F1 | Ricciardo-Verstappen the strongest couple. Interview with Gian Carlo Minardi

These have been days rich in announcements within the F1 Circus, especially at Mercedes-Williams-Sauber which have completed the puzzle. All the pieces have found their place without any twists, respecting recent previsions and rumors. The editorial staff of www.minardi.it has met Gian Carlo Minardi for an interview.

One after the other, three official press releases have arrived. Valtteri Bottas is the new Mercedes driver.

With this choice, Mercedes has got more weak because it bets on a second driver. Bottas is surely a good driver, but he didn’t cause any trouble to an “old” driver like Felipe Massa. In my opinion, we cannot compare Rosberg’s and Bottas’s career because German driver’s Williams wasn’t as today. I expect a Bottas in trouble against a cannibal like Lewis Hamilton, especially if he won’t be distracted by extra-sports events like this year. With his choice, Rosberg has caused some problems to Mercedes that had to take remedial actions when the market was already closed. The one year agreement (with the option for a second one) is the proof that it is a repair choice. The Finnish driver risks a lot. If he fails, he will become unemployed at 28 year old.

Felipe Massa at Williams beside Stroll.

I have said it since the first moment. After his good career, he risks to jeopardize his reputation in a single season. I find it difficult to have the right incentives to face a demanding season like next year’s one beside a young boy, unfairly criticized, that has been able to impose himself in every championship.

Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber in Felipe Nasr’s place.

We must recognize Toto Wolff’s managerial ability. He managed to place both his drivers. Ocon at Force India and the German at Sauber motorized by Ferrari. Before promoting them to the first team, Wolff has tested them, and Wehrlein will have more difficulties. I consider them both good drivers.

Who would you like to see in the grid?

Antonio Giovinazzi without any doubt. Leaving him on the bench is a pity because the results in the last years speak in his favor. I would like to see him in action.

After last movings, which couple do you prefer?

Ricciardo-Verstappen. I see them more close-knit and strong. Now, Vettel-Raikkonen are an mystery. In 2016, Raikkonen managed to put in trouble his team-mate, while during last years he had fought to not deface. It will depend greatly on the kind of car that Ferrari will give them, but I see them weaker, especially regarding the Red Bull couple that will do its best, struggling one another to became the best one.

Ferrari and Mercedes have put eyes on Mick Schumacher.

Mick has undoubtedly a natural talent. Competition and velocity are in the Schumacher’s DNA. Anyway, it seems premature to make auctions to grab him. In my opinion, it is about respecting Michael for the two most important teams linked to his career. I hope this “game” goes in favor of the boy’s image.