Gianmaria Bruni (ITA) Minardi PS04B.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, 13 August 2004.

Formula 1 has arrived in Hungary for the turning point of the world championship. This weekend will see the start of the second half of the season which promises to be very hot with an open battle between three teams. Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

is a track with a very high downforce, and it is the second shortest track of the world championship after Monte Carlo. Amongst other things, the track is not used much during the year. This is precisely why it will not be easy to choose the tyres, and the performances will change positively from session to session. The track is not very severe for tyre wear. In fact, Pirelli has brought the softest compounds, C3-C4-C5.

In the latest grands prix, the updates introduced by Ferrari did not pay off, unlike Mercedes – which personally is optimizing the developments in the best way possible – and McLaren which has always been at ease on tracks with high downforce. On the Constructors’ ladder, Ferrari has only a 7-point lead over McLaren and 83 over Mercedes, the winner of the last 2 GPs. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to defend itself

Verstappen and Red Bull certainly remain the point of reference and everyone will race to defeat them, which has already happened this year.

An important rival, above all for reliability, will be the high temperatures. Entering the second half of the season possible penalties for changing Power Units and the components will also have to be taken into account. Before the summer break they will go to Spa-Francorchamps (26-28 July), a track that is very tough on the engines, followed by Holland (23-25 August) and Monza (30 August – 1 September), another selective track. And let us not forget the Historic Minardi Day at Imola on the 24th and 25th August

The last few days have also been characterized by the drivers’ market. In particular, Haas has rejuvenated its line-up, betting on the experience of Ocon (born in 1996) and on Oliver Bearman (2005), as well as having extended the collaboration with Ferrari until 2028 for the supply of the Power Units. The team wanted to give an important signal of peace of mind and continuity.

Carlos Sainz remains the needle of the scales of the latest movements, who interests, in particular, Williams, Alpine and Audi. At Monza we will probably have further details.

Gian Carlo Minardi



Silverstone, also thanks to its absolutely unpredictable weather, gave us an exciting grand prix and, together with the great work of the teams, we are about to experience an electrifying second half of the championship.

It was the second win in seven days for Mercedes, but this time won on the field, from George Russell’s pole position to Lewis Hamilton’s win. Both drivers were competitive for the whole weekend monopolizing the front row of the grid. Too bad only for Russell’s retirement, but it was a positive result, and the merit goes to Allison. Like in McLaren whose team principal Andrea Stella must be congratulated, also for his very realistic comments after the race.

Unfortunately, McLaren once again made mistakes that were decisive for the final result, mistakes which were dictated from the inexperience of becoming a winning team once more. Too bad for both Oscar Piastri who was “sacrificed” on the occasion of the pitstop, and for Lando Norris. It was good race on their part, but they could have done more.

Once again Ferrari missed out and had to be satisfied with Carlos Sainz’s fifth place. Just like Mercedes found the crux of the matter, I wish the same for them. May they go back to fighting for the win with Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes to entertain us even more.

Two leading actors like Russell and Leclerc were missing, and Albon and Tsunoda took advantage by completing the points zone behind the two Aston Martins (that returned to the points zone) and an excellent Niko Hulkenberg in the Haas. The fight for the points zone also intensified in the back.

In Red Bull the usual Max Verstappen kept his honour high, while Sergio Perez tripped up on monumental mistakes. Today’s race, which was also the result of a mistake in qualifying, can in no way be judged.

In short, we are witnessing the rehabilitation of Formula 1 and I like this very much. To be applauded, as always, is the competence of the extraordinary English public.

The unpredictability of Silverstone with its highs and lows made us rejoice even more for Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s win on Saturday, his first in Formula 2. A win that came in even more particular and complicated conditions compared to what we saw on Sunday.

He showed us all his worth, reminding me of drivers of times gone by. Hats off to him.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Silverstone, the British Grand Prix, twelfth round. We await a fiery weekend on a track that is not easy. It will also be interesting to follow the grand prix also because of what happened during the final laps between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in Austria.

Silverstone is a tough track for both the drivers and the tyres with the front left particularly stressed in the three very fast bends – Maggots, Becketts and Chapel – where they also reach 5g of lateral force. Pirelli is introducing a new compound, a first step in light of 2025 to withstand more stress.

The car of reference remains Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, even if McLaren is approaching very quickly. In Austria both Verstappen and the team were not exempt from mistakes, and this gave us a heart stopping finish, unfortunately ending with the collision that cost the British driver his retirement.

In the last five rounds, (from Imola to the Red Bull Ring) McLaren has put together 144 points, against the 132 of Mercedes, the 116 of Red Bull (that practically races with only one driver) and Ferrari’s 104.

We go back to the traditional programme, with three sessions of free practice, qualifying and the race. The Teams and drivers must prepare themselves as well as possible for the unknown factor of the weather.

Gian Carlo Minardi


It had been a while since saw such a tight and aggressive Verstappen. In this grand prix we saw the Verstappen of yesteryear. On several occasions I saw him very incorrect, and I noticed a certain condescension in his regards,

In the collision with Norris not only did Verstappen touch him, but once he understood that he had punctured, he deliberately swerved to stop him completely, resulting in Norris’ retirement. He was probably unnerved by this McLaren in top form. Previously, he had already, even if not so blatantly, gone wide under braking to defend himself from the McLaren driver’s attacks. He should have been penalized earlier

It was a pity because we could have seen ten heart stopping laps. It will certainly be a good omen for the continuation of the season and in view of next week’s round at Silverstone in England.

George Russel took advantage of it brilliantly, taking Mercedes to the win. For him and Mercedes it was a positive weekend that legitimized them as the current third force of the world championship.

An unhoped for third place for Ferrari. Very good Sainz, who defended third position behind two cars faster than him. Pity for Leclerc’s first lap in the episode with Oscar Piastri. Definitely a race contact, but the driver from Monte Carlo seemed too optimistic. He can consider himself satisfied with eleventh place, the result of a positive come back, but there is certainly a lot of work to do in Maranello. Beyond what we read in the Constructors’ ladder, the track tells us that they are the fourth force behind Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

It was a fantastic race by the two Haas who said goodbye to Austria with sixth and eighth place – very important points. Profiting from Norris’ retirement were Daniel Ricciardo, an excellent ninth place for the Racing Bulls, and Gasly, tenth with Alpine. They harvested important points which, in normal circumstances, would not have been within their reach.

They will back on the track in a week’s time with the twelfth round at the historic Silverstone circuit.

Gian Carlo Minardi


This weekend the Formula 1 world championship stops at the Spielberg Circuit where the Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled.

We are going to the “home” of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, together with his RB20, is certainly the man to beat, even if he does not seem to have the best car at this time. As Perez’s results show, it is the Dutchman who makes the difference by leading the team.

At this moment McLaren the team most in form seems to be McLaren that continues to grow, even if it is not free from blunders as happened in Barcelona. Behind them we find Mercedes, on the rise, and Ferrari, called upon to give a decisive turn to its season to safeguard second place on the constructors’ ladder.

Amongst the second ranked teams, if, on the one hand we have a growing Alpine, on the other hand, Aston Matin seems to have lost its bearings in the latest rounds.

We come to a very fast track that is run in little more than a minute (in 2023 Verstappen took pole with 1:04.391). With its 4,315m it is the third shortest track behind Monte Carlo and Interlagos, in which there are only 10 bends and 2 straights. It is in the Alps at about 660m above sea level. It is a mix of “important” climbs and descents with a difference of 63.5m between the highest point and the lowest point (second only to Spa-Francorchamps), with gradients of up to 12%.

Tyre wear is not the highest and Pirelli brought its softest compounds C3-C4-C5. Traction coming out of the slow bends will be a major factor, just like stability in braking.

The Red Bull Ring sees the Sprint format back on stage with qualifying after the single session of free practice and the Sprint race on Saturday, followed by qualifying which will decide the starting grid of the Grand Prix scheduled for 3.00pm Sunday. A weekend with a lot of points up for grabs.

Once again qualifying will be an important part of the weekend.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Even without having the best car Max Verstappen won once again. The Dutchman confirmed that he is a jackhammer by covering the many laps with the same pace, outclassing his teammate who crossed the finish line almost a minute later.

Serio Perez constantly ran six tenths of a second per lap slower, like in qualifying. Despite a different strategy, the results did not change. Certainly, the worth of this Red Bull is not that of Perez, but neither is it that of Verstappen who puts a lot of his own into it.

Currently, the ladder clear with Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari the fourth force of the world championship. McLaren paid for its inexperience because, even if they are a strong team they are not yet ready to win because they make mistakes. The team made some important gifts to its direct rivals, in both the pitstops and terms of the strategy. Despite this, Norris finished just 2”2 from the Dutchman.

We have a fiery second half of the season (we have 3 drivers within little more than 30”) ahead of us, characterized by minimal gaps which if, on the one hand they lead to less overtaking and fewer exciting races, on the other hand, we can get excited in qualifying where it takes nothing to lose important positions.

In fact, the Grand Prix was not particularly absorbing, expect for some important overtaking. With great ability Russell managed to gain three positions, taking himself to the lead after the first corner. Just like, the challenge between Norris and Russell won by the McLaren driver.

On the Ferrari front, fifth and sixth place. With Leclerc, the engineers tried to liven things up by changing the starting strategy, with no luck. There is nothing to say about the contact between the two drivers. It was a race contact.

An incredible step forward by Alpine. Undoubtedly there is more order between the drivers who do not lose precious time getting in each other’s way. Qualifying was excellent, with the potential was fulfilled even in the race.

It was the opposite result for the Racing Bull, probably the protagonist of the most disappointing weekend of the season. Despite the updates installed, they were constantly outside the points zone and in difficulty right from qualifying.

They go back onto the track in a week’s time with the Austrian Grand Prix, which will also host the sprint race.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Fernando Alonso(ESP) European Minardi PS01
Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona 26 April 2001

We have come to the tenth round of the calendar, and we are quickly approaching the conclusion of the first half of the world championship. After the Spanish Grand Prix, there will be 14 rounds remaining, practically the number of races that made up the calendars of a few years ago.

Montmelò is a peculiar track, demanding both technically and on the tyre front with Pirelli bringing its hardest compounds, C1-C2-C3. In particular, bends 3, 13 and 14 are very demanding for the lateral G forces. Furthermore, 9 of the 14 are right-handers, so they put more stress on the front left tyre.

We are talking about a track that everyone, drivers and teams, know very well. Normally, the car that goes strongly here also adapts very well to other tracks. Precisely for this reason, this will be a very important test for everyone.

Of course, the duo of reference remains the pairing of Red Bull-Verstappen. The characteristics of the track suit the configuration of their racing car very well, but it will be just as important to observe Ferrari after a difficult weekend in Canada., as well as to verify the confirmation of McLaren, and assessing the progress by Mercedes.

After the disappointment of Montreal, last weekend Ferrari may have been revitalised by the repeat win at the 24 Ore of Le Mans with its 499P Hypercar. A win achieved by having the better over eight manufacturers involved in the premier class. A result that will certainly also give the F1 sector the right stimulus to continue growing.

In the last few days, the Federation has opened the doors to the maximum category also to the deserving seventeen-year-olds. After the entry of Max Verstappen, who has amply demonstrated he deserved the place, the same FIA has set the minimum age to enter F! at 18.

I believe it is more correct to evaluate the results on the track, rather than on age. If the youngster demonstrates the right qualities by conquering on the field, through the selective FIA brand championships, the points for accessing the Super License, it is fair that he has his chance to put himself on show, obviously after having run the minimum number of kilometres at the wheel of an F! car. I have read that this operation may have been made to facilitate the entry of Andrea Kimi Antonelli. Let us not forget that he will come of age in August, so it is not far away. In addition, he has amply demonstrated with facts that he deserves entry to the major category. Before him, the same Russell, Piastri, and Norris (to name but a few) had put themselves on show, also confirming themselves in F!, Let us welcome this change to the regulations.

Gian Carlo Minardi


The ninth round of the F1 world championship was certainly conditioned by the weathers, but Saturday already gave us heart stopping qualifying with Russell and Verstappen who set the same time and Norris third, barely 21 thousandths of a second behind.

The first surprise, negatively, for Ferrari came precisely on Saturday with Leclerc and Sainz eliminated in Q2. A swallow does not certainly a summer make, but in Maranello they must roll up their sleeves to understand what did not work on this weekend. They had problems both technically and in the set up and aerodynamics. All the problems Monte Carlo had hidden reemerged, since that is a completely anomalous track, Ferrari said goodbye to this weekend with nothing in the kitty after the double retirement.

Once again it was Max Verstappen who drags and takes Red Bull to the top with a car that is certainly not the one of 2023. The Dutchman made the difference. A real masterpiece. When he wants, he puts together those five or fast laps that make the difference. Despite the renewal, Perez was struggled all the weekend, which ended with the retirement.

McLaren confirmed it is the team with the best pair of drivers and with an extremely competitive car. Since the start of the season, it has been the most consistent team and currently the second force of the championship. Lando Norris made life not easy for Verstappen. It was a pity only for Piastri. At the end he had to give way to the two Mercedes drivers.  Very good Russell, just like Hamilton who was very correct in regard to his teammate. Since Imola, we have a Mercedes in growth. This is surely a positive sign for the continuation of the season.

Precious points for Aston Martin with the sixth place of Alonso and seventh of Stroll, In the Racing Bulls, Daniel Ricciardo finally brought the team important points, especially also following Tsunoda’s mistake at the end. An error can be made, also considering the hazardous strategy. He was very good, even in the management of the tyres and a mistake can happen.

Valuable points also for Alpine, especially after what happened in Monte Carlo between the two drivers, thanks to the ninth and tenth place by Gasly and Ocon respectively.

They will come back to Europe in two weeks, to Spain for the tenth round.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Jos Verstappen (NED) Minardi Cosworth PS03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, 14 June 2003.

This weekend the Formula 1 world championship stops in Canada for the eighth round on the Montreal track.

This track is decidedly different from Monte Carlo, but one where qualifying will, nevertheless, play a decisive, role. Just like in the Principality,

It is a semi-street circuit, characterized by long straights and major braking with a lot of acceleration where the kerbs could bother some. The race will be open to several scenarios, including the entry of the safety car that was missing two weeks ago, as well as weather conditions that often interfered in the final result.

For this round Pirelli has brought the two softer compounds: C3-C4-C5.

Red Bull will certainly try to recover after the debacle, if we can call it that, of the last two rounds in which some mistakes were made. Fresh from his renewal, Perez could regain the right peace of mind that he lacked in this start of the season. They certainly remain the team of reference.

Immediately behind them we find Ferrari and McLaren, ready to do battle to try and nibble away further points from the leaders of the championship.

The win could be open to three teams. Right now, I see Mercedes a little behind.

Keep an eye on the Racing Bull on a positive streak for several rounds thanks to which it has consolidated sixth position behind Aston Martin that seems to have lost its bearings. Certainly, the team has been dragged along only by an excellent Tsunoda. On the other hand, Ricciardo is not up to the situation.

We approach this round with a lot of curiosity and confidence, especially regarding qualifying.

Gian Carlo Minardi



As previously announced, qualifying was the most exciting and fascinating part of the weekend in Monte Carlo.


One qualifying session was run on the cusp of thousands and hundredths of a second. In Q2 we had 15 cars within little more than nine tenths of a second. Between Norris, first, and Albon ninth, there were barely 484 thousandths of a second, with even the first four (Norris-Verstappen-Piastri-Leclerc) within 93 thousandths.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, together with Oscar Piastri in particular, did an excellent job. The Australian confirmed he is a driver of excellent quality with the right class to make people talk about him in the near future.

Leclerc took Ferrari’s first win of the season, and he did it with a perfect race in his Monaco, perfect from the first to the last of the 78 laps. Perfect also in the two starts, managing to stay in front of an excellent Piastri, second in the McLaren. A good sign in view of Montreal, another track where overtaking is not easy.

After the first catastrophic lap, characterized by three collisions with the consequent red flag, the second start was clean, and all were very good at not making other mistakes, lapping strongly. Certainly, without variables Monte Carlo confirmed it is a Grand Prix with little to tell. Overtaking is practically impossible as was shown by the Russell-Verstappen tussle. These cars are too long and wide for the Principality’s narrow streets, but they gave us exceptional laps, just avoiding the guardrails without making mistakes. This is the beauty of Monte Carlo.

As I said before, the start was conditioned by three very different collisions.  Sergio Perez punctured his left front wheel after a collision with Oscar Piastri, rightly readmitted into the race following the red flag waved before the conclusion of the first lap.

A Red Flag caused by the incredible collision between Kevin Magnussen and the blameless Sergio Perez that also involved Nico Hulkenberg. Once again Magnussen messed it up in a big way. Luckily nobody got hurt.

The third collision, perhaps the most serious because it was between two teammates, saw Ocon and Gasly as the protagonists. As often happens, Esteban Ocon did not hold back, especially when it involves a teammate. He will rightly be penalized next weekend. Luckily for him Gasly managed to go back onto the grid, giving the team a point and tenth place.

For the first time we saw a Red Bull in difficulty, which paid the price with both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Following a very small mistake in qualifying, the Dutchman could not manage to go beyond sixth place on the grid. It is a Red Bull that is suffering, and when you suffer it is easier to make mistakes.

Yuki Tsunoda was also very good, eighth across the finish line and the first of the others, after the giants Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, and Mercedes. Four very important points for both him and the team which consolidates sixth place on the ladder. He has singlehandedly took the team higher by nibbling four points away from Aston Martin.

Just as good was Alexander Albon, ninth across the finish line. He gave Williams their first two points of the season, leaving only Sauber.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Having said goodbye to Imola, it is already time for the next round, Monte Carlo. This is a fascinating and glamourous circuit and completely different from all the others present in the calendar, one in which technique counts less and the quality of the driver is enhanced.

Qualifying will be heart stopping, especially Q2. In Imola we saw 16 cars within barely eight tenths of a second. I dread to think what might happen on Saturday…

As always, the car and the driver of reference are Red Bull and Max Verstappen, even if they have shown some problems lately. It will be interesting to see who between McLaren and Ferrari will manage to annoy the world champion.

Post-Imola I heard and read a lot of criticism directed at Aston Martin, which would be in crisis of results. I would go easy on certain declarations. Stroll arrived in the points zone and Alonso’s race was conditioned by the mistake in qualifying, which led him to start in from the pits in last position and from an absolutely risky strategy that did not pay off. Otherwise, Nando would have easily occupied fifth/sixth place.

The Monte Carlo grand prix will see the McLaren of Norris and Piastri take to the track with a celebrative livery in honour of Ayrton Senna.

It is certainly nice and exciting to see the celebrations of the thirtieth anniversary in memory of a special champion and man continue, but it would have been more coherent to bring it to the Imola GP. Senna was certainly the King of Monte Carlo in terms of pole positions and wins, but Imola it would have completed the various ceremonies, also considering the emotional lap of the track by Sebastian Vettel at the wheel of the McLaren MMP4/8.

A good grand prix to everyone!

Gian Carlo Minardi


It was a sensational weekend both numerically and qualitatively, managing to exceed every expectation. Certainly, the counts are made a few days after the end of the event, analysing both the positive and critical aspects, but, as of today, the positive feedback is plentiful.

My personal congratulations are all directed to the team of Formula Imola that, after an intense month between the FIA WEC and the thirty-year anniversary of Senna, came through the Formula 1 Grand Prix exceptionally well.

Special praise goes to the public that filled the Circuit. As usual they were the “Number 1s” and the real winners of this event. Right to the end they were protagonists of a clean and sporting support by acclaiming and cheering all the drivers.

During these three days there was an atmosphere of celebration, also thanks to the sunny spring weather. One felt the desire to return to experiencing sport and motorsport as it once was.

From the sporting point of view, there was a lack of spectacle on the track in a grand prix won, once again, by Max Verstappen on Red Bull. In the first part of the race, he did what he wanted, managing to then administer the lead despite the problem at the end.

Lando Norris’ race was extraordinary, an excellent second place in a strong McLaren in both qualifying and the race, as did Charles Leclerc, an excellent third. Perhaps more was expected from Ferrari, but the results are in line with the developments.

We saw an important upward compaction in the performances of McLaren and Ferrari, in particular they narrowed slightly the gap from the direct rivals. The fight for the points zone and for the podium is becoming fiercer.

Certainly, Red Bull and Verstappen remain the points of reference. They lapped without problems with a better pace between 3 and 5 tenths of a second better than the competition. This allowed them to manage the race despite the problem.

Mercedes, sixth and seventh across the finish line, grew in line with the other teams.

Monaco is just around the corner, a peculiar circuit, not easy, and completely different from Imola.

Gian Carlo Minardi


We are in the final phase of the organization, certainly a demanding stage, but we can be satisfied with the great work done on all aspects. From the point of view of the attendance, we are close to the record for Imola, almost 200,000. For the Sunday we are approaching a full house, and the days of Friday and Saturday are growing well.

These are two days full of events, on and off the track, as well as on Sunday, starting with qualifying which promises to be very tight. As per tradition, with the arrival in Europe all the teams will introduce important new technical innovations, the result of the data collected in the first grands prix of the season. Imola is the seventh round, the second quarter of the season.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen continue to be the points of reference, but the gap is definitely narrower. At least on paper, total supremacy by the reigning champions is not expected. In Miami we already saw that they can be beaten, as Lando Morris proved with, amongst other things, his first career win.  Ferrari and Mercedes, like all the others, Red Bull included, will introduce important updates. Hopefully they will also be decisive. By putting pressure on the rival, it is easier to lead him into error.

As a track we have introduced some new developments, according to the FIA guidelines, and the new homologation rules that involved, in particular, the kerbs and a smaller escape route at the Tamburello, Rivazza, Gresini and Acque Minerali bends.

Fan Zone already open on Thursday afternoon

In addition to the on-track activity, there will be no lack of entertainment in the Fanzone, already open on Thursday (prologue with free entry from 1.00pm), with 16 simulators, a Ferris wheel, F1 PitStop Challenge, DJ Set, as well as the possibility of meeting the drivers in autographs sessions on the large stage of the Music Area. Furthermore, a lot of historic F1 single seater racing cars on show in the Fanzone and inside the Motor Valley Area set up to promote the motoring excellence in the Emilia-Romagna Region.

 The weekend programme between Formula 1, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Leonardo Fornaroli and Gabriele Minì

The Grand Prix programme foresees two sessions of free practice from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, and from 5.00pm to 6.00pm, on Saturday the third session of free practice from 12.30pm to 3.00pm which will be followed by qualifying from 4.00pm to 5.00pm. On Sunday the race is scheduled to start at 3.00pm. The race will be run over 63 laps of the Imola Circuit (4,909metres) for a total of 309.049km.

In addition to F.1, on the track there will be Formula 2 with a special eye on Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema), Formula 3 with Leonardo Fornaroli (currently second on with 37 points equal to Browing) and Gabriele Minì (third with 32 points) fighting for the leadership and Porsche Supercup.

A Circuit easily reached by train

Reaching the Circuit from the station is really easy; only 1,500 metres of protected path, all straight ahead, separate the station from the circuit, immediately walking down Viale Andrea Costa (with the new upgraded sections which are greener and more accessible), then crossing through the historic city centre with many initiatives, and finally, entering viale Dante, a treelined stretch that leads directly to the Circuit’s tower. For the event Trenitalia has scheduled special Freccia Rossa and Intercity trains, as well as additional regional trains provided by Trenitalia TPER.

A wide range of parking

For those who come by car or bus, many convenient parking areas have been setup, even close to the entries to the circuit. In addition, three temporary camping areas have also been setup, with compulsory booking until all the places are filled. The map and the directions are on  https://visitareimola.it/evento/gran-premio-di-f1/

There are all the ingredients for experiencing an intense weekend of Motorsport, while then waiting for the 8th edition of the Historic Minardi Day (24-25 August)