GROWING”

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23.
30.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku Street Circuit, Azerbaijan, Race Day.
Рwww.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

Formula 1 has switched on the engines one more after a break of almost a month with a new format for the weekend made up of two qualifying sessions and just as many races.

I honestly find it hard to understand this format. After only an hour of free practice the cars ended up in the parc fermé without the possibility of making changes, except with a penalty. It is a very demanding format, especially when run on a street circuit such as Baku where it takes little to compromise the whole weekend or to force the team to make a superhuman effort. With this setting this format did not excite me and it must certainly be revised.

On the grand prix front, it was an exciting race, especially the final laps with Perez, Verstappen, Leclerc and Alonso giving life to a succession of fast laps. In the end George Russell took it out with the help of a final pitstop and the red tyres.

Beyond this, we saw a crazy Red Bull. Both Perez and Verstappen were incredible with a series of fast laps. In the end the Mexican got the upper hand, confirming his excellent feeling with the city tracks.

However, the month-long break was good for Ferrari. Without having made major changes- visually speaking- it has grown, above all in the management of the tyres, as we saw at the end with a low fuel load and with hard compounds, the great weak spot. Leclerc managed to keep pace with Red Bull, while staying in the tussle for the extra point for the fastest lap. This is certainly a positive aspect. We are still talking of three tenths of a second per lap in favour of Red Bull but it is a good step forward compared to the recent rounds. Fernando Alonso showed he is the same fighter, even if for the first time since the start of the season he failed to make the podium.

With the first European race in Imola (May 19-21), I expect even smaller gaps and, Ferrari and Aston Martin, could begin to interfere with Red Bull’s schedule. Amongst other things, it will be the stage of another change of regulations seeing that in qualifying the drivers will face Q1 with the hard compounds, Q2 with the mediums and Q3 with the softs. We hope that this experiment will entertain us. I am sure that we will follow the first European grand prix with a lot of motivation and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Imola Circuit.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP AUSTRALIA, THE POINT BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI “I AM DISGUSTED”

 

They want to make Formula 1 a show but in Melbourne they really hit rock bottom. From the yellow flag we went from the first (of three) read flag following Albon’s accident passing quickly through the virtual safety car and safety car. The peak was reached two laps from the end after Magnussen’s Hass went off the track when the race director Wittich had the red flag waved again choosing for a new restart from which came the third red flag for the collision between the two Alpines which eliminated each other.

In the lead Carlos Sainz caused Fernando Alonso’s spin taking third place. For this move the Spaniard will be penalized 5” despite the direction opting to start the race again, cancelling the previous restart. Alonso returned to the grid taking his position (third place with Sainz fourth) as did the others, except for Gasly and Ocon. The race restarted at the end of the two hours of the race with the last lap under the safety car.

It was really too much. There continue to be rules that are not clear and completely different interpretations from grand prix to grand prix. It is time to say enough and impose clarity. The race director was not free of mistakes, in my opinion distorting the order of arrival of the grand prix that has significance on world championship. The most damaged in this situation are certainly the two Alpine drivers who could appeal.
Ferrari could also appeal Sainz’s penalty., instead I saw Vasseur resigned. The Spaniard made a mistake in the in the collision with Alonso but the penalty was senseless because the subsequent restart did not take into account the new order.

Every decision is justified under the word “safety” but today, with these decisions, the drivers were once again put in even more danger. They could have easily used the SC and the VSC as always, without making all these pantomimes. The same experts have groped around in the dark giving personal interpretations.

The race direction was the real protagonist of this grand prix, stealing the stage from the drivers. Clear decisions with non-subjective decisions are needed.

Coming to the race, we witnessed good overtaking. Verstappen and Red Bull’s supremacy is impressive, even of we did not discover this today.

A step forward by Mercedes, even if the problem on Russell’s car is certainly an alarm bell on reliability, also because they are substituting a lot of components on the client cars. They are bringing forward intense work to go to Baku and Imola with many new developments. They have certainly not given up.

There were small step forwards by Ferrari. It was a good race by Carlos Sainz, even if lap times were distant, not only from red Bull but also Aston Martin paying a gap of 3 tenths of a second between the fastest lap and Fernando Alonso’s time. This weekend there were also mistakes in qualifying and starting in certain positions on this type of track is extremely risky as Leclerc’s retirement showed.

The third consecutive podium for Fernando Alonso which consolidates his third place on the ladder but above all for Aston Martin as the second force behind Red Bull.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1| GP AUSTRALIA, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “RED BULL AN INCREDIBLE CAR. I HAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT IT SIMULATES ACTIVE SUSPENSIONS”

We are just a few hours from the first free practice which will initiate the third round of the Formula 1 World Championship on the Melbourne track in Australia.

It does not need to be said that the hunt will open for the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. They are getting ready to experience a calm season, relegating all their rivals to a secondary role. In the first two rounds they gave proof of an imposing strength to which it will not be easy to find a solution. Their calm and security also show through in the fact that the drivers do not obey the orders received. Ferrari and Mercedes have already stated that starting from Imola they will bring a car with many new developments. It has to be seen if this is enough.

The engineers led by Newey have found something incredible that makes the RB19 perform on all the sectors of the track, as well as making the tyres work very well. I am not a technician but watching it race it can be seen that at some points the rear is very low and in others decidedly higher. They give the impression of having found an infallible technical solution that recalls active suspensions. No other car, up till now, manages to replicate this.

If there is a certain equilibrium in qualifying – we have seen that the grid enclosed within a gap of barely 1”8 – the gap increases enormously in the race. Compared to last season’s cars Red Bull managed to improve by about 7-8 tenths of a second almost nullifying the efforts of the other teams. In a situation such as this it is not surprising to see McLaren still on zero points because it really takes very little to stay out of the points.

And in these hours, with a note released in Melbourne, the Federation has decided to ban the celebrations of the teams on the wall for safety reasons. But that is another story…

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | FORMULA 1 MOVING TOWARDS A BAN OF THE TYRE WARMERS. GIAN CARLO MINARDI “PIRELLI IS ALREADY AT WORK. THE DRIVERS DO NOT WANT TO LOSE THE BENEFITS”

 

Another thorny question (together with the ban of free practice envisioned by Stefano Domenicali) taking centre stage in the paddock of the Formula World Championship is the ban – beginning in 2024 – of the tyre warmers. The project will be put to the vote which will be held after this year’s British Grand Prix which will see the teams, FIA and FOM involved.

“Currently the tyre warmers can be used for a maximum of two hours at a temperature of 70°. With the ban the approach to qualifying and the race and the pit stop strategy will need to be reviewed since the times will be longer for reaching optimal performance,” was the analysis by Gian Carlo Minardi.

“Two distinct evaluations must be made: on the one hand it is up to Pirelli to find a solution to bring the tyres up to temperature more quickly. In reality it is already working in this direction since from this year’s Imola Grand Prix the rain compounds will not be able to be warmed with the help of the tyre warmers. The road is already open.

“However, we must not forget that the tyre warmers are banned in all the formulas below F1. So this proposal is not so scandalous. In my adventure in the world championship, I myself experienced the two eras, with and without tyre warmers. As always, it is only a question of adaptation.”

Many drivers, starting with Lewis Hamilton, have put the emphasis on the factor of safety. “For years people have been talking about banning them, but the drivers have always been opposed to it. This generation of drivers and they involve the subject of safety for leverage, in order to keep them. They do not want to lose the benefit”.

F1 | Stefano Domenicali is against free practice. The comment by Gian Carlo Minardi

Holding court these days – and causing not a little discussion – were the declarations by Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of the Formula One Group, who envisioned a Formula 1 without the sessions dedicated to free practice, not of great interest for the public. All to the benefit of a greater spectacle.

On the occasion of the presentation of the Australian Grand Prix, the third round of the Formula 1 World Championship we asked Gian Carlo Minardi for his opinion.

Right now the regulations need to be reviewed, also to avoid unpleasant situations such as happened two weeks ago in Saudi Arabia. If we talk about formats, I am convinced that the entire programme could be focussed on the days of Saturday and Sunday. The Friday could be left at the disposition of the fans and the much acclaimed show. Domenicali is right: the public wants to see the action and currently Friday is more “tired” also on the ticket sale front. Because of the high cost of the tickets people do not want to or cannot lose a day of work for Formula 1 and so they can concentrate the efforts on the other two days”.

What could be the recipe? “Friday can be dedicated to visiting the pits and meeting the drivers. Purely for entertainment and with the engines off. And then Saturday and Sunday everyone on the track with a succession of free practice, qualifying and race

F1| GP BAHRAIN, THE POINT BY MINARDI “RED BULL IS A SPACESHIP, ALONSO PHENOMENAL”

 

The spectacle was not lacking throughout the weekend, starting from free practice 3 with all the drivers within barely a second and a half. In Q3 the first ten were separated by just eight tenths of a second.

We noticed this compaction during the three days of testing and this was confirmed on Saturday, while the race gave us an absolutely incredible and uncatchable Red Bull that relegated the first of the rivals – Alonso in the Aston Martin – to more than 38 seconds that rose to 48 when compared to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.

At the moment there is nothing for anybody. Despite already having a practically perfect car, Herman’s men managed to improve the vehicle by almost a second. The growth of the Aston Martin that went onto the podium with a great Fernando Alonso was also incredible.

Despite his 42 years of age – which are only a statistic – Nando made himself a protagonist with two incredible over takings against Russell and above all Hamilton. Despite an attacking race he got out of the car as fresh as Verstappen who managed the race from start to finish. A phenomenon was confirmed, and phenomena always have something more. At the present time his years do not show and he does not feel them. This is certainly a positive note for all of Formula 1. It unites three generations of drivers and creates good suspense. Watching him drive was fantastic.

Stroll’s great feat in racing in impaired physical conditions is also to be highlighted. He carried out an incredible tour de force and thanks to the sixth place Aston Martin is the second force of the constructors’ world championship.

On the Ferrari front, the signs that were expected did not come, quite the contrary. In addition to having gained little compared to last year on its direct rivals, it must face up to a not insignificant reliability problem. Without reliability it becomes hard to concentrate in the development of the car, which also wears out the tyres, but we are only at the first race and they need to stay calm.

As I said before, there has been a good compaction in the group and I am pleased to see Williams already taking a top ten place and the first point of the season for Albon. They are still in difficulty in qualifying but it defended itself in the race. They came from several difficult seasons but this is a point of encouragement and confidence.

Gian Carlo Minardi

F1 | GP BAHRAIN, MINARDI “ASTON MARTIN THE POSSIBLE START OF SEASON SURPRISE”

The longest Formula 1 season is about to begin but with only three days of testing behind us. This would already be an anomaly for any sporting event and is a real sporting and technical contradiction about which we can only take note.

Practically 24 hours of testing to prepare for a season made up of 23 grands prix to which we must add 6 sprint races.

As usual interpreting the results of those three days is not at all easy, especially sitting in front of the TV as we lack a lot of information. Starting with the fuel load.

We are certainly faced with a Red Bull that restarts from where it ended the season, in front of everybody in any condition. Even Sergio Perez with the C5s (that Pirelli did not bring for the race on the weekend) beat last season’s pole position. The car designed in Milton Keyes remains the point of reference and it is already frightening. Its margin of advantage over the distance of a grand prix could once again be between 20 and 25 seconds.

Behind them we will find Ferrari that gave positive signs in the flying lap, a little less in the long run from which emerged the Aston Martin which could be the world championship’s third force. At least in the first part of the season. In more difficulty are Mercedes (there is already talk of a version B) and McLaren. Above all the MCL60 of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri was not very competitive with any compound, paying important gaps.

Another fact that could have emerged is the positive compaction of the forces in the field of the other teams but we can only wait to follow this first round which will start at 4.00pm Sunday.

Gian Carlo Minardi