Not even the time to absorb what happened in Monte Carlo and is it already time to “dive into” the next round. This weekend the Formula 1 world championship will be in Montmelò in Spain.

It will certainly be interesting to evaluate, on the one hand, the major innovations announced by Ferrari and, on the other hand, verify the potential of the “new” Mercedes after the updates introduced in Monte Carlo. With the arrival in Barcelona, we will be able to have the first test of the team situation, without prejudice to the absolute domination of Red Bull.

I want to hope that what we saw a week ago in Monte Carlo does not represent the real face of Ferrari which must absolutely give a turn to its season around, as well as finding once again that peace of mind necessary to face difficulties. Lately I have seen too many drawn faces. They need to smile again and enjoy themselves. The results will come accordingly. I believe that, for the first time in his career, Fernando Alonso is also enjoying himself.

I welcomed with pleasure the news of new grafts. Having finished the period of gardening they can get to work with a view to 2024. Ferrari must inevitably reinforce its team and insert new life to start halving and then eliminating the gap from Red Bull. The road is long, but you have to start somewhere.

Monte Carlo gave us a growing Mercedes, just like Alpine (with the first point of the season) and McLaren which placed both drivers in the top ten. Monte Carlo is certainly an anomalous track, and I had the impression that, especially in McLaren, they had wagered a lot on the setup for rain.

Starting from Friday it will be interesting follow the “third tier” teams with McLaren, Alpha Tauri and Alpine. This winter Montmelò did not host the pre-season tests and therefore we can only make a comparison with 2022. In terms of the front-rank positions, I certainly do not expect an upheaval (except for disasters) with Verstappen and Perez dominating. I was amazed by the strong criticism levelled at the Mexican driver by the team. He certainly made a rookie’s mistake in qualifying but, in any case, he still won two grands prix this season.

I await free practice 1 and 2 which will inaugurate the seventh round with great trepidation, with the hope of being able to see an electrifying qualifying like a week ago and an exciting grand prix.

Gian Carlo Minardi