Gian Carlo Minardi “Games in F1. Unleashed Honda on the hunt for a Top Driver”

The media “tam-tam” around the announcement of Max Verstappen continues to monopolize the conversation, diverting the attention both from the results on the track and from the great manoeuvres behind the scenes. The move of Red Bull, ‘teacher in marketing’, that has in fact attracted all the attention on itself creating a real media event, denied the undisputed leaders of this championship the front pages of newspapers and networks. “With this move, Red Bull has been able to convey the attention on itself, distracting those in the know from the results on the track or from the manoeuvers related to the drivers’ market. In these last days, it has spoken predominantly about the lightning passage of the young Max Verstappen in Toro Rosso, blurring the unbelievable result in qualifying, that highlighted two Mercedes fobbing off two world champions as Sebastian Vettel (3rd) and Fernando Alonso (4th) with even 2″ in qualifying. These performances have reaffirmed in Race, demonstrating an incredible superiority in overall level (chassis – Power Unit – electronics), although undermined by Pilots’ mistakes”, analyzes Gian Carlo Minardi on

Red Bull opened the games, but in these days great manoeuvres are expected. “After the significant investments within McLaren, Honda is looking for a Top Driver. The recent statements of loyalty by Fernando Alonso at Ferrari have effectively removed one of the ‘unhappy’. Therefore, Vettel and Hamilton remain into play. From Japan, a very strong manoeuvre is suggested to me; it has been played in the last days by Honda, in order to win the pair Newey/Vettel. Exactly at Spa-Francorchamps, Bernie Ecclestone approached Sebastian Vettel. As happened on other occasions, driven by the various actors, Mr. E might have tried to put his own, in order to convince the German champion to accept this new challenge without involving Newey. Even to Ecclestone would be convenient to see a top-driver in the recovered McLaren-Honda pair”.

The involvement of the Japanese manufacturer against Sebastian Vettel would get back into the game the landing of Carlos Sainz Jr. in Formula 1. Gian Carlo Minardi hopes for Toro Rosso in very “Young” version, with Verstappen-Sainz Jr. and the Russian Kvyat, promoted in Red Bull Racing alongside Daniel Ricciardo. As already mentioned a few days ago: “On the basis of these news, the mosaic begins to take shape. By signing the young Max, Red Bull (a brand strongly aimed at young people) accomplished an important marketing action, as well as acquiring a new potential talent. Moreover, it might also realize the task that practically everyone took for granted: Carlos Sainz Jr. in F1, Toro Rosso side. At this point, it comes easy to think about a promotion for the young Russian Kvyat alongside Ricciardo, in case the transition of Sebastian Vettel to Honda will materialize“.

Hamilton’s enigma still remains. Unhappy more than ever after the ‘close contact’ with Rosberg, he has been defended for the first time firmly and peremptorily by Team Principal Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda. Is a new scenario emerging, changing the future strategies of Mercedes? Does a new pretender loom on the horizon … Valtteri Bottas? A young man who showed his value on track and we should not forget that he has a remarkable manager: Toto Wolff!“, concludes Gian Carlo Minardi.

The games are getting to the heart and in Monza we will know what developments will materialize for many of these movements behind the scenes.