I look forward to the Monte Carlo weekend with pleasure to find a bit of normality after the events that strongly affected the territories of the Emilia-Romagna Region. A week after the disaster, the emergency is unfortunately not over yet and we at the Imola Circuit are trying to re-establish a touch of normality, as well as having given our contribution to the population by making the square available to house the water pumps coming from France, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Pumps which are already in operation with the capacity to extract thousands of litres of water every hour.
Amongst other things, the Local Council of Faenza, like the regional government, has decided to set up a fund raiser to support the people and the communities affected, thanks to the generosity of those who want to take part in this initiative.
On the ticket front, I also put my trust in the passion and the strength of our supporters who could reconfirm for the 2024 event. An effort by each one of them would be transformed into a big assist for the motor sport community.
In any case, the world must carry on and we have come to the weekend of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship after the cancellation of Imola. There is surely a lot of expectation both because Mercedes has brought many new developments (see suspensions and new barge boards) and for the ban on using the tyre warmers with the full wet tyres. This very experiment would have begun from Imola.
Unlike Toto Wolff’s men, Ferrari ‘s people decided to wager mainly on reliability, delaying the introduction of the new developments to Spain. We are faced with an anomalous GP in which qualifying traditionally plays a priority role. Up to now qualifying has not been a weak point for the “reds” and it could take advantage of this occasion.
The same also applies to Fernando Alonso. If he is supported adequately by the car the GP will be favourable for him. I heard the news of the Aston Martin – Honda agreement with pleasure. This is synonymous with continuity and growth. Those who enter (or come back to) the Circus to compare themselves with others is always welcome. This agreement can transform itself into a further technical leap for Aston Martin, a team in strong growth as it demonstrated in this first part of the season. Alonso-Honda? The agreement is for 2026 but, as much as I wish the best for “Nado”, it will be hard for me to see him still in the Circus for that date.
The race on the streets of Monte Carlo has been anticipated by the latest Hamilton – Ferrari “rumour”. The seven times world champion has been cornered with a downward economic agreement. I honestly think this is hard and I believe it is all talk. At the present time Ferrari has major difficulties on the car front and it would make no sense to lose a fast driver like Leclerc (even if not absent from mistakes) in favour of a driver, even if a 7 times world champion, of a certain age who at this moment has the wages of Russell. On the other hand, I do not see why Leclerc would move to Mercedes, even if with some problems to resolve, and alongside the British driver.
I would leave everything as it is and concentrate the efforts on the car.
Gian Carlo Minardi