F.1 – Minardi: “F.1 is the highest expression of speed. Technological research to LMP1”

The world of motorsport entered the weekend that will take us to the race in the world’s most famous endurance scene: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In terms of Formula 1, we have just left behind the Canadian Grand Prix. Therefore, we wanted to meet Gian Carlo Minardi to talk about the problems of Circus, but not and beyond.

Formula 1 is not going through its best moment. Where can we find the causes?

Right now Formula 1 needs to find again its appeal. We have too much complicated races to experience and interpret. Sometimes, the staff and commentators themselves have difficulties. Moreover, we see meetings that lead nowhere. Lately, there has been talk for the umpteenth about car leasing and refueling, without evaluating the economic impact of these operations. Cars built to win a World Championship have strategies construction and operating costs well above the minor open-wheels. I personally studied this fact in 1996. Fortunately, it seems that in Canada Team Principals made a step back on refueling. I see too much confusion and lack of professionalism. The climax was reached just in Montreal, during the penalty imposed on Vettel and Verstappen. From the temporary standings to the official one there were six hours. An eternity. It means that the regulations are so messed up that those who wrote them can not read and translate them easily.

What could be the recipe for a revival?

I have no magic wand, but have long asserted that the Strategy-Group should be made up of people outside the team. Technicians updated on latest technology and who know the F.1 environment, but that are not directly involved by teams. Otherwise, everyone further his own cause, obviously. Formula 1 should be run by the FIA, for the drafting of technical and sporting regulations, and by the FOA, with regard to communication and promotion. A step forward was taken by Jean Todt, who strengthens his group, working alongside Charlie Whiting and Jo Bauer and also the aerodynamic expert Marcin Budkowski. We need simple and lasting rules. In this way, we could also attract new constructors. Today, all companies have a ready-to-use Power-Unit, but with these uncertainties no one is so foolish as to enter.

We have to add the technical difficulty of three teams

We experience a clear supremacy of Mercedes, thanks to its Power-Unit. Among eight cars with the German engine, seven constantly occupy the top ten. In contrast, we have three teams (Red Bull, Toro Rosso and McLaren), not in financial difficulty, suffering technical problems of Renault and Honda. I repeat that the motor racing should have the greatest expression of technological research in the LMP1, with companies committed to transfer technologies from track to streets. The F1 has to be the ultimate expression of speed, technique and performance.

What future do you see for these two realities?

There were several boards of directors in the last few weeks and sincerely I don’t see great solutions or pleasant scenarios. Honda is a historical name and to date there’s no improvement. Even the Japanese could have their sudden impulses and I don’t see a rosy future also for the French.

This weekend there will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, after the return of Nissan, 2016 will be the Ford’s turn

The FIA WEC, whose calendar includes the French marathon, must call all the constructors in order to develop the latest technologies, to be transferred later on mass-production cars. I would, in fact, frowned upon the use of PU in this scenario, because the future of standard cars will go toward turbo and hybrid. The endurance races have always represented this type of challenges for the companies, while the approach is different for the F1.

At the start there will be also Nico Hulkenberg. Are you in favor of these exchanges?

In the contracts that I signed with my drivers, I have always added the clause against the 24H, because it hides too many pitfalls, considering the track layout, the reached speed and the many cars which are simultaneously on the track. Therefore, I don’t look favorably on these exchanges. There are many valid drivers and there’s no need to catch them among the 22 drivers of F1.

After the Canadian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen is at the epicenter of the public debate

As Maurizio Arrivabene informs, Kimi knows exactly what to do to renew with Ferrari. From what I’ve seen in these first few races, in my opinion, he is not a driver for Maranello, which can already count on a four-time World Champion and I’ll pull him alongside a young driver. He is not up to the task, as well as last year.

With regard to young drivers. During the test sessions in Australia, Fuoco will debut at the wheel of Ferrari

I am very happy with this news. The FDA program is very ambitious. I am convinced that next Vettel’s teammate will came right from the Academy. The current situation will take several months to recover the technical gap towards Mercedes. Therefore, it would be interesting to a trust on a young driver to grow, who does not require large investments that can be used for the development of the technical part.