Interview with Carlo Minardi

Q+A with Gian Carlo Minardi Q: On 16 March the World Championship Formula 1 will start. Most of the team have changed their pilots, as Alonso who is come back in Renault together J. Nelson Piquet, Kovalainen in McLaren to pair with Lewis ...

Q+A with Gian Carlo Minardi

Q: On 16 March the World Championship Formula 1 will start. Most of the team have changed their pilots, as Alonso who is come back in Renault together J. Nelson Piquet, Kovalainen in McLaren to pair with Lewis Hamilton, Fisichella Force with India, while the champions of the World Ferrari, BMW, Honda and Red Bull don't change their driver. In your opinion what will be the best training of pilots?

CM: Surely winner and little has changed for this advantage and I see a Ferrari favourite. Then I believe the changes will benefit the regulation of horse stables. It will be essential to work well during these months, and then only at the first grand prix start to see the real potential of each team.

This year in Frmula 1 have many new and young faces with Nelson Piquet J. , The champion of neo GP2 Timo Glock, Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel, although he already taken part in some grand prizes in the final season of 2007.

They are all very young and promising it will be important to allow them to work and develop them with tranquillity. Unlike many of my colleagues are confident about the potential of Nelson Piquet J., a pilot who has a great opportunity to be able to see in all its value. It also has the good fortune to have as a stable companion bi-world champion Fernando Alonso from which will learn a lot.

Q: Unfortunately this year will be no young Italian Formula, even if Luca Filippi joined the programme Honda. Do you thing missing our pilots to make the transition in F1?

CM: It 'a problem that has lasted many years. The young riders grow in the various categories propedeutiche, but then fail to make the final in F1. Pantano and Liuzzi were proposed in Formula 1, but then failed to stay. Davide Rigon is another striking example. A pilot who has demonstrated a good talent by winning the various leagues in which he Corsican, whose difficulties budgets are limiting his career

The fundamental problem, in my opinion, is that Team Ferrari does not have a young programm, unlike any other team, from Honda, Red Bull and Renault.

Moreover, in these days, some of these teams have signed agreements with minor leagues putting at stake as a reward for the winners a few days of testing at the wheel of their single-seater. This policy has allowed us to bring young drivers in Formula 1 and hold high interest in this sport.

Unfortunately, the team of Maranello paralyzes the growth of young pilots attracting the interest of companies to its championship, by missing is the money that the right coverage.

However, the Ferrari team is changing direction and, therefore, I hope that early to give an opportunity to young talent to take part in a few days of testing.

Unfortunately Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella are almost at the end of their career.

Q: In recent years, we are talking about two major problems F1: costs too high and the lack of performance. With regard to costs, Max Mosley said that they want to set up the budgets for each team at $ 150,000,000. It will be a feasible thing and teams will accept a reduction so drastic?

CM: This means a radical change, but little control. In contrast to what happens in America and in various sports like Basketball where several companies have ceilings for sponsorship, in the Formula 1 manufacturers invest to win and get a return from the point of view of image and sales. The fact that they are entered into F1 was certainly a good thing from a certain point of view, but also the other an evil because it led to an increase in costs.

The FIA must seek to protect all the teams so that the same coverage and the same treatment from the technical and economic. The Minardi team is no longer in Formula 1 because it has never been protected by the FIA. We have always had to pay for engines, as well as the supply of tyres - only team.

Furthermore, I still remember that in 2003 we were on the track at Imola for a test session collective. On that occasion it was in our single-seater - which was an evolution of the 2001 and 2002 car - only 21 laps, registering with Justin Wilson 1.23.4, then comparing with the times marked during qualifying for the grand prix of the same year, we could start in the first row four. Just one month later, during the race, with the same single-seater and the same suppliers of tires we failed to go beyond-- 1.26.000.

Frankly all this has always left me a little perplexed. Obviously having contracts I have not been able to seek clarification.

To reduce costs, I would welcome to call the free practice session on Friday, giving the team an opportunity to test young talent, without having to resort to additional days of tests with increased costs for leases the circuits and travel of the material. Nor forget that Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel had the chance to be seen during the sessions of free practice Friday.

I think the federation should rejuvenate, bringing new proposals.

Q: Also as regards the costs too high in recent years we have seen come into some new F1 team, but were not able to overcome the first year, while even the Prodrive has declined to make his entrance. She has participated for 21 Championships Worlds with very limited budgets, we can say what is the secret or what his idea to manage the Minardi Team?

CM: The Minardi Team's philosophy was to be independent and builders. Few but good and make simple single-seater. We were in 120 people and despite the few economic availability able to build 70-75% of the product. This means be builders. The Minardi has been a school for many pilots, engineers and mechanics. Unfortunately, we have always had little money, but the great strength was precisely in people who worked inside, coming od Forli - Modena, where are the best technicians from all over the world. If ever I were to start from zero, it would build the plant again on this axis. I personally am against the sale of the frames and the "clone" machines was definitely a penalty.

Failure entry of David Richard and his Prodrive featured in the F1 circus has to think, because this is a person who grew up in the world of motorsport, unlike the teams who have followed the Jordan. For those who are not accustomed to this environment is very difficult to stay afloat and not sink in high operating costs.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Justin Wilson , Davide Rigon , Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Sébastien Bourdais , Timo Glock , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Minardi , Jordan