It’s Gian Carlo Minardi’s reprimand toward the people who want to replace the three-day rookie test session scheduled forJuly 17th to 19th at Silverstone, with a tyre test session.

After the blow-outs which affected the result of the British GP, the F.1 main actors thought about replacing the three-day- rookie test session with a session dedicated to tyre development.

We don’t have to forget that the test days dedicated to the young drivers were born with the aim of testing and valuing the most promising young drivers, putting them to the test behind the wheel of a F.1 car on a top-tier category’s track. That is a very important stage for all the drivers who strive for the F.1 and fight every weekend to win a race or a Championship in the preparatory series “ The situation we’re living today in F.1 is a consequence of the few tests made and tyre approval only after few tyre test sessions under weather conditions which were so different from those we’re experiencing in this period of the year”, says Gian Carlo Minardi “That being said, I don’t agree with the request of replacing the rookie test with tyre tests. In this moment we cannot afford to lose the chance to see young drivers in action behind the wheel of a F.1 car only because some regulation’ mistakes have been made to bring the cost down”, warns the manager from Faenza who has built his career supporting young drivers’ professional development “How much does  the “tyre-gate” cost in terms of image and economic loss? Maybe more than some tests planned to support single-seater and tyre development”

As an answer to some teams’ request, Charlie Whiting has said that the proposal will be taken into consideration. The FIA and the Pirelli have arranged a meeting for Wednesday to find a solution before next race, to be held at the Nurburgring (in 7 days).

Sunday’s blow-outs are a very important signal for safety. A tyre’s blow-out at 300 km/h can cause bad consequences for a driver and Adrian Newey points the finger at those teams which didn’t want to change compounds “In this moment teams are blaming each other about their influence on Pirelli’s decision to continue to use the same compound. I think Pirelli, one of the biggest tyre manufacturers all over the world, had informed on time the FIA about what was happening and all the problems to be faced. At that point the FIA should have automatically approved new tyres to ensure safety. In this way, all the arguments about the matter would have been called to a halt and the unanimous approval to proceed would have not been necessary”, ends Minardi.

F1Weekly podcast # 629


Clark and Nasir go over the 2013 Grand Prix du Canada and the upcoming FIA tribunal, we also have 50 words from the forum and this weeks bonus 

Interview with  Giovanni Minardi…

2003 – 2013. 10 is the number of the candles on the cake that Giovanni Minardi is going to put out this year. It’s been already 10 years since the Minardi Management was established. It’s a society which has brought several drivers and teams to success.

In your career you’ve worked with different racers who have all drawn attention on themselves in the Championships they’ve taken part  “I cannot complain about that. It’s in the Minardi DNA to work with young talents, with those racers who are a step ahead the others.” Giovanni has grown up living and breathing the world of motorsport. He began to learn the ropes in the Minardi Team when he was still a very young boy, then he cooperated with several different organizations before becoming a manager “I worked for my father’s team from 1996 to 2002. I started working as Minardi Test Team’s manager, and then in 1997 I became Minardi Racing Team’s manager. I took many roles to learn doing my job. I worked as a phone operator, tyre changer, mechanic, autobody mechanic,etc..That was a right way to experience every sectors of F.1, besides getting to know the team’s staff. After experiencing the world of F.1, I started cooperating with some teams acting in different Championships as a Sports Manager. I got many satisfactions taking that role. I won races and Championships such as F.3000, Superleague Formula and GT. It was after those experiences that I decided to establish a Management Society. The aim was to provide a complete Sport Management service.”

Throughout your career path you’ve worked and cooperated with many F.1 and preparatory formulas racers “I’ve talked about the Minardi DNA. I’ve lived beautiful moments. I remember when drivers such as Fernando Alonso started their career into F.1 thanks to the Minardi Team. I also saw Pastor Maldonado taking part to the Minardi tests at the end of the racing season. Thanks to those tests, which were dedicated to young drivers, he started taking up a career into F.1. The present is embodied by Davide Rigon. He’s a very talented driver, even though he lacks the financial support to compete in the F.1 Championship. If he had had enough financial resources, he would have been a F.1 driver since some years. Anyway Davide has won almost every Championship he has taken part in. Thanks to the success achieved he is now a member of the Ferrari, with which he has signed a contract as a professional driver and he’s taking an important role as a Ferrari F.1 tester and as a Ferrari 458 driver alongside the Kessel Team in the Blancpain Endurance Championship.”

What does being a Manager mean? “There’s not a unique receipt, you just have to put together all the pieces of a puzzle: 1) driver’s evaluation considering many aspects such as his racing background, his psycho-physical condition,etc.2) evaluate which Championship could be the most suitable for a driver. 3) It is very important to talk to the selected team in order to know its engineers and mechanics. 4) According to the budget available, it is important to suggest all the best technical and communication strategies to get the best sport and communication result.”

So a manager nowadays has to plan a driver’s career: “Motorsport has changed a lot over the last ten years, this is mostly due to the economic crisis the whole world is currently undergoing. Now more than ever it is necessary to make middle and long term investment plans to enable young drivers to become professional drivers and, why not, to get into F.1, which is the dream of all the people who enter the world of car racing. I think that having a manger it’s very important nowadays, because the world of motorsport is made up of several different National and International Championships, so a manager guides you choosing the right team, finding the best racing specialists to develop a driver’ skills and helps a driver to find the best solution in terms of physical and mental training. It’s getting more and more difficult to find financial resources, so it is very important to find a reliable guide who can support drivers to make the right moves in the best way. All that I said above, along with a long experience and a deep knowledge of motorsport mean being a manager.”

What are you lacking for? “I’m a Minardi, my family helped many drivers to take up a career into F.1. Many of them made the history of car racing, so I would like to bring a young driver into F.1, following him from karting to F.1. It will be a very difficult challenge, but it won’t be impossible. “


The Point by Minardi

F.1 –  Indian GP: THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

Waiting for some technical checks to be carried out on the car driven by Sebastian Vettel, the Indian GP  gave an important signal. Once again the Red Bull demonstrated not to be 100% reliable, but to their luck, unreliability affected Webber’s car, not Vettel’s.

We saw an amazing Fernando Alonso who needs the support of a car which is still seeking 5 tenths in qualifying but is able to limit the damage during the race. Anyway, we still don’t know the real potential of the Red Bull, since Vettel was never put under pressure. The end of the season will be exciting, with 75 points still up for grabs. The last lap demonstrated how difficult it is to understand the current racing season, with Vettel, Alonso and Button setting the fastest lap. By now, the fight is between two drivers even if, as Alonso said few days ago, the Spaniard of Ferrari is mainly fighting against Newey. We cannot ascribe any fault to the Spaniard. He’s focused and resolute. The Ferrari has to find new solutions, which is not easy to do with a racing season now at an end. It will be quite hard to make 13 points up, but not so impossible.

The order of arrival represented the existing potential of teams, with the Red Bull ahead of Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus, even if the distinction between them is not as sharp as in the last few years. The Ferrari has reliability on its side. That allows the car to maintain a second place and the McLaren is getting more and more performing on hard tyres, thanks to which it scored some wins during the current racing season. Hamilton sought to attack, who encountered a KERS problem, while Alonso tried to put pressure on Sebastian Vettel. Raikkonen had to be satisfied with a 7th place, behind a performing Massa. By now, it looks like the top 6 belongs to the first three drivers.   Thanks to his steadfastness, the Finnish driver preserves the third position in the general standing, but it won’t be easy to hold off the assaults of the Australian driver.

Thanks to Grosjean’s ninth place,  both Lotus cars come in the top 10 and, along with Williams, Force India and Sauber, they’re all “second class” teams who are trying to get a place in the sun. Both Sauber drivers have experienced a harder weekend, anyway its fifth place seems to be untouchable. Perez’ race was ruined by a tyre puncture caused by a brush with a rival’s front wing, which I consider too large.  I think it’s a matter of discussion, as wings don’t avoid wheels brushes. So, I think they’re too large and they can easily ruin the race of the drivers concerned.

In seven days drivers will race at Yas Marina. The Ferrari will have to find the right technical solution to allow Fernando and Felipe to shorten the speed gap with Red Bull in qualifying and demonstrate the similar speed to Vettel in race. In the last few GP the German driver  was never put under pressure and was able to exceed the record of  laps run as a leader, held by Senna.  

Gian Carlo Minardi

The Point by Minardi

F.1 – Gp   Japan: THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

This year Championship is deeply conditioned by outsiders and “second rows”, as proven by Massa and Kobayashi’ podium finish. It is clear that the supremacy shown by Red Bull during the race, make us think about 5 hot GP and make it clear that the fight is between Alonso and Vettel.

It’s a pity that Ferrari scored zero points, even if in this way, all the negativities experienced by drivers during the racing season will be well balanced. Starting from the next race in Korea , a mini-championship made up of 5 races will start.

In Maranello there will be so much work to do, because Vettel’ overwhelming power is alarming. Historically speaking, the Japanese track has never be hostile to the Italian team, as proven by the Brazilian driver’ second place. The Spaniard could have gained many more points. It will be so important to regain the way to victory. Naturally, Alonso is not free from being responsible for what happened, but Kimi would have never been able to pass him in that point. I think responsibility should be shared to 50%. They’ll have to roll up their sleeves. If you start from a front row, it will be harder for you to get involved in accidents.

Four points ahead are few, but they’re enough to maintain the leadership. During the last two-three races they’ve seen their advantage going down and down, so now it’s time to keep on working hard. Massa ’ performance was very good and he scored important points. He has proven to be on the rise, creating hardship to Ferrari team who, in my opinion, is thinking about a long-range solution which could go beyond the 2013.

On the contrary, McLaren is backwards. When so important changes occur during a racing season’ hot phase, destabilizations can be created. Probably, Hamilton ’s choice has created problems inside the team. The clarification made by the English team after qualifying may sound as a wake-up call. Hamilton and Webber are now out of contention for the World title, even if the Englishman will have to try to regain points  to get at least the third place inside the Championship.

The Australian driver’ race was ruined by the umpteenth “Grosjean-style” accident. I just can’t understand where he was trying to go. If he hadn’t found Webber on his way, he would have definitely gone off the track…….Despite all the amendments, he just keeps on making the same mistakes. He’s a fast driver, but the mistakes he makes are too heavy both for himself and for the team. The Lotus may fight for the third place. The Lotus is proving to be the thermometer of the Championship, even with regard to negative events.

Sauber’ great season continues. Unfortunately, a trivial mistake made by Perez at the hairpin, avoid the team to score further points. This car’ performances are so good and Kobayashi wasn’t able to withstand Button’ attacks, getting a podium finish for the first time, in front of his own audience. After Toyota , Honda and Bridgestone’ retreats, Japan needed to recapture that nationalistic spirit on which it can cheer..

Great race also for Force India , Williams and Toro Rosso. Maldonado didn’t make any mistake and Ricciardo withstood Schumacher’ attacks. In the next GP, Sauber and Lotus can become part of  the points sharing and, obviously we don’t have to forget about McLaren.

Gian Carlo Minardi

THE POINT by Minardi


The fight of Alonso and Ferrari against McLaren, Red Bull and Lotus is the leitmotiv of this year racing season. One by one, the rivals of Ferrari aim at going off with points. Reliability plays the main role again and today bad luck has been at Hamilton ’s side, while in Monza was at Vettel’s side.

It’s so positive to escape unharmed from a race such as the Singapore Gp, which was featured by many accidents . It’s positive especially if you get a third position after spending an uneasy weekend start. Maranello has to seek after some tenth to support Alonso, as the Italian team can’t always rely on miracles. We still have four contenders to the world title and Ferrari is on 29 points over Vettel, so, positioning could be enough, even if they have to improve performances and research.

Talking about feelings, the Singapore Gp didn’t keep up with the racing season we’ve been experiencing, even if we saw some fights concerning tyres changing and accidents, especially the one involving Schumacher. The weekend was in Hamilton ‘ hands, the only driver who was able to tackle the overwhelming power of the Red Bull’s  German driver. After tackling Vettel’s supremacy, driving an amazing lap in qualifying, the Englishman was leading the race. If he hadn’t had a hydraulic problem, he surely would have won the race. To keep up with the English driver, Vettel was risking a lot. Massa handled a good race. Unfortunately, if a driver starts from a bottom row, he is likely to run into a car clash. After getting back on track in the last position and changing strategy, he was able to get up to the 8th position, making good passes , as well . The Brazilian driver is probably getting back to his old self again.

I would have expected something more from Lotus running on soft and super-soft tyres, but maybe the car’ performances are better when on medium. The team saw its two drivers positioning in the top 10. Grosjean was Raikkonen’s second guide. The Finnish driver holds the world standing’s third position although he hasn’t score a win yet. We have many outsiders such as Di Resta and Maldonado who, relying on competitive cars, may act as a balance for points distribution. The Sauber has got us used to its ups and downs. The Swiss team showed to be more competitive on hard and medium tyres. Using that kind of tyres you can even afford to deploy more risky strategies which sometimes can pay off with good performances.

A honest race for Rosberg who leads Mercedes towards the 5th place. This fact should give us pause. If the team had “two Rosberg”, it could strive for the first four places. The reaction of Technicians toward Schumacher’ mistake was meaningful, so I think It’s time to change, even If  Hamilton shift to Mercedes will be so difficult. Over the last three years, the McLaren team has been the one who got the greatest number of successes. If the three-pointed star team wants to improve, it will have to support Rosberg with a promising young driver ( i.e. Di Resta) or take a look around.

THE POINT…by Minardi


The week-end in Monza was so “stressful” both for Ferrari and Fernando Alonso. After jinxing, saying that the Italian team had run 23 flawless Gps, we just have to admit that the last seven days have been so hard for Ferrari, starting from the Gp in Spa, going through free practices, qualifying and race in Monza .

It’s clear that, when in trouble, a real champion like Fernando had the ability to seize every good chance and managed to obtain good results. In the first laps he showed the real potential of Ferrari. Good start, followed by some important overtaking, showing that Saturday’s bad result was simply caused by a technical glitch. On Saturday the car could have clinched the pole and could have aimed for the win. 37 points lead over Hamilton may seem few, but they are a clear example of the team’ good performances. Massa did a good job throughout the week-end, as well. He suffered the overwhelming power of Fernando, but he’s just getting over his position inside the World Championship. The Brazilian driver took a good start and  managed the car in a good way. He was such a good support to the team as a second leader. He scored many important points just in a moment in which the Italian team hasn’t decided about the future yet.

Besides the qualifying problem, the “Red from Maranello” proved to be more reliable than its competitors. That could be considered as a good advantage. The Red Bull has big problems to assert his supremacy as it did in the past, while Button pit stop’ mistake on the 23rd lap and the following withdrawal on the 32nd demonstrate the weakness of McLaren. Alonso himself has always considered Hamilton as his main rival. Despite that, they have to continue to work and find new strategies to be aggressive.

I was expected something more from the “ little ant Raikkonen” who managed to score important points thanks to which he got up to the standing’ third place, just one point away from Hamilton. His way of working can give him a great result. We’re living the most amazing World Championship ever. Good surprises can also come from those teams who are not striving for the World title, as the case of Perez. There are many different outsiders  (Sauber, Force India , Williams, Mercedes) who can act as referees. The strategy of Peter Sauber’s team is really good. The car is so performant. It is clear that, if  you don’t strive for the title, you can risk some strategies that can repay you with a podium. Perez gave maximum attention to the strategy, the tyres and the car.  Now the Swiss team is fighting against Mercedes to obtain the fifth place in the constructors’ Championship. A great result for a team on a human scale: I identify myself in it. The Mercedes is a 2012 disappointment. Schumacher and Rosberg have maximized the car’ potential but we expected something more. They’re constantly fighting for the 5th-7th place.

Next venue will be Singapore . It’s a urban circuit where compounds will be different. We’re getting into the final part of the racing season. We leave behind a good Italian Gp, full of overtaking. As far as the battle Vettel vs Alonso is concerned, I do agree with the decision taken by Stewards. The German driver was very tough on the Spaniard. I’d like to highlight the seriousness with which Pirro imposed a penalty to Vettel. For 15 days FIA has been imposing a strict control on mistakes.