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