We are watching a show rather than a Formula 1 world championship. The entry of the safety-car for the retirement of Stroll (he had heated up his brakes too much during the warm up lap) was incomprehensible and even more so was the justification that was given. It is one of the few times in which the driver followed to the regulations to the letter, stopping the car not only at the point of total safety but in the area dedicated to the recovery in the case of necessity marked out by the red triangles.

If by doing this he impeded the exit and the passage of the safety vehicles then there is a serious problem with the approval of the track. Among other things, there was all the time and space to move the Aston Martin quickly.

Having said this we are watching an unchallenged domination by Red Bull with a cannibal such as Verstappen who did not respect team orders, setting the fastest lap (1:31.906) on the final lap at the expense of the winner Perez. The Mexican was very good, setting excellent times for all the race, recovering quickly after Alonso overtook him at the start. Just the Spaniard committed a carelessness at the start that is not typical of him, who risked paying dearly for the podium conquered on the track, to the advantage of George Russell. With the engines off, the Spaniard was given a 10″ penalty, thus bringing the Englishman from Mercedes to the podium, later removed by the race stewards themselves. Clear rules and more timely decisions would be needed.

Mercedes is reacting by setting itself as the third force of the world championship. Russell constantly lapped in the low 1’33”. Precisely the result of this grand prix best describes the forces in the field with Red Bull followed by Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari and Alpine.

The Ferraris were very disappointing, finishing the race in fifth and sixth places. After qualifying Leclerc had made us hope for something more but the safety-car did not helpJust as in Bahrain here too in Saudi Arabia we saw very tight qualifying with 15 cars enclosed in barely 1”4 and the entire grid within barely 2”. Only a breath is needed to be cut out at Q2 or, worse still, from Q3.

Unfortunately, this result was not reflected in the race.

Gian Carlo Minardi



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


The last day of “school” has arrived for Formula 1 which gave us a fascinating and tight grand prix right up to the final lap. An unstoppable Max Verstappen took the win ahead of an excellent Charles Leclerc who won his personal challenge for second place with his direct rival Sergio Perez.

Despite the difference with the Red Bull Perez took a feat to its conclusion, also supported by correct strategy by the men on his wall. Ferrari took second place in the constructors’ title ahead of Mercedes after having finished last season in third place. An important step forward to try to race for first place next year.

As we had predicted, a swallow does not a spring make and Mercedes went back to what it was before Mexico. Since the start of the season they were the protagonists of significant growth but in Abu Dhabi whey were not able to replicate the performances seen in Brazil.

Now for the holidays, even if the time available is very short as on March 5th we start again with the first of the twenty four grands prix in 2023. A new year awaits us with many changes on the grid between changes of colours and new arrivals. I am very pleased to see two drivers on the track who worked hard in the lower formulas to force people to respect them such as Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries who already on the occasion of the Italian Grand Prix in Monza gave us a first taste of his potential by taking ninth place on his debut in the little competitive Williams.

Having said goodbye to Latifi the English team is getting ready to welcome the third debutant, the American Sargeant who in race 2 of Formula 2 obtained the points for the Superlicence thus completing the 2023 mosaic. Despite a few “old men” on the starting grid has been rejuvenated

The affection shown by the world of Formula 1 to Sebastian Vettel who finished his career in tenth place was very nice.

The test day on Tuesday dedicated to the young drivers is to be followed closely. Despite all the teams being projected towards the new year we will be able to make a comparison with what we saw this weekend.

Gian Carlo Minardi


The Mexican Grand Prix slipped by without any dramatic twists. Max Verstappen and Red Bull confirmed their domination and we are fast approaching the end of this world championship with only two races to go.

With third place Perez took his lead over Leclerc to 5 points, who only took fifth place behind his team mate, with Mercedes nibbling away a few points in the constructors’ ladder, even if the margin still seems to favour the “reds”. Mercedes seems to have found the answers with a view to 2023.

With this win Max Verstappen goes to 14 wins in the season. This is an incredible result but I do not find it correct comparing it to other records set with calendars made up of 16 GPs compared to the current 22.

Mexico gave us a positive result for Bottas, tenth with Alfa Romeo and Daniel Ricciardo’s seventh place despite a (10 second) penalty that was certainly correct with the contact with Tsunoda.

Ferrari finished the weekend with 5th and 6th places but celebrating the excellent result in Imola with the World Championship Finals with a huge crowd of more than 40,000 fans who flocked to the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit. I must congratulate them on the excellent organization. It was a sensational weekend with the icing on the cake the presentation of the brand new 499P with which it will try to win the Le Mans 24 Hours in the highest category, together with the 296 GT3, the heir of the 488 Ferrari.

Now let’s wait and see what Interlagos will give us.

Gian Carlo Minardi



After the two drivers’ titles won by Max Verstappen in Suzuka Red Bull took out the constructors’ title thanks to the Dutchman’s win and Perez’s fourth place that in this way interrupted the domination by Mercedes that this year has had a drought of wins.

Austin showed all the supremacy of the team headed by Horner but especially that of Max Verstappen. For the first time since the start of the year the team made a mistake during the Dutchman’s stop making him lose something like eleven seconds that he quickly recovered on the track and taking the win ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

This win was the demonstration of the strength of the pair and also being able to count on a good margin of potential that has still not been expressed. Unlike the other grands prix, in Austin Verstappen had to take risks highlighting the big difference between him and Perez. This aspect should also open the eyes on the question of the budget gap that should contain all the costs without exception. It is one thing to have a team of good drivers of the calibre of the Mexican and many others. Another is to be able to count on the talent of Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc… drivers who affect both the results on the track and the expenditure. The same also applies to the engineers of the calibre of Adrian Newey. The budget cap makes sense if it contains 100% of the expenses of the team, with no exclusion. I will not enter into the merit of the figure.

Going back to the grand prix, it was interesting, certainly conditioned by the huge mistake made by George Russell at the first bend that led to the retirement of Carlos Sainz, the protagonist of an imperfect but faultless start. An episode sanctioned with a ridiculous 5 second penalty. Absilutely ridiculous like the penalty inflicted on Fernando Alonso. Thirty seconds for racing without a mirror. Apart from the fact this was not a blunt element that had not even broken off but if an F1 driver cannot drive without a mirror then he should change jobs. Two absurd penalties.

Well done Lewis Hamilton who brought out all his class, as did Leclerc who, starting from twelfth place took his Ferrari onto the podium showing once more a major problem of tyre wear. The battle for second place with Perez is still open and they will go to Mexico in less than a week with the same engine strategy.

Since announcing his retirement I seem to see a new Sebastian Vettel. He raced like a four times world champion and Sunday he was the protagonist of a wonderful race fighting until the final bend. It was the demonstration of how much different components can come into play in this sport. We see it also with Gasly, ready to say goodbye to Alpha Tauri and Ricciardo who went from the stars into the mud in a few seasons.

The American weekend brought Antonio Giovinazzi back onto the track. It was a mistake that could have cost him dearly in such a delicate moment in his career. Running against the barriers after a few laps is not a positive sign, even if I do not know the causes the led to him going off the track. On the other hand, Mick Schumacher did nothing exciting on the track.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Max Verstappen is the World champion for the second time in his short career.

This is the first fixed point, with no ifs or buts. Regardless of the rain that hit the Suzuka circuit, regardless of whether the race lasted only 40 minutes, regardless of the penalty inflicted on Charles Leclerc by the sporting regulations and by the system of attribution of the points.

Both the Dutchman and Red Bull also dominated the Japanese Grand Prix taking out pole position and the win with almost a half a minute advantage on second place confirming the position at the top of this sport. A result that was also consolidated by the second place by Sergio Perez who, in the final laps, put Ferrari’s driver from Monte Carlo under pressure leading him to the mistake at the very end. With second place he equalled Leclerc’s points (249 points for both) and at this point of the season the situation for the Ferrari driver is not so rosy.

Even in the wet Ferrari confirmed its current limits. Competitive on the flying lap (in qualifying Leclerc missed pole position by only 10 thousandths of a second) while in the long run the differences with Red Bull come out, also linked to the degradation of the tyres that put Leclerc in crisis at Suzuka, but in any case he was the protagonist of an incredible defence stained only by the “long” stretch at the end that cost him second place.

Regulations in hand, I find the 5” penalty correct (this time coming after only a few minutes). Too bad that he had space to defend the position better but it is too easy to point the finger considering the difficult situation.

With the title definitively in Verstappen’s hands Leclerc has four grands prix (USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi) to try and save at least second place. It will not be easy staying ahead of Sergio Perez with this Red Bull.

Amongst the “others” congratulations to the two old men, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Thanks to their experience they knew how to handle a complicated situation finishing in sixth and seventh places. Well done also to Nicholas Latifi who, together with Vettel, was one of the first to pass from the intermediates so taking his Williams to ninth place ahead of Norris. It was an exciting tussle between Ocon and Hamilton for fourth place.

The real sore point of the weekend was the umpteenth case of confusion created by these absurd regulations. Despite having completed only 29 of the 53 laps (52% of the race) in the maximum time of three hours, full points were attributed. This is because the race was considered finished (the chequered flag was waved).

Honestly I find no big difference between finishing a race when the maximum time runs out or following a red flag.

After what happened in Spa-Francorchamps last year the Federation introduced new points systems that varied according to how many laps were raced. However, this points system is applied only if the race does not restart after a red flag…. To me this seems to be a useless complication, especially if it continues to be run on circuits hit by monsoons and/or cyclones. It may be appropriate to simplify these regulations and re-evaluate the calendars to avoid having three hour grands prix with cars committed on the track for much less time.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Once again the marshals and race directors have not confirmed they measure up to a Formula 1 that is growing exponentially, giving us incredible emotions. The final decision, that confirmed Sergio Perez’s win despite the 5” penalty, came several hours after the episode despite having all the tools for verifying in real time and there have already been similar episodes in the past. Guidelines are needed to give homogeneity in the judgments.

Today’s grand prix gave us incredible emotions, especially considering the conditions in which they raced. The race ended due to having reached the maximum time and not at the conclusion of the laps. This already lets us understand how demanding it was for the drivers.

I take off my hat to Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc. The Mexican was the protagonist of a great race and an excellent start. He gave his all and in the end he went into difficulty due to having made the most of the tyres. Red Bull confirmed that the car is extremely solid and is ready to open a new cycle that can be important.

It will be interesting to understand what went wrong for the driver from Monte Carlo at the start, but then he was the author of a race above his possibilities as the gap between him and his team mate amply demonstrates. With second place Leclerc gnawed a few points from his direct rival but the real problem is the five points lost over Perez who is now only two points behind. On the constructors front on the other hand Ferrari consolidated second place over Mercedes that left Singapore with only two points to its credit.

Instead the reigning world champion’s performance was weak. After the problems that stopped him in qualifying, Verstappen had various difficulties despite the overtaking he carried out to try and climb back. The duel between Alonso and Hamilton was very good. It was a pity that he was betrayed by the engine of his Alpine, just like Ocon.

It was an excellent performance by McLaren that said goodbye to Singapore with fourth and fifth places by Norris and Ricciardo. Good Aston Martin with Stroll’s sixth place and eighth place for Vettel who finished ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes and Gasly’s Alpha Tauri.

Gian Carlo Minardi


An intense and exciting weekend has ended with 336,647 fans present in the temple of speed in Monza that celebrated its 100 years of history in the best possible way. Beyond the full grandstands, I was positively struck by the presence of a very young public that is luckily getting closer to Motorsport.

We saw many duels on the track, starting from the Saturday in the challenge for pole position won by Charles Leclerc, author of an extraordinary lap. Both he and Carlos Sainz confirmed all the goodness of the Ferrari in a flying lap, while they were forced to pay a “cost” from Red Bull (Max Verstappen in particular) in the race.

It was a much deserved new win, the fifth consecutive win of the season and the first personal win at Monza for the Dutch driver who strung together a sequence of incredible laps, while managing to protect his tyres. Under these conditions the people on Ferrari’s wall tried all or nothing by bringing forward the card of the early pit stop, maybe hoping for a safety-car or VSC (that partially happened) even if it did not pay off at the moment, the fight for Leclerc is for second place with Sergio Perez, just as it is for Ferrari versus Mercedes. An interesting end of the season is expected.

Carlos Sainz’s comeback was also to be applauded. Having started from the rear he managed to climb up to the foot of the podium, crossing the finish line behind George Russell’s Mercedes. A positive result considering that the objective was fifth place, characterized by excellent overtaking. Behind him was Lewis Hamilton, he too forced to start from the rear, the author of a positive comeback but with times that were inferior to his team mate.

Also to be noted are the results achieved by Gasly and especially the debutant Nyck De Vries who immediately got into the points (ninth place) with the Williams and who was also voted the best driver of the day. He showed he is a reliable driver capable of not making mistakes. He deserves a chance. This was not a surprise for me since I had already had the opportunity to observe him in action in the karts.

It was a negative for the decision by FIA at the end of the race. The arrival behind the SC compromised an incredible show. The safety car entered the track too late and in an incorrect position. The double management with the race directors did not pay off. It seems to me that there is a lot of work to do in the relations between Liberty Media and the Federation.

Amongst other things, the Federation must seriously consider the idea of changing the regulations tied to the penalties for the replacement of parts. This weekend we saw nine of the twenty drivers penalized with an overturned starting grid compared to the result of qualifying. It is unsporting for the drivers to pay for the team’s mistakes. Besides, it is unacceptable to wait for more than 5 hours from the end of qualifying to have the definitive starting order. It is a regulation that must absolutely be reviewed.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Verstappen deadly. At this moment both him and the car have no weak points and give nothing away to the rivals at all. He was stratospheric for the whole weekend, starting with qualifying with the masterpiece the final part of the grand prix after the safety car came back. Lewis Hamilton could do nothing.

Mercedes made a mistake in strategy precisely with the seven times world champion by not changing the tyres but they managed to nibble away further major at the expense of Ferrari that is now the world championship’s third force.

Leclerc was certainly very good. With third place he achieved the maximum result but he paid practically half a second per lap to his direct rival. He was already out of the DRS zone in the second lap. Another mistake in the pits, this time at Carlos Sainz’s expense who then also ran into the 5” penalty slipping back to the eight place after the end of the grand prix. A major and unforgiveable mistake that cost the Spanish driver 10”.

We will already be back on the track in a week’s time in Monza for the Italian Grand Ptix. The track is favours Red Bull that is working well with little downforce…

Gian Carlo Minardi


We have left the summer break behind and the “new” season has begun with Red Bull always at the top but able to significantly increase the lead over its direct rivals Ferrari.

again Adrian Newey was the most skilled in interpreting the updated regulations. A superlative Max Verstappen relegated his team mate to more than 17” with the same car.

There are still 8 races to go to the chequered flag but now, – rightly – the title is in the hands of the Dutchman.

Ferrari said goodbye to Spa-Francorchamps with the podium thanks to Carlos Sainz’s third place but it paid a big gap of more than half a second a lap. The Spaniard made the most of his material while once again Charles Leclerc had to take “misfortune” into account. The rip-off visor (from the Dutchman it seems) got blocked in the brake socket overheating and damaging the sensors that led to the mistake of management of the speed limiter that cost the driver from Monte Carlo the 5” penalty. Honestly, I would not have risked the two points that were already sure to try and grab the extra point for the fastest lap. Each pit stop is risky. The choice did not pay off Sunday but it is part of the choices that must be made during a race.

It was a step forward by Mercedes. As expected Toto Wolff’s team benefitted from the change of regulations and moved to only 41 points from Ferrari which confirms the second place behind Red Bull but it must be careful.

Spa-Francorchamps was the also the stage for many penalties in the starting grid. Of the 20 drivers on the grid 8 had to serve penalties (Verstappen, Leclerc, Ocon, Norris, Zhou, Schumacher, Bottas and Tsunoda). It is a regulation I still do not like. Unsporting in that it nullifies the result of qualifying. Furthermore, it is mainly the driver who pays most when it should be the team to be sanctioned in terms of points. From here on will we be able to witness more and more of these episodes.

Now we await two tough races: the Dutch and the Italian GPs. For the spectacle I hope that it was only an unhappy episode for Ferrari even if the signs that we saw are unfortunately not positive.
On this occasion, I want to thanks all the fans who came to Imola for the sixth edition of the Historic Minardi Day. It was exciting seeing the garages full of young people.

Gian Carlo Minardi


It should have been the weekend of the Ferrari double and instead both Sainz and Leclerc finished off the podium. It was certainly a day for Ferrari to analyse since they made a number of mistakes in both the strategy and during the pit stops, especially with the Spaniard.
In these circumstances the car fell short of Red Bull and Mercedes. With the same tyres Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton performed decidedly better, so much so that the British champion set the race’s fastest lap.

At the moment the Ferrari package is not ready to win the world championship. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, protagonists of excellent overtaking and defence were blameless. However, with the fourth and six places they left many points to their direct rivals, just as Ferrari did a favour to a strongly growing Mercedes. They have three weeks ahead of them to ponder and plan the last part of the season in the best possible way with the aim of saving at least second place in the constructors and drivers championships.

This is not a surprise because they made us used to even more impressive comebacks but Max Verstappen deserves the title of “driver of the day”. He was the protagonist of a race in all out attack to then manage to advantage he had acquired. He made only one mistake that could have cost him very dearly, but he was good and lucky to take back control of the car. He is supported by a team that is aware of its strength and they work calmly without making any mistakes. At this point of the world championship they only have to manage the large advantage they have accumulated.

For the second consecutive grand prix Mercedes went onto the podium with both its drivers making a great leap forward on the ladder. The modifications carried out are paying off and they have taken away points from Ferrari whose advantage has been reduced to only 30 points.

I wish you all happy holidays and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 at Imola for the sixth edition of the Historic Minardi Day.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Although there are still ten races in the calendar with this win Max Verstappen has forcefully put his hands on his second world championship. For Leclerc the 63 point gap really is a lot.

Sincerely, it is a real shame because we are facing a winning and competitive Ferrari but it must still grow up in order not to make these mistakes any more. They were not perfect in the pit stop again today and the one who paid the price was an excellent Carl Sainz who was able to recover from fifth place twice overtaking extraordinarily the expense of Russell and Ocon, passing them on the outside at Signes. And it was equally beautiful when he overtook Perez before the last stop.

On the other hand, it was a monumental mistake by Leclerc (which reminded us of Vettel’s episode in Germany), up to that point he had certainly been perfect. In the present time both he and Verstappen have no other rivals. They have an extra gear, even if the driver from Monte Carlo (together with the team) must make a leap in quality to become the champion he deserves.

Taking advantage once again was a Mercedes in strong growth. Beyond the double podium (second place for Lewis Hamilton and third for George Russell) they paid a gap of 10” from the winner. It will be interesting to see if they manage to repeat themselves also on other tracks.

It could become the third wheel of the fight for the world championship, even if Verstappen can start to manage the strong lead.

They will be back on track in a week’s time with the thirteenth grand prix on the Hungaroring track.

Gian Carlo Minardi


It was a wonderful Austrian grand prix on all fronts, in both the positions at the top as well as in the back. The turning points were not lacking starting with the flames that stopped Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari that was firmly in second position up to that moment, to the problem of the accelerator pedal on the sister car driven by Charles Leclerc who however managed to take home the win ahead of his direct rival Max Verstappen.

Ferrari took home its second straight win putting a patch on the criticism of the last few days; they were perfect across the board. Unfortunately the reliability partially ruined the celebrations. This was not a positive sign for the men in Maranello. They were major breakages that negatively affect the planned development.

For his part, Leclerc was fantastic. He made no mistakes overtaking Verstappen three times and this time he could do nothing against Ferrari’s superiority. On the other hand the Dutchman was very good in Saturday’s sprint race. The “domestic” tussle between Leclerc and Sainz did not affect the final result. In that part of the race Red Bull was superior.

Mercedes went onto the podium with Lewis Hamilton who crossed the finish line ahead of George Russell, however paying a wide gap. We are back to the pre-Silverstone gap but they were able to exploit the misadventures of others. It was an excellent fifth place for Ocon but Mick Schumacher was superb, in clear growth and he probably managed to “unlock” himself. I hope that this is a good omen for a second part of the season on the rise.

Fernando Alonso’s tenth place is also to be applauded. For part of the race he even held sixth place after starting in twentieth place. Once again he played a role in bringing points to Alpine.

Finally, there was no lack of penalties for having exceeded the track limits. The Red Bull Ring is equipped with sensors that promptly highlight non-compliance. It is a technology that should be used in all the circuits so as to “free” the marshals.

So now we wait two weeks for the Grand Prix in France and then the one in Hungary.

Gian Carlo Minardi