Gian Carlo Minardi: "Formula 1 is short-sighted"

Formula 1 has again switched on its hybrid engines, giving rise to the second round of the Spanish collective test sessions. After Jerez, Circus moved to Barcelona. In addition to the intense work in the factories to improve new cars, the F1 Commission met in Geneva. The long awaited “white smoke” on the new 2016 regulations has not been reached. “It seems like to go back to the early ‘90s“, Gian Carlo Minardi said with a bit of irony. “Formula 1 will not ever change. Instead of proposing, it prefers the fastest and simple way, that’s to say to defer“.

In 1992, during an interview with MinardiNews, the monthly of the team from Faenza, Gian Carlo Minardi had already launched this alarm. In those years, F1 World Championship was struggling with the costs that were becoming unsustainable. Team Principal of the homonym team had focused his attention on important aspects aimed at reducing costs, but not to the technical limitations, because “… F1 must continue to be the ultimate expression of automotive technology”, he commented on MinardiNews in 1992. The areas on which should take action are very different “Limiting the number of cars to take to the track for each team. Getting just two, for example, it would save over the year on the construction of another car, with attached parts. Moreover, one mechanics team less to carry around the world …

To limit the number of engines to use for each Grand Prix. So, motorists would be forced to build more reliable engines, avoiding special units just for Qualifying. At the same time, to limit the tyres. In this way it would get to annual savings”, the manager from Faenza was analyzing, “of two/two and a half million dollars, which can also mean survival for a small team”. Reading about these proposals today it makes shudder, because these ideas have seen the light only in later years. “All things that have occurred after 8/9/10 years, to run after the escape of the great constructors and because of costs’ rising“. To date, however, things do not seem to change. “In Geneva, in a complicated moment for F1, none has taken decisions or tried to suggest important solutions. Everyone continues to further its one cause“, the former builder continues. “In 1992, the meetings were captained by the thirteen teams on the grid and ten exactly were represented by the same owner. The other three were Flavio Briatore for Benetton, Jean Todt for Ferrari and Peter Collins for Lotus, that is all characters who were very familiar with the circle”.

To hold court, it was the proposal to bring the engines to 1000 hp. “In order to change the image of the environment and attract the attention of fans, the core is not in increasing power. There’s need to bring back attention to the driver, even in the highest technology. Let me explain: why spend hours in the wind tunnel, generating aerodynamic appendages, to earn a few milliseconds at high costs and with a very limited public understanding? Wouldn’t it be better to have a clean and “simple” wing? Who is in front of TV or sitting in the stands, may not realize if a car is more powerful than 1 km/h or 1 tenth of a second. There are many other things to change, for example, making cars more appealing to the eye, or having hard-fought races, with actions of lead to the limit. Having wider tyres could be a nice choice too. Even the aesthetics would have earned“, Minardi concludes.