Gian Carlo Minardi "F1 must value young drivers"

The weekend in Bahrain delivered the first spark to McLaren-Honda, thanks to the rookie Vandoorne called back from Japan at the last minute to substitute the injured Fernando Alonso. It was a difficult task for the Belgian driver 24 years old catapulted into a car that he had never tested because of his engagement in Super Formula. His debut was important, and he didn’t do a poor figure among World Champions.

It was a good weekend also for another young driver debuting in the World Championship: Pascal Wehrlein that in qualifying brought the little Manor in sixteenth, and ended his race ahead of two Sauber and Force India.

A result that should make us meditate. “It’s true, fortune has a great role in life, beyond the talent, but the fact that we don’t create specific occasions to test these young, excluding sporadic episodes linked to the accident of a regular driver, is ungenerous toward them. With tests blocked, the free practice on Friday would be an excellent occasion for young drivers. This way, we can also add value to the work of Federations”, says Gian Carlo Minardi consulted by“Only one in a thousand succeeds, but we ought give him the chance to test himself. Don’t forget that Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, just to name two, became what they are thanks to thousands of free practices on Friday morning dedicated to rookies where they proved to keep up with the job”, remembers the manager from Faenza who in his long career in the World Championship has promoted a lot of young drivers.

“Vandoorne was very fast and didn’t any mistakes. He caused some problems for Jenson Button, a World Champion, bringing the first point to McLaren. Without Alonso’s injury, he wouldn’t had this chance. It would have been a great pity. Who knows how many “Vandoorne” are there, just waiting their chance. Wehrlein’s weekend is also noteworthy, with a great past in DTM, but heavily debated. In spite of some complications of his Manor, he defended himself with a good qualifying and an excellent race”.

“Formula 1 must give a chance to the young. Today, instead, everything is blocked. This way isn’t the right one”, Gian Carlo Minardi concludes.