The first kilometres of the Silverstone Grand Prix were very hard, maybe too hard for Verstappen who tried to defend the leadership at any cost with the conclusion that he finished violently against the barriers at the Copse on the first lap after a collision with his direct rival.

I do not feel like putting all the blame on Hamilton but it could have been an accident with serious repercussions for Verstappen whose body absorbed more than 50Gs deceleration.

Besides the 10” penalty assigned to Hamilton I believe that the marshals should have summoned both drivers because I have the impression that it is going beyond a simple scuffle of the track.

It was not as if the championship were already finished beforehand but this zero points will rekindle the world championship considering that that Lewis reduced the gap to only eight points.

Behind the British driver was placed a perfect Leclerc, the author of a real masterpiece with a Ferrari that is certainly inferior to Mercedes and Red Bull. With the harder compounds it was not as competitive as Hamilton with the Mercedes but he squeezed his car to the full taking a result that was certainly unexpected on Thursday morning.

A different but interesting weekend has ended. I am convinced that the programme of the sprint race must be absolutely repeated but with a review of the format. I am a supporter of pole position taken with the fastest lap but the sprint race can be an interesting starting point for both the public and the teams and drivers, especially if the points system is extended to involve not only the first three finishers.

Gian Carlo Minardi


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

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

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

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

Gian Carlo Minardi


Silverstone is ready to write an important page of Formula 1 history. For the first time the starting grid of a grand prix will not be defined by the result of qualifying but instead from the Sprint Qualifying Race that will be run on 5.30pm Saturday over a distance of 100km assigning 3, 2 and 1 points to the first three qualifiers. Qualifying is scheduled of Friday 16th (from 7.00pm) and will establish the starting order of the Sprint Qualifying Race. It will be interesting to see the strategies the top teams will adopt. This will represent an important occasion for the second tier teams.

This will not be the only new development in the British weekend. After the approval of FIA’s World Motor Sport Council Pirelli will bring to Silverstone rear tyres with a new construction that will be used until the end of the season.

But an eye must also be turned to the driver’s market, especially in Red Bull which has set its sights on Charles Leclerc to be put alongside its favourite Max Verstappen. Despite the win in Azerbaijan and third place on the ladder Perez’s place in the team may still be in question.

On the track front the challenge between Verstappen and Hamilton is renewed with an eye on the second drivers who will be essential for the fight between the constructors. Mercedes is behind also in this situation and at Silverstone it must do everything to try and reduce the gap or at least not loose further ground from RB.

In short, there are many ingredients to start to draw the guidelines for the Formula 1 of the near future.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Repeating e result only a week later is not taken for granted but Red Bull managed to repeat Max Verstappen’s pole position and win by dictating an unsustainable pace leaving Bottas’ Mercedes more than 17” behind but this rises to 46” in comparison to Lewis Hamilton (fourth across the finish line) who was slowed down by a problem in the rear of his W12.

At this moment the Dutchman is in great shape accompanied by a Red Bull that does not miss a beat and the combination with Honda is an absolute winner, just as it is with Alpha Tauri that gathered another two points thanks to the ninth place with Gasly.

Carlos Sainz’s comeback was excellent and brought the team an important fifth place after finishing ahead of Daniel Ricciardo (seventh with the McLaren), also helped by the penalty to Perez for the collision with Leclerc, even if Lando Norris’ third place was a masterpiece that consolidated his team’s third place in the constructors’ ladder.

George Russell’s excellent race is also to be highlighted. With his Williams he fought with Alonso’s Alpine for tenth place after having taken the fourth row on the grid in qualifying. He would certainly have deserved the first point for the season but the eleventh place does not cancel his excellent performance.

In two weeks they will go to Silverstone and Mercedes must try to resolve its problems if it wants to keep the world championship alive. It will be the stage for the first qualifying race, a real novelty for Formula 1.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Max Verstappen won and dominated the Styrian GP by putting onto the track all the dominating power of his Red Bull against Mercedes’ direct rivals.

The Dutchman is driving very well without making the slightest mistake and showing great peace of mind which until last year was Lewis Hamilton’s calling card.

Red Bull is growing race after race and, finally, the excellent chassis is accompanied by a just as excellent engine even if I do not believe it is the best of the lot yet.

On the other side, Hamilton once again made the difference in Mercedes but he paid a major gap that must make Toto Wolff’s men think. He did very well by making the pit-stop in the penultimate lap to take the point for the fastest lap. This shows that every point will be fundamental in the fight for the title. With the third place Bottas won the personal duel with his direct rival in Red Bull, Sergio Perez, so finishing his main task in light on the constructors’ championship.

With the sixth and seventh places Ferrari once again finished behind McLaren and Norris as well as confirming the gap from the two top teams. The difference in the times is always important. I do not believe that the result would have changed without Leclerc’s mistake in the first lap.

At most that the driver from Monte Carlo may have finished ahead of his team but no more. With his mistake he ruined the race for Gasly who was forced to retire. The weekend was partially saved for Alpha Tauri by Tsunoda. With tenth place behind Alonso and ahead of Vettel and Raikonnen he limited the damage with Alpine’s direct rivals.

Fernando has changed gears since Monte Carlo and again here in Austria he managed to keep ahead of Ocon who must be content with fourteenth place. It was a good result for Lance Stroll as well who brought his Aston Martin to 8th place (12th Vettel) and behind the two Ferraris.

In a week they will race again, even if the weather conditions could change since rain is expected. After which they will move to Silverstone. The season is getting going with Red Bull always the leader on the


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

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

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

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

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

Gian Carlo Minardi


After two grands prix on street circuits we return to a permanent circuit in which Mercedes has always done very well. It is a track with paved escape routes and characterized by two long straights and 15 curves that should certainly favour the two Mercedes. Verstappen can try to defend himself but it will be difficult for Red Bull to oppose them. The heat, as well as the wind, will be two characteristics that should not to be underestimated but I do not expect an exciting grand prix.

Ferrari comes from two positive results in which it showed positive growth and at the Paul Ricard the team is called to an important test in the fast curves but it must not lose sight of the objective of the third place in the World Championship by trying to oppose a McLaren that in the last two rounds has not exactly been up to par.

It will also be interesting to follow the development of Vettel and Alonso who at Baku put on display all their experience, especially in the re-start. For Vettel the podium will be a nice breath of fresh air and I hope he really has recovered from the crisis. By going from Ferrari to Aston Martin this year he has put himself in discussion. Unlike Monte Carlo and Baku, Le Castellet is a track where the car and engine are fundamental. The driver’s skill can make less of a difference.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Although it is still the car of reference, it is clear that Mercedes has lost the great advantage that we were used to. Mercedes is suffering at the moment, as shown by Valtteri Bottas’ results, today he even finished outside the points zone. Despite the mistake at the restart Lewis Hamilton managed to hide his car’s currents difficulties. You do not see Mercedes say goodbye to a GP with zero points every weekend.

On the other hand we have a Red Bull in great shape that, thanks to Sergio Perez’s win, managed to extend its lead on the ladder. The Mexican replied on the field to Marko’s declarations on his renewal. He is certainly not new in this type of performance and he is a driver that I really like. At this moment he only has to improve in qualifying.

It was a Grand Prix that was flying by anonymously enough until Verstappen left the scene. Race management opted for a restart, surely a new way that we will have to get used to. Like it or not, the final two laps were exhilarating and they certainly cancelled what had happened (or not happened) up to that point. The tussle between Leclerc and Gasly was very good with Alpha Tauri’s Frenchman responding promptly to the Ferrari driver’s assault and he went onto the podium.

After yesterday’s pole position today’s result reflects the true potential of Ferrari which however leapt over McLaren on the ladder. The forces on the field are lining up and there are a number of tussles on the field that will certainly entertain us in the next rounds. The level of the championship is very high and the difference is very tight. This Saturday we again saw in Q2 ten cars enclosed in a few tenths of a second.

Congratulations also to Vettel. After the positive result in Monte Carlo he went onto the podium in second place. It was a result that will certainly lift his spirits. It may be a little early but he is coming out of the “tunnel”.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Azerbaijan is ready to host its fifth grand prix on the Baku street circuit. After last season’s “forced” break Formula 1 returns to the 6,003 metres of asphalt situation in the old part.

With three wins shared between Rosberg, Hamilton and Bottas Mercedes arrives as the big favourite, even if Red Bull (which boasts a win with Daniel Ricciardo in the 2018 edition) is galvanized by top place in both the ladders thanks to Verstappen’s win in Monte Carlo.

Keep an eye also on Valtteri Bottas who has already shown that he can go fast on this track. The Finn will want to try to redeem himself after the very unlucky pit stop in the Principality. It will be very hard to see Ferrari in the lead once again. Seeing the layout of the track it will not be able to benefit from the traction and in the two straights the Mercedes could really make a difference. For Ferrari a new direct challenge with McLaren is more plausible.

There has been a lot of talk in recent days also on the high costs of Motorsport and the desire to do something to help the young talent emerge and to prevent them from getting lost. It is always positive and important to keep the spotlight on these aspects but it is just as important (if not necessary) that the Team Principals themselves are the ones to go the race tracks to observe the young drivers and to help them in their growth and career.

In these years the Federation has worked a lot to lower the costs but unfortunately our sport is very expensive since it requires a large workforce between the mechanics, engineers, drivers and material. For this reason I believe it is the task of the Formula 1 teams to observe and identify the more deserving young drivers, as someone is already doing with the Academy by supporting the career step by step. Since there is a lot of talk about the budget cap, raising a young person is less burdensome than contracting a champion.

At least that is what I think…

Gian Carlo Minard


We saw an exceptional weekend. Personally qualifying was absolutely the best with minimal gaps. In Q2 we had fifteen cars enclosed within little more than a second. As often happens in the last five minutes of Q3 everyone tried to achieve the best performance and mistakes are around the corner. This time an extraordinary Leclerc, who took Ferrari to pole position, paid a heavy price.

It was a pity that he was unable to take part in the race, also because Ferrari is fighting McLaren for third place in the world championship and having two drivers in the points would certainly have been convenient rather than thinking about the win.

Despite no overtaking, as usual in Monte Carlo, these drivers gave us a thrilling grand prix won by a perfect Verstappen who was absolutely at ease with the track and his car. A perfect Red Bull.

For the first time after seven years we do not have a Mercedes driver at the top of the drivers’ ladder. It was a certainly a subdued weekend for Lewis Hamilton. An unhappy grand prix can happen but I did not like his team radios and his post race comments, also because we are only at the start of the season. His fastest lap was astounding.

We are witnessing an absorbing championship and even the point for the fastest lap could be decisive for the final result. I am convinced that Hamilton and Verstappen will fight it out until the last race.

Ferrari is back on the podium with Carlos Sainz Jr. who finished ahead of Lando Norris. The McLaren driver confirmed he is the most promising driver for the foreseeable future. He fought Sergio Perez, who was subdued in qualifying but decidedly a bulldog in the race.

Sebastian Vettel finally woke up after the long hibernation. In the two laps before the pit stop showed all his worth and he managed to put his Aston Martin ahead of Gasly and Hamilton, grabbing fifth place.

Antonio Giovinazzi also deserves a very high mark. He was very good in qualifying and excellent in the race. He gave Alfa Romeo the season’s first point. He showed he has all the credentials to be taken in greater consideration inside the team.

We say goodbye to Monte Carlo without having seen the safety car and with only two cars not crossing the finish line. Leclerc who did not start and Bottas who was forced to retire due to an problem in the inner right during the pit stop.

Gian Carlo Minardi


After a year’s absence Formula has come back to Monte Carlo. It will certainly be a very interesting weekend considering the close battle between various teams and I expect a very hard fought qualifying. For pole position and the front row, excepting upsets, it will be a duel between Mercedes and Red Bull with Hamilton and Verstappen ready to give us new emotions. However, keep an eye on the outsiders who are ready to place themselves amongst the number two drivers. At the moment Perez is taking the measure of the new car and could be more vulnerable.

Even if I would like to see Ferrari on the podium I believe it will not be an easy result to achieve, especially the heavy gaps paid in the previous GPs.

We come to Monte Carlo with two new developments in McLaren: a completely new livery to honour a major sponsor (a major signal for the future of the World Championship) and the renewal Lando Norris’ contract for further two seasons.

In these weeks I have heard and read a lot of criticism of Nikita Mazepin. Maybe he bit off more than he can chew and his arrival in the top flight was premature but making certain sentences after barely three rounds is excessive. In the recent past the press criticized Lance Stroll very heavily but he now holds his own with a four times world champion and has all five of Aston Martin’s points to his credit. His team mate could also suffer at this moment. It is right to give him time and the chance to grow,

Gian Carlo Minardi


Even if there was no need for confirmation Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton gave a new demonstration of their supremacy by winning the Spanish grand prix ahead of a just as excellent Max Verstappen who with the Red Bull tried everything to try and overturn a difficult situation.

Just like in Portugal we again witnessed an excellent duel, this time in three between Verstappen, Bottas and Perez, for the point for the fastest lap. This time the Dutchman did not miss the appointment leaving his team mate more than a second behind.

It was a GP that again saw Bottas lose the challenge with his team mate, paying a major gap, even if the number two driver brought home his “homework” of taking points away from his direct rival Sergio Perez. At the moment he cannot do more than this.

It was a masterpiece race by Leclerc who was the protagonist of a stupendous start in which he got the best of the Finn crossing the finish line in fourth place with a Ferrari that is growing but still pays about eight tenths per lap compared to the Mercedes. The driver from Monaco puts much of his own into it as the gap with his team mate showed.

The careless mistake made by Alfa Romeo during Giovinazzi’s pit-stop was incredible. It was a mistake that is rarely committed in lower categories. In this circumstance the mistake was made in both the preparation and the check of the set. In addition, not even the second set was ready. It was a festival of mistakes and always at Antonio’s expense. It was sad because his rhythm was superior to Kimi’s and he could have put himself into the fight for tenth place.

We file away a good weekend that, in addition to the excellent challenge between Hamilton and Verstappen, gave us very hard fought qualifying sessions, especially in Q2 with 14 drivers enclosed within barely 1”.

I look forward to Monte Carlo where I expect many drivers enclosed with the space of a few tenths of seconds. We all know how important qualifying is amongst the streets of the Principality.

Gian Carlo Minardi



Having said goodbye to Portugal Formula 1 has moved quickly to Spain. Unlike in the past this year the Barcelona circuit did not host the winter tests and being a tough track could put the cars, drivers and tyres to the test.

We come to Montmelò after three very interesting grands prix that were certainly dictated by Mercedes’ domination but with Red Bull trying to makes its life harder. I hope that this duel will last until the end of the season and that they can continue to entertain us. Both teams want to optimize every single point, as happened during the last three laps in Portimao with the duel between Bottas and Verstappen to adjudicate the point connected to the fastest lap. They took a good risk both as drivers and the teams with the work of the mechanics. A wheel change is always a moment of high tension.

MCLAREN’S SURPRISING START. Norris and McLaren are undoubtedly the surprise of the start of this season. Lando is putting himself on show in both qualifying and the race and McLaren is adapting very well and quickly to the new Mercedes engine, a passage that is not always taken for granted having kept 75% of the 2020 chassis. At the moment I see them immediately behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Many other drivers are alternating good performances with lusterless races, such as Ocon.

COMPACTION OF THE MIDDLE OF THE GROUP. We are only at the fourth round of a very long season with a number of problems to solve dictated by the worldwide health emergency. Behind Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren there is a good compaction amongst the second tier teams, one of which is also Ferrari.

Gian Carlo Minardi