MINARDI M195 | FAENZA RAISES ITS NOSE CONE
After the positive season in 1994 which ended with 5 points to its credit and tenth place in the Constructors’’ Championship the Board of Directors decided to raise the bar by giving priority to a more powerful engine which would have given greater guarantees for the leap in quality.
The choice fell on the Mugen-Honda with the Japanese who made themselves available. After having made all the preliminary agreements and with the work already started for the definition of the details of the engine to be installed in the new racing car Honda announced that its engines would go to Ligier owned by Flavio Briatore. Minardi stated a long legal action against the manager from Cuneo and his team which ended only on the occasion of the British Grand Prix on July 9 with the lump sum refund for the damages suffered and the cancellation of Minardi’s residual debt in regards to the Cosworth owned by the same Briatore.
The design of the M195 had to continue in any case and for the 1995 season it was decided to fall back on the usual Cosworth engine, the 3000 cc Ford ED V6.
Designed by Aldo Costa, the M195 was the first Minardi with a high nose cone and made its debut in Interlagos in Brazil on March 26 in the first of the 17 rounds on the calendar.
The design of the flanks and the air intakes of the radiators will be taken up by the 1997 Ferrari F310. Created with a new front wing with step that traced the pan section, this solution was gradually abandoned between the GPs in Spain and Monte Carlo. Furthermore, the M195 was characterized by the exhaust of the hot air on the upper part of the flanks (similar to the first McLaren Mp24), a solution that was also abandoned after the French GP.
The major developments in 1995 on the sporting front were the retirement of Michele Alboreto from F1 after having started his career with the F2 Minardi in 1982 winning at Misano and the arrival of Luca Badoer beside Pierluigi Martini with the latter giving way for Pedro Lamy starting from Hungary.
The season was run fast with a number of placings in the top 10: 8th place with Badoer in Montreal and Hungary, 7th Martini at Silverstone and Badoer 10th, 9th by Lamy at the Nurburgring and Badoer in Suzuka and Lamy’s 10th place at Spa-Francorchamps.
Just when it was thought that the season would end with no points, on November 12 in Adelaide the Portuguese driver took 6th place (after having started in 21st place on the grid) behind Mika Salo in the Tyrrel, a point that once again placed the team in 10th place amongst the Constructors.
During the end of season tests on the Fiorano track of November 25 and 26 another young driver was called, Giancarlo Fisichella, who would make his debut in the Formula 1 world championship with the Minardi team in Melbourne on March 10, 1996.