Hungary was the setting for the new qualifying format which saw the drivers face up to three sessions with the imposed compounds. A new experiment which requires further verdicts, but I find the signs decidedly positive. It can have a future. We saw a wonderful tussle on the edge of hundredths of a second. In Q2 sixteen cars were enclosed within a gap of barely 7 tenths of a second. In Q3 ten cars in little more than half a second with Hamilton, Verstappen, and Norris in 85 thousandths. It is easy to see surprises as happened with George Russell who went from the “rags” to “riches”. I am curious to see it repeated in Monza.

As far as the grand prix is concerned, what can I say? Max Verstappen was superlative, supported by a great Red Bull- They confirmed they are absolutely unbeatable. Verstappen crossed the finish line 33.7” ahead of Lando Norris, an excellent second place with McLaren, confirming the excellent evolutionary step already seen in Austria and England.

Oscar Piastri confirmed what I have been saying for some time, he is growing from race to race, above all since the World Championship has come to the tracks he already knew. More, now that he is also supported technically. He is possibly lightly punished by the strategies in favour of Norris, an English driver in an English car.

Too bad for Lewis Hamilton. With the imperfect start he denied himself the podium finding himself quickly behind not only Verstappen’s Red Bull, but also the two McLarens.

Sergio Perez completed his task, considering the car available to him. After a disastrous Saturday he recovered the podium, the minimum result. His teammates domination has probably demoralized him. Friday’s mistake was very serious, on the first lap on a wet track. A driver who aspires for the world championship cannot make these mistakes.

An equally serious mistake by Charles Leclerc in pit lane, even if it cost him little considering the 70” gap (which would have been 65 without the penalty) paid in regard to Verstappen. In any case, if you want to play for the world championship you cannot trip over such trivialities. A mistake also by the team, with the left rear. There is certainly great nervousness in Ferrari. The team cannot find a way out.

Today Red Bull also inflicted a lesson and moral, technical, and sporting slap to everyone with a pitstop that finished in 1.9” (Ferrari made 2.6”), to which must be added the best lap of the race by the Dutchman in 1:20.540. The only one to fall under the 1:21 barrier was Lewis Hamilton, the best of the others, who stopped at 1:21.601. Lando Norris 1:22.178. Charles Leclerc 1:22.469.

Now we only have to wait for Spa-Francorchamps before the summer break.

Gian Carlo Minardi


If, on the one hand the Azerbaijan GP gave us the usual unstoppable Red Bull which set the third double of the season (in the first four rounds), on the other hand Ferrari set its seal on the double pole position and on the two podiums with Charles Leclerc interrupting the positive streak of Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin (always on the podium since the start of the season).

I was left positively impressed by the two times set by Leclerc in the final part of the GP with the fuel tank full and hard tyres. The driver from Monte Carlo lapped in the same times as Verstappen and Perez staying in the tussle for the fastest lap, together with Nando (which then went to George Russell after the pit-stop). It was exciting. A positive sign, above all connected to the wear of the tyres, one of the SF-23’s Achille’s heels,” commented the President of Formula Imola, Gian Carlo Minardi.

Leclerc crossed the finish line little more than 21 seconds from the winner Perez, paying a gap of 44 tenths of a second per lap. “A major step forward compared to the 7-8 tenths of a second at the start of the season. Ferrari managed to make the most of the month without races to make its car grow, also because now demanding tour-de-force awaits them with 5 GPs in six weeks”.

After Miami the world championship will come to Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit for the Qatar Airways Gran Prix of the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna from May 19 to 21.At Imola I expect even smaller gaps. Ferrari and Aston Martin could start to interfere in Red Bull’s schedule. Amongst other things it will be the setting for a new form of qualifying: the drivers will face Q1 with the hard compound, Q2 with the medium and Q3 the soft. An unknown factor to keep us entertained and a major reason to support Ferrari. Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and all our favourites. I hope to see many fans also on the Friday and Saturday when there will also be support races”.

The President of Formula Imola called all the enthusiasts and fans together to experience the first European round with many new features, and an intense racing programme between Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3 e Porsche SupercupIf the teams have taken advantage of this month long gap to develop their racing cars, we have worked to make the Circuit as accessible and comfortable as possible. In order to satisfy the needs of the fans we have set up another six grandstands and other new developments will be announced soon. Furthermore, the weekend’s programme will be full of races, with many Italians already protagonists. Above all in Formula 3” Tickets are on sale on the Circuit’s website.


Tomorrow it finally starts after the very long lockdown. It will be a restart full of variables starting with the weather forecasts that promise rain for Friday.

We are faced with a situation that is anomalous and new for everybody with a calendar that at the moment is made up of 8 rounds compressed into two months with the Italian grand prix scheduled for September 6.

It starts again on a track characterized by heavy braking and demanding bends where the gas will be open to the max for 78% of the lap. It is a considerable challenge for the drivers who have been practically stopped since the March tests except for some sporadic outings on the track.

Red Bull will take to the track after the wins in the last two editions but Mercedes is still the car of reference despite the reliability problems that emerged during the Barcelona tests.

The teams have had little time to work on the developments that were initially planned and they will restart from the winter tests that highlighted great competitiveness with the cars enclosed within a gap of barely 1.7”.

Amongst this season’s anomalies we have to also add the change of colours of some drivers with Carlos Sainz’s arrival in Ferrari, Ricciardo’s in McLaren and Sebastian Vettel momentarily on foot.

We will also have to watch what will happen inside the paddock considering the significant financial problems of the teams (see Williams and McLaren) and also on the part of Liberty Media.

There is a lot of meat on the fire but one thing is certain. At 11.00 am tomorrow, Friday, the motor will roar once more.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Sunday May 7, 2017, Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit. This was certainly another important date in the history of the Minardi Team and especially for Gian Carlo Minardi.

Since we began this trip amongst the cars from Faenza many of you fans have asked us to tell the story of the Lamborghini powered Minardi M192 but we deliberately waited.

As we said, May 7, 2017. Why this date rather than go back to May 17, 1992, the day of the M 192’s debut in the Formula 1 World Championship at the San Marino Grand Prix (the 5th Grand Prix)?

We are again at the Santerno circuit but the occasion was the second edition of the Historic Minardi Day, the event created by Gian Carlo Minardi together with his brothers and brought to the track alongside Formula Imola.

Collector and driver Fritz van Eerd made available to Gian Carlo Minardi the M192-Lamborghini (ex Fittipaldi. Zanardi and Morbidelli) who thus made his absolute debut at the wheel of one of his cars. In fact, we discovered that before then Gian Carlo had never wanted to try one of his cars.

The circuit’s pit lane and terrace were full of fans and the Gian Carlo’s exit from the pit was accompanied by a roar and applause.

“It was a magic moment and I must thank my friend Frits van Eerd. This event will stay in the history of the Historic Minardi Day, also because I’m sure I set the slowest ever lap at the wheel of a racing car,” remembered a smiling Gian Carlo.

The racing car designed by Aldo Costa mounted a Lamborghini engine-gearbox group and is characterized by a highly visible front wing inspired by the Jordan (which proved to be rather unstable).

This solution was the main cause of the performance problems of the car as it was extremely hard to find a good compromise between slow and fast, while on some circuits such as Hungaroring and Spa it was downright undriveable.

At high speed the front wing loaded too much forcing penalizing choices on the set up to avoid under steer at speed. In view of the Italian GP in Monza the team decided to take a step back and returned to the design of the M191 and the balance of the car changed radically.

Not coincidentally, on that weekend Morbidelli took 10th place on the starting grid while in Japan Fittipaldi took a deserved 6th place.

It was a car with major potential, unfortunately created badly, but it is still in the hearts of many fans. Since May 7, 2017 there is also another reason.

5000 enthusiasts at the Imola Circuit formalize the success of the second edition of the Historic Minardi Day

It was an edition of the Historic Minardi Day that showed itself stronger than the weather. Not even the rain managed to dampen the enthusiasm of the five thousand passionate fans that went to Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit to live a full weekend dedicated to motorsport and the team from Faenza.

On Saturday and Sunday more than twenty five Formula 1 racing cars which included not only historic Minardi cars but also Ferrari, Williams, Dallara, Fondmetal and about thirty F2, F3 and GT cars took turns at racing around the track that was the stage for more than forty years of racing history. The paddock and the pits were invaded by passionate fans from all around Italy together with Team founder Gian Carlo Minardi and racing drivers who wrote important pages of motorsport history such as Pierluigi Martini, Luca Badoer, Gaston Mazzacane, Roberto Moreno, Giovanni Lavaggi, Alessandro Nannini, Emanuele Pirro, Andrea Montermini, Gabriele Tarquini, Nicola Larini and Riccardo Patrese who were also protagonists of the Golf match on Friday that was the prologue to the weekend.

A weekend of motorsport, music and show business with the presence ontrack of the Roman singer songwriter Max Gazzè who was the protagonist of the Live Music Show on Saturday evening who shared with Gian Carlo Minardi one of the event’s most emotional moments at the wheel of a Lamborghini powered M192. At 11.30am the manager from Faenza made his debut at the wheel of a Minardi racing car owned by Dutch collector Fritz Van Eerd and completed a lap at low speed of the whole Imola circuit accompanied by the warm applause.

“I think I made an Imola track record with the slowest ever lap by car,” joked Gian Carlo Minardi as soon as he left the car, “I must thank my friend Fritz who made everything available for me from the car to the helmet, It was a beautiful and emotional gift. At 70 years of age and with slicks on a wet track I realized a dream that I had delayed for too long. I must thank all the collectors and drivers for all the affection and warmth they showed, together with that of the fans. One aim of the Historic Minardi Day was to bring families back to the track and to bring them closer to what for me is the most beautiful sport. The aim was achieved in spite of the bad weather and rain.”

“Thanks too to the presence of my friend Max Gazzè who despite the terrible weather conditions entertained us with great music on Saturday evening and who shared the atmosphere of the pits for the whole weekend.”

“Of all my concerts, I will always remember Gian Carlo Minardi’s congeniality who, in a surreal ambiance, moved to the rhythm of the music under an umbrella,” was the Roman singer songwriter’s comment.

“Despite the weather not helping the event there were really many enthusiasts who took part in the second Historic Minardi Day. It’s a sign that when we speak about Formula 1, whether historical or current, the Imola circuit brings back memories that always live in the minds and the hearts of those who love this sport. I want to thank the Minardi family for having made us live these emotions and I hope that this event will become even more an irrevocable appointment on the calendar of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit,” said Pier Giovanni Ricci (Circuit Director).

There were positive reactions from the protagonists “I waited 55 years to drive a Minardi and I finally managed to do it. We are celebrating the story of a man and a team that wrote pages of motorsport history, a history of passion, tenacity and challenging difficulties. It was an incredible weekend. I hope it becomes a permanent appointment in the future,” said an enthusiastic Emanuele Pirro.

After 17 years Gaston Mazzacane, a protagonist of the 2000 season together with Marc Genè once more took to the wheel of a Minardi M02. “It was a dream to come back to Imola and drive a Formula 1 car. I had the same emotions as then. Congratulations to the Minardi family. It was a sensational event. The quality and numbers of cars were incredible,” said the Argentinean driver.

“I love Gian Carlo Minardi. I raced for him seven years,” said an unmistakeable and sarcastic Alessandro Nannini who was also the protagonist of the Golf match at Faenza’s Le Cicogne Golf Club. “Last year I could not be here but I have already booked a place for the 2018 edition,” concluded the ace from Siena.

“With Gian Carlo Minardi I experienced fantastic years and I am tied to him and the team in a special way. I owe him a lot. It was a great event which not even the rain ruined or stopped. I came as a guest but next year it would be fantastic to come back in a driving suit and helmet,” declared Luca Badoer who is now committed to following his son in his first steps in kart racing.

The Historic Minardi Day also invaded the hills and medieval towns surrounding Imola and Faenza with a caravan of over thirty historic road cars in the Minardi Classic.

F1 – GP Abu Dhabi: The analysis of the qualifications of Gian Carlo Minardi

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