Beyond the criticism that can be done to Red Bull for the debut next year of a just 17-years-old boy, the case of Max Verstappen has certainly our approval and it led me to think about Formula 1 and its evolution. Of course, the DNA of rumours is to focus on young people, being their “market” as a brand. Then, having the possibility to rely on a satellite team like Toro Rosso is a greater incentive.
As already pointed out in previous weeks, TR could espouse a very “green” cause (with all the consequences of the case), adding the Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr to the 20-years-old Verstappen, thus trying to grow the two young pilots, in order to promoting them later in Red Bull Racing, as it happened with Vettel, Ricciardo and, perhaps, Kvyat. The Australian can be considered effectively a number 1. Therefore, now Vettel’s departure would become meaningless.
The media “tam-tam” of Verstappen-Toro Rosso led me to think aloud about the different problems of Formula 1. For example, the average age of fans is rising. This means that the “Circus” does not thrill the younger generation anymore. I see this reflection as an important alarm bell, that can’t be overlooked. How to intervene?
CIRCUIT LIKE A COUNTRY OUTING: the race weekend have to be turned into a country outing with friends and relatives. An opportunity to have fun, to party and to amuse, enjoying an amazing race with wurstel, sausage and beer. I remember that in the ’85-’86-’87 years, the appointment of Imola was prepared by “Minardi Club Faenza” since Monday, with the installation of trailers with music, watching the race together and eating “Piadina” (typical flat bread of Romagna). 2014 Spa, Silverstone and Austria were beautiful sceneries, with fields crowded again by fans. There is a return to the past, that is necessary to ride.
FINDING NEW PILOTS OF INTERNATIONAL INTEREST: it’s necessary to promote young people. The public wants to know his favourites. It might focus on tests for young pilots or dedicating them the Friday morning. Red Bull has already hit the mark with Verstappen, since the team has managed to direct all the attention on itself. In Holland, they go all crazy. A new name, perhaps still unknown to the public, is ready to make his entrance, coming directly from the International F.3. Almost as it happened in the past. It would be nice if this project were followed also by other teams, thus providing more space for talented young people. Do not forget that we are, in fact, talking about a guy who is second in raking, who fights on the track with colleagues that are equal to him. I am of course thinking about our Fuoco and Giovinazzi or about the leader, Ocon. In the past, Monte Carlo was the fixed appointment of all teams’ managers, on the occasion of F.3 race. All the best drivers confronted themselves with a demanding track. Who stood out among the narrow streets of the Principality was taken into account.
PLANNING THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: having so many categories is negative, because values are lost. In the past, the pyramid was composed by F.3-F.2-F.1 with natural selection. In these last two years, International Formula 3 has once again become the benchmark of pilots, exactly as it was in the past. Now we need an Intermediate Formula to get to F.1. The current GP2 is not reaching its goals, because of its high costs. FIA is making a great effort to rebuild a road to the “Olympus” of motor sport, starting from the new Formula 4.
I don’t want to pass as who wants to impose his own rules, but I just want to give some advice, as enthusiast and fan of this sport. We are talking about the Top category and it is not admissible to have empty or uncrowded stands. I have the feeling that people are falling out of love with Formula 1.
Gian Carlo Minardi