MINARDI M193 – RECORD SEASON. FROM THE “LINK” TO THE FEAR AT MONZA
The M193 was the result of excellent teamwork between Gustav Brunner, who was newly arrived in Faenza, Aldo Costa and Gabriele Tredozi.
As well as the new livery in which Gian Carlo decided to favour white, this was the first single-seater equipped with hydraulic suspension. The regulations required the use of active suspensions and for this reason the people at Faenza designed the M193 with passive suspensions with a view to passing to the active in the following season.
The system provided for an innovative “link” between the front axis and the rear which made it possible to reduce the car’s pitching variations during breaking and acceleration. Unfortunately this innovative solution was short lived since it was banned by the ’94 technical regulations.
1993 was also the year Minardi adopted the first sequential gearbox. The racing car proved to be extremely performing in the races, especially thanks to the Ford HB V8 which was not very powerful but with low fuel consumption which allowed a lower fuel load which saved up to about 10-15 kg of load compared to its rivals with an obvious advantage during the race.
In the first race of the season, the South African Grand Prix on March 14, Christian Fittipaldi took an incredible fourth place followed by two 6th places in the European GP run at Donington Park and at Imola with Fabrizio Barbazza and the 5th place overall on the roads of the principality of Monte Carlo on May 23.
During the 1993 season Minardi showed major growth taking two 7th places (Donington Park and Monza with Pierluigi Martini who had taken over from Barbazza), three 8th places (Montmelò, Magny Cours and Monza), two 9th places (Montreal and Estoril) and 10th place at Suzuka in Japan.
From the British Grand Prix Pierluigi Martini returned to Faenza inheriting Fabrizio Barbazza’s seat and the two drivers quickly showed great feeling. However a misunderstanding probably created a dramatic incident on September 12 during the final metres of a hard fought Italian Gp in Monza.
The Brazilian driver in 8th place in his Minardi collided into the rear of its twin car driven by Martini in 7th place and flew a perfect loop, managing to cross the finish line. The telemetry reconstructed the dynamics: the Brazilian’s car was “sucked” into the wake of Piero’s car and the rear end collision was inevitable, just like the fainting fit that struck Christian’s mother who was present on the pit wall.
At the end of 16 Grands Prix Minardi had conquered 7 points which were worth eighth place in the Constructors’ ladder (out of 13 teams). The M193 did better than its “sisters” M189 and M191 that had stopped with a haul of 6 points. Gian Carlo had top level technical and sporting staff but the economic side was always a concern. At the end of the season Minardi sold two thirds of the team to Beppe Lucchini giving form to the Minardi-Scuderia Italia with Gian Carlo Minardi keeping his role as President and C.E.O., together with engineer Gianpaolo Stanzani.