|Companies||Scuderia Minardi SpA|
|Company headquarters||Faenza , Italy|
|Team boss||Paul Stoddart|
|First Grand Prix||Brazil 1985|
|Last Grand Prix||China 2005|
|Constructors' championship||0 (best placement: 7th place 1991)|
|Drivers World Championship||0 (best placement: 11th Pierluigi Martini 1991)|
Minardi was an Italian racing team from Faenza , which competed in Formula Italia , Formula 2 , Formula 3000 and from 1985 to 2005 in Formula 1 . The team was initially called Scuderia del Passatore or Scuderia Everest, from 1980 it was then referred to as the Minardi Team after its owner Giancarlo Minardi . After the 2005 season, the team was sold to Dietrich Mateschitz , who continues racing under the name Scuderia Toro Rosso or, since 2020, Scuderia AlphaTauri .
Minardi was an integral part of Grand Prix racing from 1985 to 2005. After a difficult initial phase in which the team was overwhelmed with the use of their own engines, Minardi was initially able to establish itself in the midfield at the end of the 1980s, but fell noticeably since the mid-1990s and was regularly the weakest in the years thereafter Team of the field.
A core problem facing the team for many years was its weak financial position. For the last ten years of its existence, Minardi has operated on a budget that was occasionally less than a tenth of the budget of a top team. Giancarlo Minardi once stated that his team's annual budget would not even be enough to cover McLaren-Mercedes hospitality costs for one season. Minardi was known for making the best of scarce resources; Nevertheless, it was objectively difficult or even impossible in the end to regularly design new chassis that corresponded to the current state of the art. The financial difficulties also had a detrimental effect on the drive technology: since 1999 at the latest, Minardi had to use simple, mostly several years old engines, which resulted in a performance deficit of up to 100 hp.
All of this influenced the team's performance. Minardi rarely achieved sporting success in Formula 1. The team took in only 38 World Championship points in 345 Grand Prix in 21 years, most of them - 26 - in the first ten years. There were no victories. Minardi soon acquired the reputation of a sympathetic underdog, a team that was characterized by perseverance despite all hardships and where every place in the points was celebrated like a victory. As Mark Webber at the Australian Grand Prix in 2002 after two unsuccessful years finished fifth, he went with team boss Paul Stoddart after the official awards ceremony on the podium and was celebrated by the team and by the spectators.
Regardless of all financial problems, Minardi survived the phase of team death in the 1990s, to which numerous younger but also established racing teams such as Brabham , Lotus or Tyrrell fell victim, and was one of the few teams founded in the 1980s that was still in the 21st century. Century were active. Of the more than twenty Formula 1 teams established since 1981, only Minardi, Jordan , Sauber and Stewart Grand Prix survived .
The long-term survival of the team was ensured through regular share sales, mergers with other teams or changes in ownership. After Giancarlo Minardi and some business partners had initially determined the fate of the team alone, Gabriele Rumi, the owner of Fondmetal , took over the majority of the shares at the end of 1996 , and sold it to the Australian Paul Stoddart four years later. Neither Rumi nor Stoddart were able to equip the team permanently so that an advance into midfield was possible.
For many years, the Minardi team has been characterized by its willingness to give young drivers the first chance in a motorsport class that is new to them. A number of them were able to establish themselves and achieve particular successes in later years. Even when the team was still racing in Formula 2, promising drivers drove for Minardi, who a little later would become famous in Formula 1 - albeit with other racing teams. They included Elio de Angelis , Johnny Cecotto, and Michele Alboreto . Minardi also repeatedly gave young talents their first chance in Formula 1. Drivers like Giancarlo Fisichella ( 1996 ), Jarno Trulli ( 1997 ), Fernando Alonso ( 2001 ) and Mark Webber ( 2002 ) made their Formula 1 debuts for Minardi.
The Minardi family had been running a Fiat automobile and truck agency in Faenza since 1927 . Giovanni Minardi, the son of the company's founder, designed the (first) GM75 in 1948, with which he and numerous other racing drivers competed in regional races. In a race on Lake Garda in 1948, the GM75 achieved the fastest time in practice and led the field long before the car failed due to a technical defect. Giovanni Minardi's son Giancarlo, born in 1947, who had contested several races in the national Formula 850 in the 1960s, joined the family business at the age of 21. In 1972 Giancarlo Minardi took over the management of the Scuderia del Passatore, a regional motorsport team founded in 1969 by Giovanni and Franco Liverani, which was involved in Italian Formula 3 with little success . In the following years Minardi also became the legal owner of the racing team.
Giancarlo Minardi registered the Scuderia del Passatora in 1972 for Formula Italia, a national junior class below Formula 3, in which standard chassis and tires were used. Giancarlo Martini , a long-time friend of Giancarlo Minardi's and the uncle of the future Formula 1 driver Pierluigi Martini, was reported as the driver . Giancarlo Martini was runner-up for Passatore in 1972 and champion of Formula Italia in 1973.
In 1974 the Scuderia del Passatore switched to Formula 2 . From 1976 the team carried the name Scuderia Everest, which was retained until 1979, in accordance with the new main sponsor. Initially, customer vehicles were used and - as far as this was unique in this class - some were fitted with Ferrari engines . From 1980 Minardi developed and built its own racing cars with technical support from Giacomo Caliri . At first Minardi did not take the step to Formula 3000 - it was not until the late 1990s, when many Formula 1 teams had their own Formula 3000 team to promote young talent, that Minardi also took this path -; Instead, the team became involved in Formula 1 from 1985 after a first attempt in this class in 1976 with a customer Ferrari had failed.
Giancarlo Minardi left the company in early 2002. As a result of significant financial problems, he had to sell the team to the Australian Paul Stoddart , who managed the team himself for the next four years and gave the team a significantly different character. There was still no sporting success; However, Stoddart appeared much more emphatic than Minardi and repeatedly led to conflicts with the FIA and other designers. At the end of 2005, Red Bull took over the racing team, which has been competing in the Formula 1 World Championship since 2006 under the name Scuderia Toro Rosso (Italian for “Red Bull” or “red bull”).
Minardi in Formula 2
Minardi took part in the races for the Formula 2 championship between 1974 and 1984. The Italian sponsor Everest paved the way into international motorsport, which was active as an auto supplier - and not, as some sources claim, as a condom manufacturer. In 1980, the team began making its own Formula 2 - seaters . In eleven years, numerous well-known Italian pilots drove for Minardi. Enzo Coloni, the owner of the later Formula 1 team Coloni , also competed for Minardi.
1974: the beginning
The team from Faenza made its Formula 2 debut at the ninth round of the championship, the Baden-Württemberg and Hesse Prize at the Hockenheimring in September 1974. It registered as Racing Team Everest . Here and at the following race in Rouen , Giancarlo Martini was registered as a driver; he drove a March 742 with a BMW -M12 engine. At the Hockenheimring Martini crossed the finish line in 16th place, five laps behind, at Rouen he was eliminated. There were no other participations in the Formula 2 championship that season.
1975: The first full season
In the following year, the team, which was now registered as Scuderia Passatore , regularly used two drivers and, at some events, three drivers. Regular drivers were Giancarlo Martini and Lamberto Leoni ; both drove a March 752 with a BMW engine. A third car - a March 742 - was made available for Gianfranco Trombetti for the autumn races in Mugello and Enna, in one case Dulio Truffi also drove. The best results of the year were three third places achieved by Leoni at the season opener in Estoril , Martini in the second race of the year in Thruxton and Trombetti in his first outing for the team with last year's car in Mugello . Apart from that, the Passatore cars mostly crossed the finish line outside of the points or were canceled.
Martini finished the season with eight championship points in fifteenth, Leoni finished nineteenth with four points.
1976: A new main sponsor
In the 1976 season, the team announced itself as Scuderia Everest for the Formula 2 championship. Everest used two March 762s with BMW engines, at least one of which was not prepared by Rosche but in the Minardi plant. The drivers were Giancarlo Martini and Lorenzo Niccolini. Martini was reliable; he finished eight times in ten races. His best positioning was third place in the Rouen-les-Essarts race. Niccolini, on the other hand, failed to qualify five times and only crossed the finish line three times - each time outside the points. At the Gran Premio del Mugello, the Scuderia Everest fielded a third car - a March 752 - for Gianfranco Brancatelli , who finished the race in twelfth place. Martini finished the season with 12 points in seventh place in the championship.
1977: Alliance with Ferrari
In the third full season, the team from Faenza made sustainable changes to the technical basis. Instead of the previous March models, two different vehicle types have now been used. Giancarlo Martini drove a Martini Mk. 22 with a Renault engine; In addition, two vehicles from Ralt ( RT1 ) were used, which were equipped with the six-cylinder engine of the Ferrari Dino . In addition to the Scuderia Everest, the Trivellato team also used the Dino engine; there, however, it was connected to a B40 chassis from Chevron .
The year’s results were disappointing. There was no podium finish and numerous failures. None of the vehicles regularly performed well and the team was overwhelmed with the preparation of two very different models. Martini retired early in ten of 13 races, once due to fatigue, otherwise due to driving errors or technical defects; his best positioning was eighth in the race at Nogaro .
One of the two Ralt Ferraris was driven seven times by Gianfranco Brancatelli . He was able to qualify six times and crossed the finish line in three races. The best result of the Scuderia Everest was his fourth place in the race in Rouen-les-Essarts. On the occasion of the Gran Premio di Roma, which was held on the route from Vallelunga , Brancatelli was replaced by Alfonso Giordano, who could not qualify with a clear gap.
The second Ralt Ferrari was entered seven times for Lamberto Leoni . Leoni was able to qualify four times, but only crossed the finish line twice - outside of the points. At the Gran Premio del Mediterraneo in Enna-Pergusa , Gianfranco Trombetti drove for him, who came in sixth. In the last three races of the year, Scuderia Everest finally reported Elio de Angelis , who crossed the finish line twice but was also unable to score.
Ultimately, the best Everest rider was Gianfranco Brancatelli, who scored three championship points and finished the season in seventeenth. Martini did not reach a championship point.
1978: Technical basis too broad
1978 was an unsuccessful year for the Faenza racing team, which now registered as the Everest Racing Team . There was a lot of staff turnover and the team still suffered from the double engine equipment. Overall, Everest did not reach a single championship point.
At the beginning of the season, the team switched to Chevron vehicles. Everest equipped a Chevron B42 with the Ferrari Dino engine; the same combination brought the Italian rival Tivellato team to the start. Everest's second car was an older B40 with a BMW engine.
The B42 was driven by Elio de Angelis in the first races of the year. He finished three times in six races; the best result was a tenth place on the Nürburgring and in Vallelunga. After de Angelis retired again at the race in Rouen-les-Essarts due to technical defects in the engine area, he asked the team to switch to the BMW engine. Minardi, meanwhile, stuck to the Ferrari engine. Thereupon de Angelis left the racing team and switched to the Chevron works team. Then Miguel Ángel Guerra took over the B42 with a Ferrari engine. In four attempts he was able to qualify three times; he finished twice. His best result was seventh in the Donington 50,000.
The second car equipped with a BMW engine was entered for a number of different drivers who did not achieve any success. Guerra drove the car as long as the B42 was reported for de Angelis. Other drivers who each competed once with the B40 were Gianfranco Brancatelli, Giancarlo Martini and Clay Regazzoni , who drove the car at the Gran Premio Adriatico in Misano .
The team achieved the best result of the year at the Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires in Argentina in 1978, which was not a round of the Formula 2 European Championship: In the race, which only 19 drivers competed, Regazzoni in a Chevron B40-BMW came third, and Guerra finished eighth with the B42 Ferrari.
1979: return to BMW engines
In the 1979 Formula 2 season, the Everest Racing Team reported two March 792s with BMW engines that had been prepared by Heini Mader . The regular driver was Miguel Ángel Guerra, who took his car to every race. He crossed the finish line seven times in a total of twelve events, the best results were a third place in the Jim Clark Memorial Race at the Hockenheimring and a fourth place in the subsequent Jochen Rindt Trophy in Thruxton. The second car was driven three times by Clay Regazzoni and Ferrante Ponti and twice by Gianfranco Brancatelli. Only Brancatelli make finishings; However, he remained regularly outside the points. Guerra finished the season with eight championship points in thirteenth.
1980: A first chassis developed in-house
In the 1980 Formula 2 season, the Faenza racing team appeared under the name Minardi Team . This season, Minardi used a self-constructed chassis for the first time and thus went from a customer team to a manufacturer. The step was unusual, since apart from Minardi only Maurer , Merzario and AGS regularly competed with their own cars and these small manufacturers mostly had difficulties asserting themselves against the established competition from March, Lola or Ralt . Minardi's vehicle was named the GM75 after the first racing car designed by Giancarlo Minardi's father in 1948 . The design of the car went back to the former Ferrari designer Giacomo Caliri, who now had his own engineering office in Bologna called Fly Studios . Caliri designed a small, generally described as attractive racing car, which was designed for ground effect. The car had similarities with the March 792. The vehicle was equipped with a BMW engine, which, contrary to the initial plan, was not prepared by Osella , but by Heini Mader.
The GM75 proved to be a reliable car in the hands of Guerra. Guerra crossed the finish line nine times on eleven occasions, five of them in the points. The best result was fourth place at the Gran Premio del Mugello . There were also three fifth places and one sixth place. Guerra finished the season with ten championship points in ninth place.
At the end of the season, a GM75 was passed on to the Italian racing driver Guido Daccò , who used it in Formula 2 with his own Dacsport Racing team in 1981 . In 1982 Daccò registered the car for the Brambilla Racing team, and Aldo Bertuzzi later took over the car there.
1981: First victory by Michele Alboreto
For the 1981 Formula 2 season, Giacomo Caliri revised the GM75 considerably. The new car was named Minardi Fly 281 . It was leaner, lighter, and significantly more efficient. Two vehicles were equipped with a Mader BMW. In the course of 1981 Minardi took over the entire Formula 2 material from Ferrari; this primarily included the Ferrari Dino engines that Minardi had already used a few years ago. In view of this, a third Fly 281 appeared at the penultimate race of the year, which was equipped with the Dino six-cylinder.
The regular driver of the Minardi team was Michele Alboreto , who crossed the finish line seven times in ten starts with the Minardi BMW. After Alboreto had first crossed the finish line outside of the points - two eighth places in the races in Hockenheim and on the Nürburgring were his best results up to the summer of 1981, he was able to convince in the second half of the season. After finishing third at the Gran Premio Mediterraneo in Enna , he won the Gran Premio Adriatico in Misano in the late summer of 1981. This was the first and only victory for the Minardi team in the Formula 2 championship.
The second Fly 281-BMW was initially driven by Johnny Cecotto . Cecotto finished fourth at the Jochen Rindt Memorial in Thruxton; in four further attempts at the start of the season he only crossed the finish line in fourteenth place in the International Trophy. In the summer, Cecotto separated from the Minardi team. In part, this is attributed to tensions between him and his increasingly successful teammate Michele Alboreto; other sources emphasize, however, that Cecotto had simply found a more competitive cockpit in the Horag Hotz Racing Team, for which he reached several points in the second half of 1981. In his place at Minardi was Paolo Barilla , who crossed the finish line once on two attempts. At Minardi's last race in 1981, Roberto Fametti was entered instead of his. He retired from the race due to a technical defect.
On the occasion of the Gran Premio Adriatico, Minardi announced a third Fly 281, which was equipped with the Dino six-cylinder. The driver was Miguel Angel Guerra. He finished 13th, well behind the winner, Alboreto. Alboreto finished eighth in the 1981 championship with 13 points.
1982: Little success
1982 turned into a difficult season for the small team. It has suffered a number of setbacks. Minardi initially considered starting up the Ferrari engines regularly. However, initial tests before the start of the season showed that the power output of the engines did not correspond to the current status of Formula 2. That is why Minardi used Mader tuned BMW engines almost entirely for its regular drivers in 1982. The development of a new type 282 car was also unsuccessful. The vehicle was to be given a monocoque made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (“carbon”). Some sources report that the 282 was tested in test drives in February 1982. Ultimately, the construction of the wagon was canceled, which is partly attributed to the "confusing situation in terms of soil effect". Instead, in the 1982 season, Minardi used the vehicles already known from the previous year, which were given the designation Fly 281B after minor revisions. A chassis was fitted with a Ferrari engine on two occasions.
Regular drivers were Alessandro Nannini and Paolo Barilla . Initially, Nannini only crossed the line in the first five races of the year; Fifth place in the opening race at Silverstone was the best result. From the Gran Premio di Roma , there were seven unsuccessful races. In five cases Nannini dropped out due to technical defects or driving errors, at the Grand Prix de Pau he (like his teammate) missed the qualification, and in Donington both Minardis were disqualified for improper technique. It was not until the last race of the season, the Gran Premio Adriatico in Misano, that Nannini crossed the finish line again and surprised with a convincing result: He was second, just behind the winner.
Paolo Barilla finished seven times in 13 attempts; two seventh places in the first races of the year were his best results. In the fourth race of the year, the ADAC Eifelrennen on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring , Barilla drove a Fly 281B with a Ferrari engine. He was knocked off fifteenth.
Minardi used a third car twice, in one case equipped with the Dino six-cylinder. At the Gran Premio di Mugello , Siegfried Stohr started the race with the Fly 281B with the Dino engine, but retired after two laps due to an engine defect. On the occasion of the Gran Premio Mediterraneo in Enna, a third Fly 281B, in this case with a BMW engine, was presented for “Mr. Arriva ”reported. The Sicilian notary Francesco Attaguile hid behind the pseudonym. "Mr. Arriva ”did not finish. He was disqualified after nine laps because he drove “too slowly”.
As Minardi's best driver, Alessandro Nannini achieved tenth place in the drivers' championship with eight points.
1983: First season with Pierluigi Martini
In the 1983 season, Minardi used the 283 , a further development of the 281 developed by Giacomo Caliri. Many parts of the car were molded from carbon fiber reinforced plastic. A Mader BMW engine again served as drive; There were no further attempts with the Ferrari Dino engines. The team's regular driver was Alessandro Nannini. He competed in eleven of the twelve races of the year and finished seven times. His best result was second place in the ADAC Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring. At the end of the season in Mugello, Nannini finished fourth again, and at the Jim Clark Trophy in Hockenheim, he finished fifth. He finished all other races outside of the points.
Minardi repeatedly fielded a second car in 1983 that was reported for different drivers. Only Pierluigi Martini was successful, the nephew of Minardi's long-time pilot Giancarlo Martini, who only competed once - at the Gran Premio Adriatico in Misano - and finished second. None of the other pilots scored any points. The Argentine sports car driver Oscar Larrauri competed for Minardi four times - three times at the start of the season and one more time in the last race, but only crossed the finish line in the opening race at Silverstone. When Gran Premio de Madrid launched Emilio de Villota for Minardi. He did not finish, but was classified 13th in terms of the number of laps covered. At the Gran Premio Mediterraneo, the second Minardi was driven by Enzo Coloni, the Italian Formula 3 champion of 1982, who now led his own team and four years later was to compete with Minardi in Formula 1 with his team . Coloni finished eighth in Enna. At the race in Zolder , Paolo Barilla again competed for Minardi; Although he crossed the finish line, he was not counted because he was too far behind.
Nannini finished seventh in the championship with eleven points, Martini tenth with six points (alongside Kenny Acheson , who drove for the German Maurer team).
At the beginning of the season, the Italian Sanremo Racing Team fielded a Minardi 283 with a BMW engine tuned by Heidegger for Aldo Bertuzzi in the Jim Clark Memorial Race at the Hockenheimring . Bertuzzi finished thirteenth. In the following races, the team switched to vehicles from Toleman and Lola.
1984: a year of transition
In the last year of Formula 2, Minardi was already concerned with advancing to Formula 1. The team no longer developed a new car for the racing series that was coming to an end; almost all of the energy has already been used to build the M185 Formula 1 car . In 1984 Minardi consistently fielded two 283 vehicles in Formula 2; they were powered by BMW engines from Heini Mader's workshop. Regular drivers were Alessandro Nannini and Roberto del Castello. Both experienced a season of ups and downs. There were numerous failures that were due to technical reasons; there were also a number of accidents. Nannini achieved the team's best result at the Gran Premio Mediterraneo in Enna, which he finished third. Fourth place in the Rheinpokal at the Hockenheimring and fifth in the Daily Mail Trophy at Brands Hatch , the last race of Formula 2, were the only other finishings in the points. Del Castello only got one point when he finished sixth at the Hockenheimring. In late summer, Minardi fielded a third car for Lamberto Leoni three times . Leoni was able to regularly finish his races with one finish; his best result was ninth place in Enna.
During the first two races of the season, two Minardi 283s were used by the Jo Gartner- affiliated Emco Sports team . The drivers were Lamberto Leoni and Pierre Chauvet . Both privateers crossed the finish line once before Roberto Del Castello in the works Minardi.
Minardi in Formula 1
The first attempts: racing in Great Britain
The first contact with Formula 1 came for the team from Faenza - at the time still active under the name Scuderia Everest - on the occasion of the Race of Champions in spring 1976. The team used a Ferrari 312T for Giancarlo Martini. This was the first private use of a Ferrari racing car in the 1970s. Martini did not take part in the race itself, however, as he damaged the car in an accident on the warm-up lap. There was a second use on the occasion of the 28th BRDC International Trophy in April 1976. Again Giancarlo Martini drove a private Ferrari 312T. In a thin field, he crossed the finish line in tenth place, one lap behind. After that, Giancarlo Minardi initially withdrew from Formula 1. His next Formula 1 race took place nine years later.
The first years
Minardi's regular Formula 1 involvement began in the 1985 Formula 1 World Championship . The team was led by Giancarlo Minardi; Co-owners were the Florentine Fiat dealer Gianpiero Mancini and Giacomo Caliri. Minardi, along with Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Osella, was the fourth Italian team active in Formula 1 at the time. The rise in Grand Prix sport was primarily due to the fact that Giancarlo Minardi - like many other Formula 2 team bosses - mistrusted the Formula 3000 championship that was held from 1985 onwards. Still, it was a brave decision in several ways. Minardi had more than a decade of experience in formula racing. However, the team had by no means consistently achieved success, but rather had some difficult years - also as a designer - behind them. On the other hand, Formula 1 in 1985 was characterized by turbo engines, which were expensive and technically so demanding that numerous teams left Formula 1 precisely because of the turbo engines.
Preparations in 1984
Preparations for Minardi's Formula 1 entry had already begun in the spring of 1984. Caliri designed the car. The car corresponded to the Formula 2 car 283 in many ways, but had a more massive body and a modified suspension. The car was designed so that it could accommodate different engines. This approach soon turned out to be a happy decision, as there were some problems on the drive side during the preparation period.
Some sources report that Giancarlo Minardi considered taking over the entire engine program from Alfa Romeo from 1985. Allegedly, a corresponding agreement with Alfa Romeo had existed since the end of 1983. It is documented that Minardi's first Formula 1 car, which at the time was called the M184, was fitted with the 1.5-liter turbo engine from Alfa Romeo ( Tipo 890T ) in early summer , which this season alongside the Alfa factory team was also used at Osella. In July 1984 Minardi carried out its first test drives with the M184-Alfa on the Misano track. Alessandro Nannini covered more than 2000 kilometers.
In October 1984, however, Alfa Romeo withdrew its commitment; Minardi had lost its engines. Most sources attribute this to an intervention by Enzo Osella, who feared direct competition with his financially weak team. Minardi and Gianpiero Mancini then commissioned Carlo Chiti to develop their own engine. Chiti and Mancini founded the company Motori Moderni in Novara , which began developing the engine in November 1984 and completed the first engine in April 1985 - after the start of the Formula 1 season.
1985: Debut with Cosworth, continued with its own engines
Minardi first competed in the 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix . The team initially consisted of 14 employees. The driver was Pierluigi Martini, who made his Formula 1 debut at Toleman in 1984 as a replacement for Johnny Cecotto. Martini was only the second choice. Initially, Giancarlo Minardi was interested in signing Alessandro Nannini; who, however - allegedly because of a veto by Ron Dennis - did not receive a super license for this season .
For the opening race and the following event in Portugal , Minardi's Formula 1 car, now known as the M185, was equipped with the 3.0-liter DFV naturally aspirated engine from Cosworth . Minardi was the only team besides Tyrrell that did not have a turbo engine at the time.
At the first race of the year in Brazil, Minardi was represented by eleven employees. During the training it became clear that another helper was needed to clear the left rear wheel. Minardi then hired a volunteer from the paddock, the former Minardi pilot Miguel Angel Guerra. Martini qualified last in Brazil. His fastest lap in qualifying was 17 seconds slower than that of pole driver Michele Alboreto , who started for Ferrari ; he was eight seconds behind the slowest Tyrrell. Martini retired early in the race due to an electrical fault. In the second race, the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Cosworth engine collapsed. Then Minardi gave up the naturally aspirated engine and left Tyrrell alone with the legendary eight-cylinder.
For the third race of the year, the San Marino Grand Prix , which took place not far from Minardi's workshop in Imola , the M185 made its debut with the Motori-Moderni engine. The engine was not well tested; there had been no practical test over an entire Grand Prix distance before the first use. Reliability was a big problem. To increase durability, Minardi drove in the race with a boost pressure of less than 3.0 bar, which means that the engine's performance hardly surpassed that of a 3.0 liter naturally aspirated engine. Nevertheless, he fell out during numerous races.
In its first outing, Martini reached 19th place on the grid in qualifying, but in the race the Motori-Moderni six-cylinder burst after just 14 laps. In the first half of the 1985 season, the Minardi never crossed the finish line. The first finish came at the Belgian Grand Prix ; Martini was five laps behind here. Martini had already been classified in eleventh place at the German Grand Prix a few weeks earlier in Hockenheim; However, this was not based on a finish: Martini had to retire on the penultimate lap due to lack of petrol, but had covered a sufficient distance to make it into the ranking. The most gratifying result for the young team was the eighth place martinis at the Australian Grand Prix.
1986: Two drivers for the first time
In its second season, Minardi used two vehicles for the first time. Initially, two more M185s were built, which differed from the team's first Formula 1 cars mainly in their minor changes to the suspension and side panels. In the summer a new vehicle was created, the M186 developed by Caliri . In its basic design, the vehicle still had a lot of the Minardi 283, but had a light and slimmer KFK monocoque and improved aerodynamics.
Nothing changed on the drive side. Minardi continued to use Motori Moderni's six-cylinder turbo engine . At the end of the season it was passed on to the young French team AGS, which competed in two races with it.
Pierluigi Martini was initially planned as the driver. However, when Alessandro Nannini received the initially refused super license in February 1986 after a few disagreements, Giancarlo Minardi gave him preference. The second driver was the experienced Andrea de Cesaris , whom Minardi occasionally referred to as "bullies" (ital. Bullo) because of his impetuous manner.
The races of the 1986 season were bleak. There were two non-qualifications and a total of 28 failures; 19 of them were due to technical problems with the engine or in the engine environment. The most serious was the defect during training for the Spanish Grand Prix : Here a turbocharger went up in flames, whereupon the entire car burned down. The gearbox designed by Caliri himself often broke.
It wasn't until the penultimate race of the year, the Mexican Grand Prix , that the Minardis crossed the finish line for the first time: De Cesaris was eighth with two, Nannini was fourteenth, four laps behind. The training for the last race of the year in Australia went well: De Cesaris qualified in 11th place. In the race, however, this could not be translated into results: shortly after the start, the fire extinguisher was activated and paralyzed de Cesaris' car.
Minardi also ended the second Formula 1 season without a championship point.
1987: The last turbo year for Minardi
In the third Formula 1 season, Minardi again fielded two cars. Alessandro Nannini stayed in the team; from Giancarlo Minardi's point of view he was the top driver. Gianfranco Brancatelli and the Canadian racing driver John Graham tried to get the second car; Ultimately, however, Minardi signed the Spanish debutant Adrián Campos , who brought considerable financial support from an Iberian jeans brand.
From a technical point of view, Minardi's package remained largely unchanged from the previous year. The team again used the Minardi M186 - also referred to as the M86 / 87 in some sources. Although naturally aspirated engines were registered again for the first time since the beginning of the 1987 season , which were generally regarded as a reliable and cost-effective alternative for smaller teams, Minardi retained the supercharged six-cylinder from Motori Moderni . At the beginning of the season it was already considered to be particularly prone to defects and was no longer seen as competitive in terms of its performance development. This impression was to be confirmed in the races of 1987.
In the qualifying sessions, Minardi's drivers mostly managed to beat the naturally aspirated teams. Not infrequently they also had the outdated Osella vehicles and occasionally the Zakspeed and Ligier - Megatron vehicles under control. The established turbo teams, however, were significantly stronger than the Minardis both in qualifying and in the races. The best qualifying result was two thirteenth places on the grid that Nannini achieved at the Monaco and Australian Grand Prix . Apart from the race in France, Campos was regularly a few places behind Nannini on the grid, but was never last in qualifying with one exception.
The races were disappointing. Minardi's drivers again did not score a single championship point. In the first half of the season they did not cross the finish line once. Most of the time, technical components in the engine environment failed; this was especially true for the turbocharger. The electrical system, the fuel supply and the transmission also caused several failures. Nannini reached the first finish in the ninth race of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix , when he was eleventh, three laps behind. At the Grand Prix of Italy and Portugal he was canceled before the end of the race due to a lack of petrol, but was classified (in sixteenth and eleventh respectively) because he had already covered a sufficient number of laps. Campos only crossed the finish line once; he finished fourteenth, four laps behind, in the thirteenth race of the season in Spain.
At the end of the season, Minardi gave up the use of turbo engines. The team dissolved its business connections with Motori Moderni and, like most of the smaller racing teams, converted to naturally aspirated engines during the winter break.
Consolidation with Cosworth and Pirelli
1988: New start with Cosworth
In the fourth Formula 1 season, the conditions for the Faenza team became more difficult. With Coloni, EuroBrun and Scuderia Italia , three new teams had come to Formula 1 that operated from Italy. Six Italian teams have now competed in Formula 1 with Ferrari and Osella. This accumulation had a negative effect on the possibilities of attracting national sponsors. The team's total budget in 1988 was $ 7 million.
Giacomo Caliri developed a completely new technical package for the 1988 Formula 1 World Championship . With a wheelbase of 2670 mm, the Minardi M188 was initially the shortest car in the field and more than 10 kilograms lighter than the previous year's car. It had a new monocoque, a new body and a front suspension in which two shock absorbers were arranged horizontally, one above the other in a cross shape. This solution was self-contained. However, it proved to be problematic in the races and is sometimes referred to in the literature as "completely useless". In the course of the season, Aldo Costa , who had taken over Caliris' position as the responsible designer at Minardi from spring 1988, developed a conventional solution that ensured more stable driving behavior in the second half of the year. Minardi built a total of five chassis during the year, but only two of them were completed at the start of the season.
On the drive side, Minardi switched to naturally aspirated engines in the interests of reliability. The choice fell on the Cosworth DFZ eight-cylinder engine - the most widespread Formula 1 engine that year. The DFZ had a comparatively low power output, but was known for its durability. Minardi had initially considered equipping the engine with a five-valve cylinder head developed by Motori Moderni ; Cosworth forbade such far-reaching interventions that Minardi ultimately - like most other teams - had its engines prepared and serviced by Heini Mader Racing Components in Switzerland.
In the summer, the Italian team went through a sporting crisis, which was caused by the initially difficult construction of the M188. Problems already arose at the first Grand Prix of the year when the rear wings fell off on both vehicles in the race. The low points were the non-qualifications of both Minardi drivers at the Grand Prix of Germany and Belgium; At the Hockenheimring, a Minardi was even last in qualifying, nine seconds behind. For the Italian Grand Prix , the car received some improvements that Aldo Costa had worked out. In addition to the modified front suspension, there was also a new airbox and, above all, a wheelbase that was twelve centimeters longer, which noticeably improved the handling of the car. These changes made it possible to consolidate the team in the final races of the year.
Adrián Campos, who continued to have good contacts with sponsors, was initially committed again as a driver. However, after Campos missed qualifying three times in the first five races of the year, the team split from the Spaniard. Pierluigi Martini was hired to replace him, who initially had no other cockpit in Formula 1 after his assignment for Minardi in 1985. The move was crowned with success. Martini finished sixth in his first race, the US Grand Prix in Detroit - a race in which only eight cars finished and all turbo cars except the two McLaren - Honda had retired - and thus scored the first point for Minardi in the Formula 1 World Championship. Four more martinis finishings followed, of which seventh place at the Australian Grand Prix was the best result.
The second car was driven by Luis Pérez-Sala , who had become runner-up in Formula 3000 in 1987 . Sala repeatedly qualified in midfield and achieved the team's best qualifying result with eleventh place on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He finished eight races; his best performance was eighth in the Spanish Grand Prix .
1989: Arrived in midfield
The fifth Formula 1 season began extremely difficult for Minardi. It wasn't until the early summer of 1989 that the tide turned, and the team from Faenza was able to establish itself in midfield and achieve some sensational successes.
1989 was generally a difficult season for the small teams in Formula 1. At the beginning of the season, Onyx and Brabham , which had ended his year of rest, had registered two other teams, so that a total of 20 racing teams competed in the world championship races. In order to make the qualifying reasonably manageable, the FISA held a pre-qualification before the training sessions, in which the weakest teams of the previous year as well as the new teams had to participate; From the ninth race onwards, the group of pre-qualifiers consisted of the most unsuccessful teams from the first half of the 1989 season.
Minardi was initially exempt from pre-qualification with both cars in view of the positive results of the previous year, but had to be successful again in the first half of the season to avoid pre-qualification for the rest of the year. In the spring of 1989, it turned out to be difficult to achieve this goal.
From a technical point of view, Minardi initially stuck to the tried and tested. The M188 - only slightly revised - was used as the M188B in the first races of the season. At the overseas races in the spring, the M189 was presented, the first Minardi designed by Aldo Costa and the former Ferrari racing engineer Tommaso Carletti . Nigel Couperthwaite was responsible for the aerodynamics . Both models were powered by Cosworth DFR engines prepared by Heini Mader. Some reports suggest that Minardi received preferential treatment from Mader in 1989. The tires were obtained from Pirelli ; Minardi soon became Pirelli's favorite test team. They proved to be superior to the Goodyear tires, especially in the qualifying sessions.
Minardi took over the driver pairing from the previous year. Martini and Pérez Sala struggled with the M188B in the first few races. Although they regularly qualified - Martini even finished two eleventh places on the grid in Imola and Monte Carlo - the technology did not withstand the stresses of racing: the engine on Martini's car overheated twice and the gearbox broke once. Pérez Sala retired twice due to a driving error and once with a damaged clutch.
At the Mexican Grand Prix, both drivers received the new M189, which initially proved difficult. In the first use Martini only reached a 22nd place on the grid, while Pérez Sala missed the qualification. In Canada , Martini started the race again in eleventh place, but retired after a collision with Stefano Modena . In France, falling oil pressure caused an early exit for martinis, while Pérez Sala failed to qualify again. This means that Minardi did not have a World Championship point in the first seven races of the year and not even reached a single finish. If this development had continued in the following race at Silverstone, Minardi would have had to undergo pre-qualification with both drivers from the German Grand Prix. At the eighth race of the season, the Grand Prix of Great Britain , "the miracle of Silverstone" occurred: Starting the race from eleventh on the grid, Martini's car held out 63 (of a maximum of 64) laps, so that Martini finally crossed the finish line in fifth. Half a minute later, Pérez Sala came in - in sixth place. Minardi had thus achieved three championship points in a single race, which freed the team from pre-qualification for the rest of the season. Instead, the Larrousse team now had to participate in this procedure.
Martini and Pérez Sala continued the positive trend in the second half of the season, in which the Minardi team should show the best performances in its Formula 1 history. Martini in particular achieved sensational qualifying results: fifth on the grid in Estoril was followed by fourth on the grid in Jerez , and the grand finale was the Australian Grand Prix , where Martini started third. Martini was able to partially convert this good starting position into racing results. At Estoril, Martini led the field for one lap and eventually finished fifth, and at Adelaide he finished sixth. Pérez Sala did not make it into the points once in the course of the year, but contributed to the team's positive result with four more finishings.
Minardi finished the season with six world championship points as tenth in the constructors championship.
In the summer of 1989 tested Minardi with Paolo Barilla, Gianni Morbidelli and - in one case - even Pierluigi Martini in a converted M188 a twelve-cylinder engine of Motori Moderni , which designed with a cylinder angle of 180 degrees and a " Boxer engine " of Subaru commissioned had been. An initially planned use of the engine with Minardi in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1990 failed due to the obvious unreliability and weakness of the engine. Giancarlo Minardi explained that the results of the test drives were "somehow disappointing": The use of an engine that was even weaker than the Cosworth eight-cylinder was out of the question for him. Pierluigi Martini also publicly criticized the engine's lack of power. The "Subaru" engine was ultimately taken over by Coloni, where it regularly failed in 1990 at some events due to the pre-qualification.
1990: A Minardi on the front row
The 1990 Formula 1 World Championship was disappointing for Minardi when viewed in isolation. The team was able to achieve some outstanding results at the beginning of the season and initially seemed to be able to catch up with the top teams; However, Minardi did not manage to maintain the high level of the first races over the entire season. Nevertheless, in the course of the year there was a positive outlook that sparked euphoria in the team: The pleasing qualification results of the first races prompted Scuderia Ferrari in spring 1990 to approve Minardi as an exclusive customer team in the 1991 season and the coveted twelve-cylinder engines for the small racing team to provide. The connection was initially designed for three years. This prospect essentially determined the course of the 1990 season for Minardi, which was soon seen only as a year of passage.
From a technical point of view, Minardi 1990 largely used the tried and tested. The M189 known from the previous year was used in the opening races in America. Its successor, the M190 , then appeared for the first European race . The car designed by Aldo Costa followed the pattern of the M189 and was generally described as conventional. As with its predecessor, the idiosyncratic feature was a hump-shaped engine cover. The car was powered by a Cosworth DFR engine tuned by Mader , which was inferior to the engines that Tyrrell had worked on by Brian Hart . The drivers were Pierluigi Martini and Paolo Barilla. The latter was sacked ahead of the overseas races in Japan and Australia.
The 1990 season started with a sensation. At the first race of the year in Phoenix , Martini qualified for the front row in the car from last year. Martini started the race in second place, just 0.06 seconds behind Gerhard Berger's pole time. It should be the best qualifying result in Minardi's Formula 1 history. This result was mainly due to the outstanding qualifying tires from Pirelli , which even allowed the outdated EuroBrun to qualify in the midfield. In the Phoenix race, Martini ultimately finished seventh. He never achieved a better result in any race of the year.
In the course of the year the Minardi drivers fell so far behind that Martini, who was the faster driver of the team, was only able to qualify for the last third of the starting field. Paolo Barilla failed repeatedly to qualify, but stayed with the team until late summer, mainly because of his personal friendship with Giancarlo Minardi. However, when Barilla had clearly missed qualifying at the last three European races of the season - including the home race in Monza - he was replaced by Gianni Morbidelli for the Japanese and Australian Grand Prix ; in 1990 he had already driven a race for Scuderia Italia and had been employed as a test driver for Ferrari. Morbidelli's engagement was initially planned for 1991; His early hiring was to be understood as a reference to the future engine partner. Morbidelli was able to qualify for Minardi in his two appearances, but did not reach the finish line. In Suzuka , Martini achieved the best race result of the short-lived M190 with eighth place. Ultimately, Minardi could not achieve a single world championship point in 1990.
The reasons for Minardi's slippage were varied. On the one hand, the superiority of Pirelli's qualifying tires increasingly waned; on the other hand, the M190 was a problematic car, its reliability, especially in the area of electrics, was poor. Several failures were due to electrical defects. It was particularly noticeable that from the summer of 1990 the team was concentrating entirely on the 1991 season with Ferrari. Minardi channeled all resources early on for the development of the future M191 and at the same time stopped work on the M190.
Customer engines from Ferrari and Lamborghini
1991: Great hopes for Ferrari
In the 1991 Formula 1 World Championship , Minardi brought a completely Italian team to the start: its own chassis, Ferrari engines and, in Pierluigi Martini and Gianni Morbidelli, two Italian drivers; the only exception was the last race of the season in Adelaide, when Morbidelli was replaced by the Brazilian Roberto Moreno . This national combination, which was enthusiastically received in Italy, sometimes earned the team derisive or derogatory comments elsewhere. In the English press there was repeated talk of a “spaghetti team”, and in France the team was occasionally called “Equipe F1 à la Italy sauce”.
With the support from Maranello, Minardi was promoted to a B-Team and took (similar to Tyrrell in view of the Honda engines brokered by McLaren) a prominent position in the series of private teams. However, no absolute successes could be derived from this.
Overall, 1991 was an ambivalent season for Minardi. On the one hand, the team achieved seventh final place in the constructors' championship, the best result in its Formula 1 history. On the other hand, this rating could be achieved with only six championship points. That made Minardi, in absolute terms, no better than two years ago, when the much cheaper Cosworth engines were still used. Minardi did not achieve a single podium finish in 1991 despite the team's better formation. The best result of the year was two fourth places in Imola and Estoril. Both Giancarlo Minardi and Scuderia Ferrari started the season with higher expectations.
The technical package was demanding, but overall not fully developed. The Minardi M191, which was already ready for the first race of the year, had again been developed by Aldo Costa. The car was tailored to Ferrari's twelve-cylinder engines and had little resemblance to the previous Minardi designs. The suspension had been redesigned. In some races, the M191's handling was superior to the Ferrari 642 . However, the car was unreliable. The electronics were fragile and the gearbox developed by Minardi was poorly adapted to the engine. The Ferrari engines that Minardi received were also not without problems. Although they were significantly more powerful than the Cosworth engines previously used, they were also heavier and they were not up to date. Until the summer, Ferrari supplied engines of the 036 generation that the works team had used in the 1989 Formula 1 World Championship; From July 1991, Minardi received engines of the 037 series, which came from 1990. None of the engines had been revised or adapted to the current state of the art since its use in the factory team. Regardless, Giancarlo Minardi declared more than a decade later that Ferrari's twelve-cylinder was the best engine his team had ever used.
A major problem was the financing of the Ferrari project. In order to be competitive, Minardi had to improve its technical equipment; at the same time, additional staff was hired. After all, the use of the engine involved high payments to Ferrari. In view of this, Minardi ran into financial difficulties in the course of the summer of 1991 because the financing was not secured to the necessary extent. Initially, Pioneer , Minardi's previous financier, switched to Ferrari at the beginning of the 1991 season. It is occasionally speculated that this transition was in exchange for Minardi to keep the Ferrari engines. Incidentally, Giancarlo Minardi did not succeed in soliciting additional sponsorship funds to the extent required. Minardi later stated that he had numerous contacts with potential sponsors in Japan in early 1991; as a result of the Japanese economic crisis, however, these were ultimately canceled. Not least because of this, Minardi was unable to service the leasing payments due on time several times during the season, so that Ferrari declared in the late summer of 1991 that the contract with Minardi would not continue beyond the end of the season. Minardi paid off its liabilities to Ferrari in installments until the mid-1990s.
1992: Minardi and Lamborghini
In the 1992 season, Minardi started again with an Italian engine that carried a big name. After Ferrari decided in September 1991 to deliver its customer engines to Scuderia Italia in the future, Minardi took over some twelve-cylinder engines from Lamborghini Engineering , an independent offshoot of the Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini , which was headed by the former Ferrari engineer Mauro Forghieri . The Modena team and Ligier had used the 3512 engines in 1991 . Since Ligier switched to Renault engines at the start of the new season and the Modena team was closed after the last race in 1991, the highly developed twelve-cylinder engines were available at short notice - albeit not cheaply. They were given to Minardi and Larrousse (initially reported under the name Venturi at the time ). Both teams were equal customers; they received exactly the same material.
The Lamborghini engines were heavier than Ferrari's twelve-cylinder. Their performance was initially given as 655 hp. So they were nominally weaker than the current Ferrari engines of the works team; Giancarlo Minardi stated, however, that the Lamborghini engines were still more powerful than the Ferrari engines of the 036 series, even in their first version. In the summer of 1992 Lamborghini Engineering made a further developed version of the engine available, which, depending on the source, developed 700 hp or 730 hp and thus reached the level of the better factory engines. In contrast to the previous year, Minardi decided not to design its own gearbox. As in the case of Venturis, the transverse six-speed transmission was taken over by Lamborghini Engineering. In fact, it was essentially the design that Larrousse had developed for the Lamborghini engine back in 1989. At the same time, Minardi began to develop a semi-automatic gearbox together with Gianni Morbidelli's father; In the end, however, the project was not implemented.
Due to financial bottlenecks, Minardi was unable to present a new car at the start of the season that was tailored to the Lamborghini engine. The team therefore contested the first races with the M191L, i. H. the previous year's models, which had been redesigned at short notice to accommodate the new engine. The Minardi M192 was presented at the Spanish Grand Prix , but has not yet been used there. It was Aldo Costa's last construction for Minardi. The car had a new, stronger chassis, but had weaknesses in aerodynamics. In addition, the technical components were often unreliable and the handling was difficult - due to a space-saving but complicated front suspension - at least until Gustav Brunner intervened in late summer 1992.
Gianni Morbidelli stayed with the team as a driver. Pierluigi Martini moved to Scuderia Italia (together with the Ferrari engine). In his place, Minardi signed the young Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi .
Minardi drove the M191L in the first four races of the season. The car reached only two finishings - Morbidelli in seventh place in the Brazilian Grand Prix and Fittipaldi in eleventh place in Spain; at all other events the Minardis failed with technical defects.
The M192 made its first appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix. Morbidelli drove the car in qualifying and was more than 0.5 seconds slower than Fittipaldi in the M191L. Both drivers drove the M191L again in the race. The M192 was used regularly in the following races. The car reached its first finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Fittipaldi finished eighth. Fittipaldi had a serious accident during training for the French Grand Prix: he came off the track on slicks when it started to rain and crashed into a pile of tires at high speed. He injured his cervical spine and had to sit out in this race and in the three following events. His replacement was Alessandro Zanardi, who could neither qualify at Silverstone nor on the Hungaroring . Only in Germany did he qualify; in the race he retired early.
The team reached its lowest point at the Hungarian Grand Prix: Here both Minardi (for the first time since 1988) missed the qualification. Shortly afterwards, the situation improved significantly: The Austrian designer Gustav Brunner, previously employed by the financially distressed Team March, joined the Italian racing team and reworked the M192 "quickly and effectively". The effect was already evident at the Italian Grand Prix: Morbidelli qualified for twelfth place on the grid. In the race, however, he retired due to an engine failure. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Fittipaldi again reached twelfth place on the grid. He finished sixth in the race, one lap behind, making it the only world championship point for Minardi this season. The team finished the championship in eleventh place - on a par with Venturi / Larrousse, who had used the same engine.
Crisis and collaboration with Scuderia Italia
1993: New start with Cosworth and Brunner
The 1993 season was a fresh start for Minardi that turned into a crisis. The attempts to strengthen their own position in the midfield with exclusive customer engines had to be given up before the start of the season. This was primarily due to financial difficulties. Relations with Ferrari and Lamborghini had cost the team dearly; the debts from these projects should weigh heavily on the team's budget for several years to come. In fact, Minardi was in dire financial straits in 1993 and was close to bankruptcy by the end of the year. Minardi had to contest the 1993 season with simple equipment and at least temporarily rely on paying drivers. On the other hand, the team benefited from the break-up of numerous similarly large or smaller competing teams, as a result of which the starting field was reduced from 19 (1990) to 13 (1993) teams within three years. This made a pre-qualification obsolete, and a qualification to participate in a race was more or less certain.
Minardi contested the 1993 season with the M193 , a racing car designed by Gustav Brunner, which, together with the Jordan 193, was the most compact car in the field. The car was described as undemanding but effective. In a season that brought the “electronics frenzy of Formula 1” to its peak, the white painted M193 had neither active wheel suspension nor traction control or a drive-by-wire system for electronic control of the accelerator pedal. Minardi could neither develop such systems itself nor was the team - unlike some competitors - able to purchase them from other racing teams. An equally simple eight-cylinder customer engine from Ford of the Cosworth HB type served as the drive , which was the weakest engine in the starting field and did not have technically complex details such as pneumatic valves . Minardi regularly received the HB-VI generation engines that had been used in 1992 by the then competitor Fondmetal. However, the team's financial resources were not even enough to ensure the continuous use of these outdated engines; some sources therefore report that Minardi had to use the even older HB-IV engines dating back to 1991 for individual races at the end of the season.
As the first driver Minardi reported again Christian Fittipaldi. The second cockpit went to Fabrizio Barbazza , who had contested some of the last races for the French team AGS in 1991. Both drivers were later changed for financial reasons: Pierluigi Martini drove in Barbazza's place from the Grand Prix of Great Britain, and Fittipaldi was replaced for the last two races of the year by Jean-Marc Gounon , who at the beginning of the season as a driver of the - ultimately no longer - March teams had been in conversation.
The Minardi were surprisingly successful in the first races of the year; good results were mostly achieved in difficult weather conditions. At the rainy season opener at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit , Fittipaldi crossed the finish line in fourth and secured three valuable championship points for the team. At the 1993 European Grand Prix in Donington, which is counted among the “ten best races in Formula 1” mainly because of Ayrton Senna's outstanding overtaking maneuvers on the first lap, Barbazza also benefited from the weather changes. He finished sixth here as well as in the following race in Imola. In Monaco, Fittipaldi finally finished fifth again. Minardi had scored seven championship points after the sixth race and was in the (intermediate) classification of the constructors' championship ahead of Scuderia Ferrari.
However, it did not stop there. There were still some bright spots like Pierluigi Martini's seventh place on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix; from this, however, no placements in the points could be achieved. The team suffered noticeably from a financial shortage, which restricted and ultimately prevented further development and the holding of test drives. The Minardis only caused a stir in 1993 with a spectacular accident: In an overtaking maneuver, Fittipaldi, who was in eighth place, crashed into seventh place against his colleague Martini on the last lap of the Italian Grand Prix at more than 300 km / h. Catapulted into the air from the Italian's rear tire in the collision, the Brazilian performed a complete backward somersault and then slid over the home straight on the remaining tires or suspension parts.
At the Japanese Grand Prix, Jean-Marc Gounon appeared for the first time in the M193. He qualified last by a clear margin. In the race, he damaged his car early in an accident, but decided to continue the race. After a short time he was taken out of the race by the team management, who wanted to prevent any further damage to the car.
Overall, Minardi was more successful than in previous years, despite the economic difficulties, when the team had used expensive Italian twelve-cylinder engines. Minardi reached seven world championship points and finished the constructors' championship in eighth place. It was able to leave established teams like Arrows / Footwork (four points, ninth place) or Tyrrell (no point, 13th place) behind, as well as the better financed Jordan team (three points, eleventh place).
1994: Merger with Scuderia Italia
After the conclusion of the 1993 season, Minardi was nearly insolvent. A closure of the racing team was ultimately averted because a collaboration with Giuseppe Lucchini , the owner of the former Formula 1 racing team Scuderia Italia , was agreed.
Scuderia Italia competed in Formula 1 between 1988 and 1992. She did not develop her own chassis, but bought her vehicles from Dallara (1988 to 1992) and Lola (1993). The team, which belonged to the northern Italian industrialist Giuseppe Lucchini, had been better financed than Minardi during this time, but had achieved significantly less success in sporting terms. After a completely unsuccessful 1993 season, Lucchini closed his Formula 1 team and decided - at least for the area of Grand Prix sport - to work with Minardi.
The deal between Lucchini and Minardi is described in most sources as a merger between Minardi and Scuderia Italia. However , it was not a merger in the sense of commercial or corporate law; The technical equipment of the two racing teams was also not merged to any significant degree. In reality, it was a (partial) takeover of the Minardi team by Giuseppe Lucchini, which ensured Minardi's continued existence. At the beginning of 1994, Lucchini and three other Italian businessmen acquired 50 percent of the shares in Giancarlo Minardi's racing team. Giuseppe Lucchini took on the task of securing the financing of the racing team for a time limited to two years, while Giancarlo Minardi took over the operational business, i.e. H. ran the racing business. The team signed up for the 1994 season under the name Team Minardi Scuderia Italia .
In view of the unclear prospects, the development of a new car for the next season in the fall of 1993 was significantly delayed. When the course for the future was finally set, there was no longer enough time left to finish a new model on time for the start of the season. In the first races of the year, the team therefore initially competed with two barely revised models from the previous year, which were called the M193B. At the first European races of the season there was a transition to the new model, the Minardi M194.
Since Gustav Brunner had already switched to Scuderia Ferrari in the middle of last year, the car was again largely designed by Aldo Costa; other employees were Gabriele Tredozi and René Hilhorst . The group developed Brunner's design from last year. The short wheelbase of the M193 was retained unchanged; The M194 was almost 7.5 cm shorter than the next largest car, the Benetton B194 , and 18 cm shorter than the longest car in the field, the Williams FW16 B. Changes to the M193 were primarily made in the suspension and in the Area of the transmission. A semi-automatic six-speed gearbox that was developed in-house and made use of components from X-Trac was used. The transition from the M193B to the M194 took place gradually: at the San Marino Grand Prix, the M193B carried the suspension and spoilers of the new M194 for the first time finally the new body is used for the first time.
The team once again used Cosworth engines as a drive, just like their French competitor Larrousse. Initially the engines were of the HB VII generation, later they were replaced by slightly more powerful HB VIII engines. The HB-VIII engines were also significantly weaker than the engines of the works teams, but still had a performance advantage over the HB-V engines from the Simtek team from 1991 and the outdated Ilmor engines from Pacific Racing .
Minardi hired Pierluigi Martini again as a driver. Michele Alboreto drove next to him. With him, the driver returned to the team who had achieved Minardi's only victory in an international formula race in 1981. Alboreto drove his last season in Formula 1 here. His commitment was due in particular to a friendly relationship with Giancarlo Minardi.
The undisputed routine of the two drivers brought few successes in the races of 1994. Although the qualification of both Minardi was never in question - this hurdle mostly only filtered out the Pacifics and occasionally the Simteks - but the races showed that the team suffered from the considerable performance deficit of the old engine. In this respect, the M193B did not differ significantly from the M194; the new model was not noticeably faster. Both drivers finished once in the points with the old car - Martini was fifth in Spain and Alboreto sixth in Monte Carlo -; with the M194, on the other hand, only one championship point could be earned when Martini finished fifth in the second race of the new car. In the entire second half of the season, however, the drivers did not score any more points.
Minardi also contributed a facet to the dramatic story of the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, in which Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna died. After a tire change, Alboreto lost a poorly fastened wheel in the pit lane while racing at high speed . The dropped wheel seriously injured several members of the Ferrari pit crew. Alboreto only came to a stop at the end of the pit lane. This incident resulted in several rule changes that were already effective in the following race: On the one hand, a general speed limit was introduced in the pit lane; on the other hand, members of the pit crew were no longer allowed to be outside in the pit lane unless they were handling a car.
Minardi finished the season with five points as tenth in the constructors' championship. It was only possible to leave behind the new teams Pacific and Simtek as well as the threatened racing teams of Larrousse and Lotus, while competitors such as Tyrrell or Footwork / Arrows had done significantly better in some cases.
1995: Failed hope for a Mugen engine
The 1995 Formula 1 World Championship was another difficult year for Minardi. The team started the season with high hopes, but fell victim to a game of intrigue during the winter break of 1994/95, which endangered the competitiveness of the team and its continued existence.
The Mugen-Benetton affair
In view of the numerous new teams interested in Formula 1, Giancarlo Minardi, like Ken Tyrrell, was of the opinion that lasting sporting success in Formula 1 could only be achieved with a powerful factory or quasi-factory engine. For the 1995 season he seemed to have come closer to his goal: in the late summer of 1994 he reached an agreement with Mugen on the exclusive purchase of the new, recently introduced ten-cylinder. The Japanese engine in its 3.5-liter version under the name Mugen-Honda ZA-5C had given the Lotus team, which had run into financial difficulties, a considerable boost in performance in the final races of the season. However, after it became clear in the late summer of 1994 that Lotus would cease racing at the end of the season, the engine had become available to other teams. Giancarlo Minardi was able to convince Mugen to make the engine (reduced to 3.0 liters displacement due to regulations) available to his team free of charge for 1995. Corresponding agreements between Minardi and Mugen were made before the last race of the 1994 season. With this in mind, Aldo Costa and his team started developing a racing car tailored to this engine at an early stage.
In November 1994, however, the hope for a competitive package fell apart when Mugen decided at short notice to deliver the engine to another team. The background to this development was an engine transfer between Benetton and Ligier, which subsequently had a detrimental effect on Minardi. In order to be able to use the successful Renault engines for 1995, Benetton F1, through its employees Flavio Briatore and Tom Walkinshaw, bought substantial shares in the French Ligier team, which had been driving these engines alongside Williams since 1992 without achieving adequate performance. Briatore redirected the engines to Benetton for 1995, where in the B195 they contributed to Michael Schumacher becoming Formula 1 world champion for the second time. Then "the old privateer Briatore Mugen convinced that Ligier also needed a competitive engine". Since Mugen could not afford to equip two teams, an engine delivery to Minardi was excluded. Minardi then had to lease cost-intensive Cosworth engines at short notice and change its development program.
The engine change had legal consequences. Mugen offered Minardi compensation in the amount of $ 3.5 million in compensation, which would have nearly made up for the leasing costs for the Cosworth engines. However, Minardi saw further economic damage for his team, since it had lost a number of sponsors who had been acquired with regard to the Mugen engine after the forced engine change, Minardi brought an action in an Italian court in early 1995 for damages in the amount of $ 7.5 million. The court announced in April 1995 that the "apparent breach of contract" lawsuit had a chance of success. However, there was no judgment of any kind because the problem was solved out of court “à la façon Briatore”: Through a company belonging to him, Briatore acquired some of Cosworth's claims against Minardi from 1993, which Minardi has not yet fulfilled despite being due would have. In order to enforce these demands, Briatore had the entire equipment of the Minardi team seized on Friday morning before the French Grand Prix , so that Minardi could not participate in free practice. In the hours that followed, the parties agreed that Minardi would withdraw the lawsuit. In return, the team received the pre-trial compensation of $ 3.5 million; At the same time, Minardi's leasing rates from 1993 were largely waived. The seized equipment was released again for Saturday training so that the team could take part in racing. The process was repeatedly commented in the press with the remark that in Formula 1 the stronger always wins, even if the weaker is in the right. Flavio Briatore later came into contact with Minardi again when he helped save the team financially at the end of 1996 and became (temporarily) the minority owner of the racing team.
the initial situation
Instead of the Japanese Mugen engine, Minardi used eight-cylinder customer engines from Cosworth from the ED series in the 1995 season . These engines largely corresponded to the HB engines of the previous year; they had little in common with the Zetec R engine , which Benetton had used in 1994 and which ran exclusively at Sauber in 1995.
Within three months, Aldo Costa redesigned his 1995 Minardi so that it could incorporate the Ford customer engine instead of the Honda engine. The aerodynamics have also been adjusted. A special feature of the M195 was a small additional spoiler that was positioned in front of the rear spoiler and was supported by it by means of small struts. It should increase downforce on slower distances. Minardi took over the transmission, as there was no time to develop its own unit, from the DAMS GD-01, a racing car designed by Adrian Reynard and ultimately not used, with which the French racing team DAMS initially participated in the 1995 Formula 1 World Championship want. This step turned out to be problematic as the DAMS gearbox was dimensioned far too weak and broke repeatedly in the races.
Pierluigi Martini, who went into the eighth season with Minardi, was initially committed again as a driver. However, many observers perceived Martini's achievements to be less than ambitious. From the Grand Prix of Great Britain he was replaced by Pedro Lamy , who had a serious accident during test drives for Lotus in 1994 and was now driving a Formula 1 car for the first time in a year. The second car was driven in all races by Luca Badoer , who made her debut at Scuderia Italia in 1993 and was Minardi's test driver in 1994.
The races of 1995 brought few successes. Minardi was left behind compared to the midfield teams who used more powerful engines. Minardi was the best team to use a Ford ED engine; However, this alone did not produce any countable results. Even the poorly financed Arrows team, which started with the not unproblematic Hart engine, scored more points than Minardi. The team achieved only one world championship point overall, which Pedro Lamy achieved in the last race of the year in Australia. Martini crossed the finish line two more times in seventh place, and Badoer made two finishings in eighth place. In the remaining races there were a number of technical failures. Minardi finished the constructors' championship in tenth.
At the end of 1995 Giuseppe Lucchini left the company management as agreed, so that Minardi was left on his own again from 1996.
1996: Surviving with Pay Drivers
1996 Minardi essentially offered a continuation of last year's season, but with the difference that the financial problems were significantly greater.
In the second half of the 1995 season, Giancarlo Minardi tried to get used Ferrari 044 engines for 1996. Ferrari was not averse at first, but ultimately refused. The reason for this is occasionally cited as the Scuderia's intention to fully concentrate its financial and logistical resources in 1996 on working with Michael Schumacher, who has just joined the team. After Ferrari's cancellation, Giancarlo Minardi initially considered ceasing Formula 1 operations and getting involved in touring car racing in 1996, especially in the DTM . Ultimately, he decided to have another season in Formula 1.
From a technical point of view, the team started with hardly any equipment changed. The vehicle reported was the M195B, which in some sources is also referred to as the M196. In fact, these were the well-known vehicles from the previous year, which had been slightly redesigned by a team of designers headed by Gabriele Tredozi. The most important changes were the regulations-related adjustments in the area of cockpit security. The cars were in turn powered by Cosworth ED engines, which with an output of 600 hp were now the weakest engines in the field; even the financially troubled Forti Corse team used more powerful Cosworth ECA engines .
The first Minardi was driven by Pedro Lamy throughout the year. For the second car, Minardi initially planned to use Taki Inoue , who had driven for Arrows the previous year. He was particularly interesting for Minardi because of his connection to Japanese sponsors; in sporting terms, on the other hand, it had a reputation for causing many costly accidents. When Inoues sponsors dropped out, Minardi signed the Roman Giancarlo Fisichella instead, who was supported by Flavio Briatore and who brought sponsorship money that was enough for a few races. The second car was driven by Tarso Marques in the South American races and Giovanni Lavaggi took over the car in the last six races of the year .
Overall, Minardi's package was only competitive to a limited extent. Even the established midfield teams were usually more competitive. At the beginning of the season, Minardi was able to achieve one or the other positive starting position in qualifying - the best result was Marques' 14th place in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Argentina - but the longer the season lasted, the more the team was on the last two Starting rows limited. After Lavaggi's engagement, the qualification was not even certain: the Sicilian nobleman did not succeed in three out of six attempts to achieve a qualifying time that was within 107 percent of pole time.
The races themselves did not produce any countable results either. Although the Minardis finished more than half of all races, none of the drivers could score a championship point. Fisichella achieved the best result when he finished eighth at the Canadian Grand Prix. Lamy's best positioning was ninth in the Canadian Grand Prix. Giovanni Lavaggi reached a tenth place in Hungary and a 15th in Portugal. Tarso Marques, on the other hand, did not finish in either of his two races.
Minardi ended the 1996 season as the only team that consistently competed without a championship point and finished tenth in the constructors' championship. At the end of the year, Minardi was again faced with bankruptcy.
The Gabriele Rumi era
Before the start of the 1997 season, the company's financial difficulties made it necessary to restructure again, which was implemented in December 1996 with significant support from Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone, who on the one hand had little sympathy for the small workshop teams such as Forti or Andrea Moda , because in his opinion they damaged the reputation of Formula 1 with their poor performance, on the other hand was interested in at least keeping the traditional teams alive Made it easier for viewers to identify with the sport. Accordingly, Ecclestone brokered a consortium of investors that was ready to hold the majority stake in the Italian racing team in the future. They included Flavio Briatore, Alessandro Nannini and Gabriele Rumi , who took over a total of 70 percent of the shares in Team Minardi. A group of Italian investors represented by Beppe Lucchini held a further 15 percent. Giancarlo Minardi held the remaining 15 percent. This restructuring ensured Minardi's survival for the near future.
Central to this group was Gabriele Rumi, the owner of the Fondmetal company. Rumi had already participated in Formula 1 from 1991 to 1992 with the Fondmetal team, which emerged from the Osella Squadra Corse. He had committed plans with Minardi's team that went far beyond what he had realized with Osella a few years earlier. With him, Minardi gained extensive access to Fondmetal Technologies, a subsidiary that maintained its own wind tunnel and carried out numerous developments for smaller Formula 1 teams on a contract basis. Rumi initially became president of the Minardi team. At the end of 1997 he took over Briatores and Nanninis shares, so that he ultimately owned 70 percent of the racing team. Between 1998 and 2000 he carried out some major restructuring that consolidated Minardi's position. At the beginning of 1998 Rumi considered renaming the team - as happened in 1991 in the case of Osellas - to Fondmetal Corse, but was ultimately convinced that Minardi was an established name that attracted viewers to positive associations. Rumi's engagement came to an end in the course of 2000 when health reasons forced him to retire from business life.
1997: Weak engine in a simple car
Minardi started in the 1997 season with a package that contained some innovations and showed the influences of the new team owners in some details. The car, the Minardi M197 , had been developed by a team under Gabriele Tredozi and Mauro Gennari in Faenza, but had received aerodynamic fine-tuning in Fondmetal's wind tunnel in the winter of 1996/97 and was revised by the local aerodynamicist Jean-Claude Migeot . It was a compact, conservative car that, apart from the Williams FW19, had the shortest wheelbase of any 1997 Formula 1 car. The car was powered by Brian Hart's eight-cylinder type 830. The Arrows team had used this engine in recent years; there, after Arrows took over the Yamaha engines from Tyrrell, it was retired at the end of 1996. Even if the engine - unlike in 1996 - was now also equipped with pneumatic valves, it was still the weakest engine in the starter field, whose output was still below the level of the Cosworth ED engine now used by Tyrrell. According to some sources, the fact that Minardi used this small engine in 1997 was due to Bernie Ecclestone, who wanted to ensure that Hart would remain in Formula 1. The Bridgestone tires, which were offered for the first time and which, in addition to Minardi, also used Arrows, Prost and Stewart, were new . Their use at Minardi was due to Flavio Briatore, who initially wanted to test the performance of the new tires at Minardi before considering equipping the Benetton team he led.
As a driver, Minardi initially engaged Ukyō Katayama , whose contract with Tyrrell had not been extended and brought the sponsorship support from Japan Tobacco . This company also supported the Benetton F1 team led by Flavio Briatore (to a far greater extent, of course). Second driver was the debutant Jarno Trulli , who joined Alain Prost's team at the French Grand Prix, where he replaced the injured Olivier Panis until the end of the year . After Trulli's move, Tarso Marques drove at Minardi, who had previously been a test driver there.
Regardless of the innovations Minardi reached 1997 for the second time in a row no championship point. Most of the documentations attribute this primarily to the poor performance of the Hart engine, while the performance of Trulli and Katayama, measured against the starting position, are rated positively. In the qualifying events, the Minardis fought mostly only with the Tyrrell for the last row, whereby they increasingly managed in the second half of the season to leave the poorly equipped British team behind. Ukyō Katayama dropped out nine times in 17 races. His best race result was two tenth places in Monaco and Hungary. Trulli dropped out three times in his seven races for Minardi. Twice - at the season opener in Australia and two races later in Argentina - he finished ninth. Marques dropped out five times due to driving errors, and in Austria he was also disqualified because his car was underweight. His best result was tenth place in the British Grand Prix. Minardi celebrated his 200th Grand Prix at the Belgian Grand Prix. The results of this race gave - considered in isolation - no reason to celebrate: While Katayama finished the race in 14th, Marques dropped out due to an accident.
During the 1997 season, Flavio Briatore campaigned for the sale of the racing team to British American Tobacco (BAT). At that time, the tobacco company was looking for an existing team, from which a new racing team under its own name should be formed for the 1999 season in collaboration with Adrian Reynard , Craig Pollock and Jacques Villeneuve . Briatore made contact with BAT, but ultimately failed due to the resistance of Rumis and Minardis. He then sold his shares to Gabriele Rumi. In November 1997, BAT took over the traditional Tyrrell team, a competitor Minardis, which started in 1999 under the name British American Racing .
1998: A ten-cylinder for the first time
At the beginning of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1998 , the team started with a new logo. Instead of the previously used shield-shaped logo, which showed a stylized lion - the heraldic animal of the city of Faenza - and took up the colors of the Italian national flag, an oval-framed lettering of the team name was now used. A stylized lion was again incorporated into the “M”.
1998 was a transition year for Minardi, which was marked by far-reaching restructuring. The team expected little from the season itself; all measures were aimed at improving the situation from 1999 onwards. Gabriele Rumi hired new technical staff to a large extent, which were gradually integrated into the team. With Cesare Fiorio , a race director who had decades of experience in this area was hired during the year. George Ryton , formerly employed by Brabham and Tyrrell, joined the design department with a few other engineers. The most important innovation, however, was the renewed engagement of Gustav Brunner, who was persuaded in February 1998 to give up his previous position at Ferrari and become head of the technical department in Faenza. Rumi paid him a high salary and settled Brunner's outstanding wage claims from 1993 as well as Ferrari's claims for damages.
When Brunner arrived, the new Minardi M198 was largely complete. The vehicle was developed by Marino Alperin and Mauro Gennari. It was essentially based on last year's M197 and partly used components that were a few years old. The main changes consisted of integrating additional structures into the vehicle in the area of the driver's legs to increase collision safety. Minardi basically adopted the solution developed by Benetton, which was far more delicate than the concepts of other teams. Apart from that, the familiar car was adapted to the new engine. In 1998, Minardi, like Tyrrell, used the Ford Zetec-R engine with ten cylinders, which had been used exclusively at Stewart Grand Prix in 1997. Gustav Brunner paid only little attention to the M198 in the course of the year; his main task was to design a completely new car for the 1999 season. One of the few changes he made was the design of new side pods. Alperin and Genneri initially planned large, angular side boxes; Brunner replaced the design with more curved units similar to those of the McLaren MP4 / 13 . The car was painted blue and silver and sported a large number of smaller sponsor stickers.
Minardi hired two young pilots as drivers. In addition to Shinji Nakano , who was registered for Prost Grand Prix in 1997, the only 19-year-old Esteban Tuero , who was the third youngest driver in Formula 1 history when he made his Grand Prix debut in Australia in 1998 , drove . Tuero's use was not safe until shortly before the first race of the season in 1998. The FIA initially refused the Argentine the super license because he did not meet some of the necessary requirements. Both drivers and the heads of other teams had doubts about Tuero's racing experience, and not least Scuderia Ferrari had long concerns about his approval. In the trade press it was occasionally assumed that this was primarily a reaction to the successful poaching of Gustav Brunner by Minardi. Ultimately, all teams agreed to grant special permission for Tuero after Minardi had undertaken to provide Gabriele Tarquini as his personal advisor.
During his assignments, Tuero was closely watched by the Argentine media in particular, who compared him to Carlos Reutemann and expected a lot from the young racing driver. For Tuero this was a burden. In particular at his home race, where he received advice from Reutemann in front of the television camera, he felt persecuted by the media. Tuero's strength was in qualifying. His competitors were occasionally the Arrows pilots, but primarily Ricardo Rosset and Toranosuke Takagi , who competed in the equally powerful and, according to general opinion, better constructed Tyrrell. Unlike the Tyrrell pilots, Tuero regularly qualified, and most of the time he was able to leave one or even both Tyrrell behind. He achieved his best qualifying result in his debut race in Australia, where he finished seventeenth and thus entered the race ahead of Jan Magnussen and Olivier Panis in their better motorized cars from Stewart and Prost respectively. In the races themselves, however, Tuero's lack of experience made itself felt. In 16 attempts, Tuero failed eleven times; in most cases this was due to driving errors. In the opening race in Australia, Tuero made a jump start, which was punished with a time penalty in the pit lane. On his way back to the piste, Tuero clearly exceeded the maximum speed limit, so that another time penalty followed. In Suzuka, the last race of the year, he collided with Toranosuke Takagi after mistaking the brake pedal for the accelerator while braking. Tuero's best race result was eighth place at the San Marino Grand Prix.
Shinji Nakano finished ten times in 16 attempts. His best result was seventh in the Canadian Grand Prix, after having been fifth for several laps. Nakano also achieved two eighth places in Great Britain and Belgium and a ninth place in Monte Carlo.
Minardi ended the year for the third year in a row without a world championship point. In the constructors' championship it finished tenth and penultimate place ahead of Tyrrell, who was able to show eighth place as the best result.
1999: Gustav Brunner and Telefónica
Minardi contested his fifteenth season in Formula 1 with a new car designed under the direction of Gustav Brunner. The very name - M01 instead of M199 - indicated that the team was about to start over. The M01 had little in common with its predecessors; As usual, the car was compact and implemented new technical concepts as far as possible. A Cosworth ten-cylinder type VJ 10, which essentially corresponded to the unit used by Stewart in 1998, served as the engine. Minardi did not receive any new engines, but used revised engines from the previous year. Together with the ten-cylinder from Hart, which was used by Arrows, they were the weakest engines in the field. The power of the Cosworth engines was 720 hp, about 90 hp less than that of the Ferrari engines or 60 hp less than Cosworth's new CR1 engines, which were supplied to Stewart.
The largest part of the budget was covered by the Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica . In addition, Minardi had a large number of small and medium-sized donors, mostly with an Italian background. Telefónica increased its payments in the course of the year, so that a new aerodynamics package could be developed in the summer, which was used from August 1999 and led to a significant improvement in performance.
Marc Gené joined the team with Telefónica , a young Spanish driver who, according to everyone, had a lot of talent. Next to him, Esteban Tuero should drive again, from whom Minardi hoped to gain access to South American donors. In February 1999 Tuero announced his retirement from Formula 1, surprisingly and without giving any reason. In his place, Minardi briefly hired Luca Badoer, who primarily worked as a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari.
Overall, Minardi's new package was rated as very promising, and the team was hoping for regular finishings in the points area. However, that could not be realized. On the one hand, the engine was too weak for that; on the other hand, the possibilities of the chassis could not be fully exploited due to the lack of test drives.
In qualifying, the Minardi usually didn't get past the last two rows on the grid; here they fought primarily against the Arrows pilots. However, there were a few exceptions that indicated the qualities of the M01. This included the 17th place on the grid for Stéphane Sarrazin , who replaced Luca Badoer on the occasion of the Brazilian Grand Prix, and Gené's 15th place at the German Grand Prix, the first race in which the new aerodynamics package was used.
Marc Gené finished ten of 16 races. In his second and third races he finished ninth, and then eighth in Canada. Badoer only crossed the finish line six times.
The team's best race was the rainy European Grand Prix , which Johnny Herbert won for the Stewart Grand Prix. Due to a few failures and numerous tire changes, Luca Badoer drove in fourth place for a long time, and a lot looked as if he could bring this result to the finish. However, the gearbox of the Minardi broke a few laps before the end, so that Badoer retired. As a result, Gené moved up to sixth place, which he held until the end of the race. It was through him that Minardi scored its first World Championship point since the 1995 Australian Grand Prix.
The team finished the 1999 season with a championship point as tied ninth in the constructors' championship alongside Arrows. This was a particular success insofar as Minardi had succeeded in doing better than the newly formed British American Racing team, which had significantly better funding and set out with the aim of winning the first race.
2000: Main sponsor Telefónica, hope for Renault
The Formula 1 World Championship in 2000 began with modest opportunities. In the summer of the year promising prospects emerged; nevertheless, the season ended in a new, existential crisis.
The new car - the Minardi M02 - was a revised version of the 1999 model; the main difference was a deeper nose. At the end of 1999 there had been short-term hopes for Supertec engines , and Gustav Brunner had started to adapt the M01 for this engine. Ultimately, however, the engine went to Minardi's competitor Arrows. Minardi then had to use Ford's ten-cylinder engine again, which was still at the level of development from 1998 and now delivered around 80 hp less power than the engines from Supertec. Since Ford wanted to be present in Formula 1 exclusively with the (newly established) Jaguar team , its own name should no longer appear on the already outdated engines intended for Minardi. Minardi then reported the engines as Fondmetal 3.0 V10 .
The engine was widely recognized as the main problem in vehicles painted in Telefónica's colors. His poor performance was responsible for the fact that the two drivers Marc Gené and the Argentinian debutant Gastón Mazzacane rarely made it past the back row in qualifying. Gené achieved the team's best result at the first race of the year in Australia, where he finished eighth. In the same place he finished the Austrian Grand Prix. Apart from that, he was twice ninth, once twelfth, three times fourteenth, twice fifteenth and once sixteenth. Mazzacane finished eighth in the European Grand Prix; in addition, he finished at the bottom of the list in eleven other races.
In the summer of 2000, the team's future appeared to be secure in the medium term. There were prospects for a new investor, and the technical prospects were also promising. Hopes rested on the one hand on the French engine manufacturer Mecachrome to deliver its own ten-cylinder engines, which were used by Benetton and Arrows in 2000, to Minardi in the coming season. On the other hand, after previous talks with Telefónica had failed, Rumi negotiated with the US television broadcaster PSN to acquire shares in the company. In September 2000, on the occasion of the Belgian Grand Prix, the 250th Formula 1 race of his team, Giancarlo Minardi declared that for the first time in years he had stopped worrying about the future of the racing team.
In October 2000, however, Mecachrome canceled a planned contract for the delivery of engines because Renault returned to Formula 1 as an engine supplier and a parallel customer program was no longer desired. In the period that followed, the French company Minardi left it in the dark for a long time about further developments. Alternatively, Minardi then tried to continue to get Ford customer engines. This approach also initially failed, so that after the end of the 2000 season it was not certain whether Minardi would even be able to compete in the Formula 1 championship next year. In view of this development, PSN decided against taking over the Minardi team and instead invested in Alain Prost's Formula 1 team.
As a result, operations at Minardi almost came to a standstill in November and December 2000. Since there was no telling which engine Minardi would start with in 2001, work on the development of a new car had to be stopped. Numerous employees left the team and some media even reported in December 2000 that the power and telephone were blocked at the Faenza plant. During this time Rumi held talks with other investors. They all assumed that Minardi had a ready-to-use package for the 2001 season. Therefore, at the latest possible date - Christmas 2000 - Rumi finally gave the order to start building two Formula 1 cars for the coming season. Gustrav Brunner later stated that this task was "the most extreme thing that he had experienced in his long Formula 1 career".
The Paul Stoddart era
At the beginning of 2001, the Australian multimillionaire Paul Stoddart bought the Minardi team, which he owned until 2005. Paul Stoddart was an entrepreneur interested in motorsport who, among other things , had been running European Aviation since 1989 . European Aviation was a sponsor at Tyrrell in 1997 and 1998; In 1999 and 2000, Stoddart then supported the Arrows team . After Stoddart had already taken over the Formula 3000 team Edenbridge Racing , he fulfilled his dream of having his own Formula 1 team in early 2001 with the purchase of Minardis.
With Stoddart's entry into the racing team, the style of appearance changed. Stoddart, who said he hated politics in sport, repeatedly represented positions in disputes with the FIA that differed from those of other team bosses and tried to implement them emphatically. This clearly stood out from Minardi's previous reluctance. On the other hand, Stoddart was one of the least popular team bosses among sports officials. Bernie Ecclestone , for example, said of him: “A man like Paul Stoddart has no place in Formula One. This is all a size too big for him ”. Nevertheless, in early summer 2003 Ecclestone was ready to get involved with Minardi.
Paul Stoddart started with the aim of gaining a manufacturer as a partner for his team in the medium term and turning Minardi into one of the six best racing teams in Formula 1 “within five or six years”. This goal could not be achieved. Minardi remained under the leadership of Stoddart the financially weakest team in Formula 1, which could only keep up with the development of the other racing teams with great difficulty. The personnel, technical and, above all, financial expenditure that the top teams drove with the support of the automotive companies had reached new dimensions, especially in the past ten years, and was now at a level that was unhealthy even for the companies. A private team with a budget of only 40 to 50 million US dollars per year could not keep up here in the long run. In a 2005 interview, Stoddart ultimately attributed the stagnation of his team to the events of September 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks, European Aviation, like many other airlines, would have had to cope with a significant drop in sales; therefore Stoddart was not able to invest as much of his own money in the Formula 1 racing team as it was necessary.
2001: Improvised season with Fernando Alonso
Minardi was only able to compete in the 2001 Formula 1 World Championship with great difficulty. Like Gabriele Rumi before, Paul Stoddart could not win an engine supplier for the coming season. On January 18, 2001, Mecachrome finally canceled. Stoddart therefore decided together with Giancarlo Minardi and Gustav Brunner on the same day, i.e. H. six weeks before the first race of the season, for one more use of the outdated Cosworth ten-cylinder, which were at the development level of 1998. As in the previous year, these engines were prepared by Minardi itself; the team had meanwhile acquired the rights to the engine. As a tribute to the main sponsor European Aviation, they were now called “European V10”. They were by far the weakest engines in the field.
The vehicle for the 2001 season was given the designation PS01 ; she picked up the initials of the new team owner. The car had been designed by Gustav Brunner in a few weeks. It was a purely functional construction, in which Brunner and his team had to improvise in many details due to the lack of development time. Many components from previous years have been reused. The monocoque was extremely stable and therefore very heavy, as it had to pass the crash test the first time. The PS01 was completed the week before the first race of the season. There were almost no test drives. After Brunner had done this job, he left Minardi and joined the new Toyota team .
Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques were hired as drivers ; Marques was later replaced by Malaysian debutant Alex Yoong , who brought fresh sponsorship money from his home country. Alonso in particular moved the weak PS01 with a lot of energy, but could not reach the finish line in the points.
Fernando Alonso achieved a remarkable performance at the opening race in Australia when he qualified the barely tuned PS01 for 19th place on the grid in his first Formula 1 race, ahead of Gastón Mazzacane in the Prost and Luciano Burti in the Jaguar (as well as his team-mate Marques) entered the race. He finished the race two laps behind in twelfth place and finished ahead of the two Benettons of Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button . In the following six races, Alonso regularly managed to qualify at least in front of a Prost and an Arrows, occasionally also in front of a Benetton and a Jaguar, while Marques did not get beyond the last row of the grid. From the Canadian Grand Prix, however, the Minardi fell off; here and in the following races, Alonso and Marques only occupied the last rows. The low point was reached at the British Grand Prix when Tarso Marques failed to achieve a qualifying time that was within 107 percent of pole time. This was the only time a driver failed to qualify in the 2001 season. From the German Grand Prix, first Alonso, and later also Marques, received a revised version of the PS01, which was called PS01B. The rear suspension and the transmission had been modified under the direction of Gabriele Tredozi. These changes noticeably increased the car's competitiveness. Alonso made this clear at the US Grand Prix when he started the race from 17th place on the grid - the team's best result this year - ahead of the two arrows, a cheer and even before Jacques Villeneuve at the BAR.
In the races themselves, the Minardi's lack of base speed made itself felt regularly. Alonso finished nine of 17 races; his best result was 10th place at the German Grand Prix, which he achieved with the brand new PS01B. Marques started thirteen times for Minardi. He crossed the finish line six times and achieved the best results of the year for Minardi with two ninth places in Brazil and Canada (both with the PS01). For the last three races he was replaced by Alex Yoong, who regularly only qualified for last place. In timed practice he was more than a second slower than the penultimate. Yoong only crossed the finish line once - in Japan; there he was 16th and penultimate.
2002: Politics and a tight budget
For his second season, Paul Stoddart received financial support from Malaysia . The city of Kuala Lumpur acted as a sponsor, and Alex Yoong brought in other regional donors. Nevertheless, the team's budget was very low. Most sources assume a total budget of about $ 50 million, which would have been about half of the Sauber budget and one sixth of the Ferrari budget. In the fall of 2002, however, Paul Stoddart stated that he had run his team with just $ 17.5 million for the entire 2002 season. For comparison: the British Tyrrell team had already needed a budget of $ 20 million in 1997, the last year of its independence; on the other hand, McLaren's 2002 net income alone was $ 40 million.
The engine also had a connection to Asia: In 2002 Minardi used an Asiatech engine , the core of which was based on the Peugeot ten-cylinder engine that Prost had used until 2000 , but had since been redesigned by Asiatech, based in France, with Malaysian funds. The Asiatech engines were the weakest engines of the year. Their power was given as "about 800 hp", while the Ferrari engine delivered around 860 hp and the Mercedes engine delivered around 840 hp. Minardi received the Asiatech engines for free for the entire 2002 season.
After the end of the French racing team Prost, Paul Stoddart had tried to acquire Prost's AP04 models to make them the basis of a new Minardi chassis. Due to a higher bid, however, the British entrepreneur Charles Nickerson was awarded the contract, who wanted to set up a new Formula 1 racing team under the name Phoenix Finance (later: Dart Grand Prix) with Prost's equipment and logistical support from Arrows . Minardi then appeared in the 2002 season with a revised version of the PS01 designed by Gustav Brunner, which was called PS02 . The monocoques of the PS01 were adopted unchanged; the body parts including the aerodynamics and some suspension components had been renewed. Technically, the cars were largely out of date. As the last team, Minardi did not have power steering at the start of the season ; it was first installed at the Spanish Grand Prix.
When manning the cockpits, Stoddart stuck to Alex Yoong. As the second driver, he tried in January 2002 to engage Heinz-Harald Frentzen , who was initially unemployed after the Prost bankruptcy ; In the end, however, the German decided on (the financially badly damaged) Team Arrows. Minardi then signed the Australian Mark Webber , who drove for Paul Stoddart's team in Formula 3000 in 2001 and was also a test driver at Benetton.
The 2002 season started with a sensation, but was subsequently unsuccessful. Mark Webber finished fifth in the first race of the year in Australia - also his first Formula 1 race - and thus secured two valuable world championship points for Minardi. Although Webber benefited from the fact that eight drivers were eliminated on the first lap of the race due to a mass collision or a subsequent accident, but Webber, who had started from 18th place on the grid, managed to make up two places on his own and end the first lap in eighth position. In the further course of the race he was able to leave Mika Salo behind in lap-length duels in the new Toyota, also designed by Gustav Brunner and with a significantly better engine. Yoong finished the race in seventh place. Since this already remarkable result was achieved for Minardi in Australia, i.e. at the home race Webbers and Stoddarts, the driver and his team boss celebrated the result after the official winners' ceremony (illegal) on the podium and received great applause from the spectators.
Apart from that, the sporting successes were low. In qualifying, Minardi's opponents were the drivers of Arrows and Jaguar, but mostly even they could not be defeated, so that Webber and Yoong could usually only qualify for the back row. It was only different in special situations such as at the French Grand Prix, for example, when Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi , the two drivers of the Arrows team, who were financially troubled , deliberately drove so slowly on instruction from their team boss that they missed qualification.
The Spanish Grand Prix was problematic for Minardi. After the front wings of both cars had broken off in practice sessions, Stoddart withdrew his cars for this race; the Minardi did not take part in the Spanish Grand Prix. Apart from that and an electrical defect and a driving error, Webber almost always crossed the finish line up to the French Grand Prix; the best result after the success in the opening race was eighth place in Magny-Cours . After that, technical defects in the engine and transmission increased, so that there were only two more finishings in the remaining six races.
Alex Yoong regularly qualified last. In fifteen races he finished only five times; his best result was seventh in Australia. In Imola, Silverstone and at the Hockenheimring, Yoong failed to qualify. After the German Grand Prix, Stoddart then withdrew him for two races and first let Yoong complete a training program that was supposed to boost his self-confidence. Fernando Alonso, Bryan Herta and Justin Wilson were initially discussed as replacements ; In the end, however, the choice fell on Anthony Davidson . The Briton was the last to qualify in Hungary and Belgium; in both races he retired after a spin. For the last three races, Yoong returned to the team; he too suffered from the increasing unreliability of the Minardi.
At the beginning of the year Minardi had suffered from economic difficulties. Some newspaper reports speculated about the imminent closure of the team. The specific cause of the problems were disputes over the amount of the TV revenue to be paid to Minardi in 2001. Stoddart - like most other team bosses - was of the opinion that the shares originally earmarked for Prost were fully due to his team, while Ron Dennis and Frank Williams were in favor of distributing the cheers to all teams. The quarrel dragged on into the summer; Ultimately, Minardi was awarded the full Prost share. The disputes were accompanied by reports of a sale of the Minardi team to an Arab or a British investor, which Paul Stoddart confirmed in principle. In the end, the negotiations fizzled out. After Stoddart was able to secure financial support from the Russian energy company Gazprom in the late summer and finally the television money had been transferred, he decided to continue operating the racing team himself.
2003: Obsolete engines
Minardi's third season under Paul Stoddart's leadership was again problematic financially; In addition, there were political and business tensions that shaped Minardi's image this year more than sporting achievements.
The team had a number of smaller sponsors, but not all of them met their payment obligations. These included the Russian company Gazprom, which advertised the Minardi's engine cover until June 2003, and the Italian household goods manufacturer Steyer. In the latter case, Stoddart left the company's advertising sticker on the car despite the lack of payment and had it covered with the words “not paid”. Stoddard negotiated unsuccessfully with several potential investors at the beginning of the season; They also included the Bremen-based company German Grand Prix Racing . The team's situation improved when, in July 2003, the Dutch company Trust increased its commitment to Minardi and became the team's main sponsor. The distribution of television funds from 2002 also contributed to securing the racing team; Minardi received a substantial portion of the funds originally earmarked for Arrows.
In total, the funds were sufficient to ensure racing operations for the entire 2003 season. However, they did not guarantee continuous development work. The emergency vehicle, which was not up to date, suffered primarily from this. The team started the season with the Minardi PS03 . Regardless of the new name, the car was only a slightly revised version of the PS02, which used many parts from the previous year; the monocoque was even identical to the 2001 PS01. The most important changes consisted of adaptation work for a different engine. Minardi used a Cosworth ten-cylinder type CR-3 this season. Paul Stoddart had secured the purchase of this engine by enabling his previous year’s pilot Mark Webber to switch to Jaguar, although the latter was contractually bound to Minardi for a longer period of time. The CR-3 was not a new or contemporary engine; the engine had made its debut at Jaguar in 2001 and was used at Arrows in 2002. Minardi received a non-tuned, i.e. H. not updated version of this obsolete engine. Overall, the PS03 was a problematic car. According to the unanimous statements of its drivers, the car was consistently lacking in downforce and therefore in the necessary basic speed. In the races it was between four and five seconds slower than the fastest Ferrari and McLaren cars. Jos Verstappen openly stated that the PS03 was a deterioration compared to the PS02. The team's equipment was also poor: Minardi only had three different sets of springs during the entire 2003 season, so that it was hardly possible to tune the car.
At the beginning of the year there were difficulties with the tire delivery. Paul Stoddart had not renewed Minardi's contract with Michelin , but had not yet signed a contract with Bridgestone, the second tire supplier. Minardi therefore had to complete the first tests at the beginning of the year (still with the PS02) with Formula 3000 tires from Avon . Bridgestone agreed to supply Minardi with tires only a few weeks before the first race of the season. In view of the short-term nature of this decision, however, the Italian team had to deal with remnants from the previous year in the first four races of the year, i.e. H. with tires from the 2002 season. Minardi only received 2003 generation tires from the Spanish Grand Prix.
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Paul Stoddart caused political unrest when he was the only team boss to refuse to agree to a rule change. With this, he reacted to the failure of the so-called fighting fund, a rescue package for small teams decided in January 2003, into which wealthy racing teams were supposed to pay in order to avoid financial crises for other racing teams. The problem was ultimately resolved through the intervention of Bernie Ecclestone. There are contradicting statements about the extent of his commitment. In 2003 press reports it was customary to claim that Ecclestone had acquired shares in the Minardi team. In 2005 Paul Stoddart reported, however, that Ecclestone had only declared its intention to acquire shares in the event of an economic distress of the racing team. This commitment alone increased confidence in the Italian team; but it was actually never implemented.
The races of the season were without sporting success for Minardi. Minardi reported one car for the Dutch veteran Jos Verstappen, the second car was initially driven by Justin Wilson, who was replaced by the Dane Nicolas Kiesa after his move to Jaguar at the German Grand Prix .
Both drivers mostly drove the slowest times in qualifying. Verstappen was only occasionally able to position himself in front of Ralph Firman and Zsolt Baumgartner , who drove for the technically lagging Jordan team. Wilson and Kiesa mostly went into the race last.
Verstappen started out of the box in three cases after not having previously participated in qualifying training. As the cars did not have to be brought into the parc fermé , the team was able to work on the set-up before the race and thus prepare for the current weather conditions. The disadvantages were minor as, given the weak level of the technical package, there was a good chance that Verstappen would have started from the last row anyway. Other teams later took up this approach.
Verstappen crossed the finish line in half of all races, but didn't score any world championship points. His best result was ninth place in the Canadian Grand Prix, the race that was heavily influenced by politics for Minardi. A special race was the Brazilian Grand Prix, a rain race that was characterized by chaotic weather and racing conditions and which Giancarlo Fisichella won for Jordan as it were retrospectively. Paul Stoddart claimed his driver Verstappen could have won this race because he was out with a rain set-up and full tanks and was able to finish the race without a single pit stop. However, like numerous other drivers, Verstappen turned out early due to aquaplaning , so that the success of this tactic could not be proven.
Minardi ended the season without points as the last of the constructors' championship.
2004: The 20th season
2004 was Minardi's 20th season in Formula 1. As in previous years, the team was the smallest and financially weakest racing team. The budget was estimated at about $ 40 million, a little over a tenth of the amount available to Toyota. Neither Trust nor European Aviation were available as sponsors in the future: the Dutch electronics retailer had switched to Jordan without, of course, securing Jos Verstappen a cockpit there, and Paul Stoddart's airline itself suffered from considerable financial problems. Minardi's main sponsors were Superfund and the Dutch bathroom specialist Wilux , who initially advertised on the side pods of the cars. However, Wilux broke off relations with Minardi in the summer of 2004. The external reason was the appearance of the team at the British Grand Prix. Here both Minardi were traveling without any sponsor stickers and instead carried the message "Good bye John", with which Minardi's recently deceased sports director John Walton should be remembered. Wilux saw a breach of contract in the temporary waiver of advertising. Numerous other, mostly smaller sponsors provided additional funds, and the drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner also supported the team financially.
The technical equipment of the team in 2004 did not come as a surprise. Contrary to some speculations from autumn 2003, Minardi did not report the PS04 type vehicle that had emerged from the Arrows A23 , but started again with an in-house design, which was given the designation Minardi PS04B . The PS04B was a further evolution of Gustav Brunner's design from 2001, developed by Gabriele Tredozi. It still used the monocoques of the PS01 and differed from its immediate predecessors primarily through its revised aerodynamics. The Cosworth CR3-L, which dates back to 2001 and which Minardi prepared in-house, served as the engine.
In sporting terms, Minardi was once again inferior. Most observers saw the reason for this not only in the team's outdated material, but also in the drivers, who were overwhelmed in places.
Since the qualification this year was designed as an individual time trial, it enabled a good comparison to the performance of other teams. Here the two Minardi drivers were almost regularly the slowest drivers. Mostly they were missing between 4.5 and 5.5 seconds per lap. It did happen that Bruni and Baumgartner were not on the back row of the grid and other pilots started the race after them. However, this was regularly due to the fact that these pilots were moved a few places back on the starting grid due to the regulations following an engine change after qualifying.
In the races, the Minardi suffered from a lack of reliability. The gearbox of both cars collapsed several times during the races. In Monte Carlo, the power steering could not be controlled, so that both drivers had to contest the race on the narrow street circuit without steering assistance. Bruni only crossed the finish line eight times in 18 races. In Monza his car went up in flames during a refueling stop, and in China he lost a wheel in the race. Baumgartner, the slower of the two drivers, finished twelve races. He came close to the points for the first time in Monaco in ninth place and finished eighth three races later, in Indianapolis, so that he secured a valuable championship point for his team - the first in 41 races. Like Webber in 2002, Baumgartner also benefited from a mass collision at the start and an above-average number of failures later.
Like Jordan, Jaguar and Toyota, Minardi was one of the teams that took part in free practice on Friday morning, while at the same time renouncing private test drives between races. For these events, Minardi registered the Belgian Bas Leinders as the third driver. Sometimes he achieved better lap times than the regular drivers.
Minardi finished the season 10th and last in the constructors' championship. Minardi also came last in the team's reliability rating.
2005: the last time a new chassis
Minardi's 21st season in Formula 1 was also the last as an independent team.
Even before the start of the season, Minardi's sporting environment had changed significantly. Eddie Jordan had sold his racing team, who was only six years his junior, to the Russian entrepreneur Alexander Shnaider , and Jaguar, which emerged from the Stewart Grand Prix in 2000 , now had its third owner in Dietrich Mateschitz , owner of Red Bull . Peter Sauber was about to sell his team to BMW. Paul Stoddart was also ready to sell his racing team, but although he said he had spoken to more than 40 interested parties during the year, it would take until the Belgian Grand Prix in September 2005 before a change of ownership could be agreed.
For Minardi, the season started again with political problems. Paul Stoddart was annoyed by the late rule changes for the 2005 season, which were only passed in October 2004, and feared that his team would not be able to implement the necessary developments by the start of the season. He publicly accused the FIA and its President Max Mosley of political proximity to Ferrari; Mosley, for his part, accused Stoddart of being naive on behalf of the FIA.
In order to support his position, Stoddart registered two Minardi PS04Bs for the first race of the year, which were at the development level of 2004 and therefore did not implement the required changes to the aerodynamics. The FIA then declared the cars illegal and announced Minardi's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix - Stoddart's home race. Stoddart obtained an injunction against the FIA in an Australian civil court on the Friday before the race, ordering the approval of the old PS04B. After Stoddart had achieved this success, he had his mechanics fitted the PS04B with aerodynamic attachments that corresponded to the status of 2005. He explained that he wanted to show with his behavior that the FIA did not have the last word.
Minardi fielded the modified PS04B, which was still powered by the several-year-old Cosworth CR-3L engine, in the first three races of the year, the Australian, Malaysia and Bahrain Grand Prix . When it was last used in Bahrain, one of the two chassis had now driven 54 races, making it the most frequently used chassis in Formula 1 history. The Minardi PS05 , Minardi's first completely new car since 2001, made its debut at the first race of the 2005 European season . With the exception of the unchanged front suspension, the car had nothing in common with its predecessors. He carried strongly arched side boxes and independent front wings. The engine was also new: it was the current ten-cylinder engine, which Red Bull was using at the same time and which was significantly more powerful.
Minardi hired the Dutchman Christijan Albers and the Austrian Patrick Friesacher as drivers . Both pilots brought sponsors with them. In Friesacher's case, it was among others the Austrian state of Carinthia that received an advertising space on the rear wing. Friesacher's financial package came about through the participation of the Carinthian governor Jörg Haider , who had contacted Paul Stoddart several times. However, not all sponsors paid on time, so that from the German Grand Prix onwards, Friesacher was replaced by the Dutchman Robert Doornbos . The team’s third driver was Israeli Chanoch Nissany , who was 42 years old when he made his debut in Hungary.
In sporting terms, Minardi's aim was to leave the British Jordan team, which was in a phase of upheaval, behind. This could not be achieved with the outdated PS04B; with the PS05, however, the team made a big leap forward. As the season progressed, both Minardi drivers managed more or less regularly, at least one, and occasionally two, Jordans in qualifying training. Finally, at the events in late summer, the Italian team was even able to beat the Jordans themselves occasionally in the races. This was most evident at the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul , where Robert Doornbos finished well ahead of the Jordan pilots.
The most successful race of the year was the Indianapolis Grand Prix 2005 , which both Minardi drivers finished in the points. However, due to tire problems, only the three Bridgestone equipped teams Minardi, Ferrari and Jordan had taken part in the race, while the Michelin teams returned to the pit lane before the start. Thanks to the seven world championship points achieved here, Minardi was ahead of the British team BAR-Honda in the constructors' championship for a few weeks.
As in previous years, Minardi had a number of young drivers test drives for the team before and after the racing season. On the one hand, the test drives served to promote young talent, and on the other hand, they generated additional money. The last test drive was completed in November 2005 by the British racing driver Katherine Legge , whose appearance caused a lot of media coverage, although it was already over after two laps due to an accident on the first test day.
The two-seater F1x2
On the basis of the 1997 Tyrrell, Minardi constructed several vehicles called F1x2 with two seats arranged one behind the other, which have been used regularly for show events since 2002. On these occasions, Minardi pilots, but later also other prominent racing drivers, exclusive guests of the team or paying interested parties drove around various routes at a race-like pace. However, it was never used regularly at a Grand Prix. In addition to the regular Minardi drivers, the drivers of an F1x2 included Paul Stoddart, Katherine Legge , Riccardo Patrese , Emerson Fittipaldi , Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher . The use of the two-seater was organized from Great Britain.
Takeover by Red Bull - Minardi becomes Toro Rosso
On September 10, 2005, after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, it was announced that Minardi would be taken over entirely by Red Bull on November 1 . In addition to its own racing team, Red Bull Racing , which had emerged from Stewart and Jaguar, the Austrian company operated a second team that was supposed to function as a junior team. Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger took over the management of the racing team , who at least initially held a financial stake.
After the acquisition was announced, Minardi fans around the world launched a petition to save Minardi's name and more than 20 years of tradition as part of the new Formula 1 team. Nevertheless, before the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix , Red Bull announced that it would be renaming the team to Scuderia Toro Rosso . Toro Rosso remained based in Faenza, but did not develop its own cars between 2006 and 2009 . During this time, Toro Rosso took over the (previous year) designs from Red Bull. Most of the cars differed from the British models only in their engine and paintwork. The financial support from Red Bull finally gave the team access to Ferrari engines again, which ensured an appropriate level of performance. With this equipment, the team achieved a success in 2008 that neither Giancarlo Minardi, Gabriele Rumi nor Paul Stoddart had been able to achieve: Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Vettel achieved pole position at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and was then able to do the first and so far win the only race for the Faenza team. Overall, Toro Rosso took sixth place in the constructors' championship this season with 39 world championship points, one position ahead of the “mother team” Red Bull.
On March 28, 2006 Paul Stoddart declared that he wanted to register the "European Minardi F1 Team Limited" for the 2008 season with the FIA. He was not taken into account when the twelfth and last place was awarded, as were all the other nine applicants.
Minardi in Formula 1: Overview of 21 seasons
Overview: chassis, engines, tires, drivers, results
|season||Team name||chassis||engine||tires||Driver 1st car||Driver 2nd car||Points||World Cup place|
|1985||Minardi Team SpA||M185||
Motori Moderni 615-90 V6
|1986||Minardi Team SpA||M185B
|Motori Moderni 615-90 V6||P||Alessandro Nannini||Andrea de Cesaris||0||-|
|1987||Minardi Team SpA||M186B
|Motori Moderni 615-90 V6||G||Alessandro Nannini||Adrian Campos||0||-|
|1988||Lois Minardi Team SpA||M188||Cosworth DFZ V8||G||Adrián Campos
|1989||Minardi Team SpA||M188B
|Ford DFR V8||P||Pierluigi Martini
|1990||SCM Minardi Team SpA||M189B
|Ford DFR V8||P||Pierluigi Martini||Paolo Barilla
|1991||Minardi team||M191||Ferrari 036 V12
Ferrari 037 V12
|G||Pierluigi Martini||Gianni Morbidelli
|Lamborghini 3512 V12||G||
|1993||Minardi team||M193||Ford HB VI V8||G||Christian Fittipaldi
|1994||Minardi Scuderia Italia||M193B
|Ford HB VII V8
Ford HB VIII V8
|G||Pierluigi Martini||Michele Alboreto||5||10.|
|1995||Minardi Scuderia Italia||M195||Ford EDM V8||G||Pierluigi Martini
|1996||Minardi Team SpA||M195B||Ford EDM2 V8||G||Pedro Lamy||
|1997||Minardi Team SpA||M197||Hart 830 V8||B.||Ukyō Katayama||
|1998||Fondmetal Team Minardi||M198||Ford JD Zetec-R V10||B.||Shinji Nakano||Esteban Tuero||0||-|
|1999||Fondmetal Team Minardi||M01||Ford VJ-M V10||B.||Marc Gené||Luca Badoer
|2000||Fund metal Minardi||M02||Fondmetal 3.0 V10||B.||Marc Gené||Gastón Mazzacane||0||-|
|2001||European Minardi||PS01||European 3.0 V10||M.||Tarso Marques
|2002||KL Minardi Asiatech||PS02||Asiatech AT 02 V10||M.||Alex Yoong
|2003||European Minardi||PS03||Cosworth CR-3 V10||B.||
|2004||(Wilux) Minardi Cosworth||PS04B||Cosworth CR-3L V10||B.||Gianmaria Bruni||Zsolt Baumgartner||1||10.|
|Cosworth CK-2004 V10
Cosworth TJ-2005 V10
|A. de Cesaris||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNQ||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||8th||DNF|
|L. Perez Sala||DNF||11||DNF||11||13||DNF||NC||DNF||DNQ||10||DNQ||DNF||8th||12||15th||DNF|
|L. Perez Sala||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNQ||DNF||DNF||DNQ||6th||DNQ||DNF||15th||8th||12||DNF||DNF||DNQ|
|green||-||Placement in the points|
|blue||-||Classified outside the point ranks|
|violet||DNF||Race not finished (did not finish)|
|red||DNQ||did not qualify|
|DNPQ||failed in pre-qualification (did not pre-qualify)|
|White||DNS||not at the start (did not start)|
|Light Blue||PO||only participated in the training (practiced only)|
|TD||Friday test driver|
|without||DNP||did not participate in the training (did not practice)|
|INJ||injured or sick|
|DNA||did not arrive|
|no participation in the World Cup|
|other||P / bold||Pole position|
|SR / italic||Fastest race lap|
|*||not at the finish,
but counted due to the distance covered
|underlined||Leader in the overall standings|
Minardi in Formula 3000
When the European Formula 2 championship was discontinued at the end of the 1984 season, Minardi turned his back on motorsport in the junior classes. He enrolled his team in Formula 1 for the 1985 season and avoided a simultaneous involvement in the newly held Formula 3000 championship in the following years . Although his company developed a racing car for Formula 3000; However, this step was only taken as a precaution in the event that the promotion to Formula 1 should fail. The vehicle was only used for a few races by an Italian team in 1986, but could not achieve any success. Fifteen years later, the name Minardi temporarily reappeared in Formula 3000, although there was no organizational connection with the traditional works team; the races were carried out by independent companies. The same applies to the short-term resurgence of the Minardi name in the 2007 GP2 series .
In the second Formula 3000 season, the Italian Minardi Team Adolfo Minardis recycled the M3085 Formula 3000 car that had been in service for a long time. The vehicle was a revision of the Minardi 283, developed in 1983 and adapted to the Formula 3000 regulations. The car was powered by a Cosworth DFV engine prepared by Nicholson. The extent to which the team enjoyed factory support has not been clarified.
The Minardi Team Adolfo made its debut in the second race of the season, the Gran Premio di Roma in Vallelunga . The team's driver was Aldo Bertuzzi , who finished the qualification in 34th place and was therefore excluded from participating in the race. Bertuzzi could not qualify at the following race in Pau either; then he separated from the Adolfo team and switched to Equipe Dollop, for which he could not achieve better results. Team Adolfo skipped the following two races, only to return in June 1986 with Bruno Corradi as driver. Corradi was unable to qualify either on his first appearance in Mugello or on his second (and last) appearance at the Österreichring . After that, Adolfo ceased operations. The Minardi M3085 no longer appeared in Formula 3000.
Fifteen years later, the name Minardi returned to young motorsport. Since the late 1990s it was common for Formula 1 racing teams to maintain their own junior teams in Formula 3000 to promote young talent. European Minardi, now owned by Paul Stoddart, followed this trend and entered the European Minardi F3000 team in the European Formula 3000 championship in 2001 and 2002. However, the junior team did not use the infrastructure of the Formula 1 racing team; rather, racing in Formula 3000 was completely outsourced.
Minardi's new Formula 3000 team had its roots in Great Britain. Before taking over the Italian Formula 1 team, Paul Stoddart initially supported Tyrrell and, when its operation was closed at the end of 1998, took over part of the equipment. In 1999, Stoddart promoted the established, but financially distressed British Formula 3000 racing team Edenbridge Racing , which was then reported as European Edenbridge Racing that season. In the following year Paul Stoddart appeared as a sponsor of the Formula 1 team Arrows . In the course of this business relationship, the previous Edenbridge Formula 3000 team became the Arrows junior team; it was reported as the European Arrows Team in the 2000 season . When Stoddart finally took over the Minardi team in Formula 1 in 2001, the Formula 3000 racing team became the European Minardi F3000 team . Racing for the Formula 3000 team was organized from Great Britain this season; The race director of the European Minardi F3000 team was Robert Salisbury.
Saelens came fourth twice (in Imola and on the Nürburgring) and third twice; he finished the season with ten championship points from tenth. Piccini finished sixth at the Österreichring and thus scored a championship point. In the team ranking, European Minardi took eighth place.
In the following racing season , the operations of Minardi's junior team continued to be organized at their own headquarters in Great Britain. In the spring of 2002, Paul Stoddart decided to concentrate his commitment on Formula 1. At first there were considerations to sell the entire Formula 3000 team to the competing racing team Astromega. On the occasion of the race at the Nürburgring in June 2002, a cooperation with the Italian company Coloni Motorsport was agreed, which at that time already had its own racing team in the Formula 3000. Coloni then took over the management of Minardi's Formula 3000 team for the rest of the season, so that Coloni ultimately managed two racing teams.
The racing team, still called European Minardi F3000, was less successful than last year. While Coloni's own team was able to win a race with Enrico Toccacelo , none of the five Minardi drivers could achieve a championship point. Minardi initially registered Alexandre Sperafico for the first car, and later - for the last three races of the year - Justin Keen . The second car was driven five times by David Saelens, who was later replaced by the German Alex Müller for four races and finally by the Dane Kristian Kolby for the remaining events . The team's best results were two ninth places for Justin Keen in Hungary (where Toccacelo won for Coloni) and in Spain.
After this season, Paul Stoddart withdrew from Formula 3000 and concentrated on Minardi's involvement in Formula 1. The starting position of the European Minardi F3000 team was taken over in 2003 by the Red Bull Junior Team, which transferred its starting position for 2003 to the Team Brand Racing had sold (only starting at short notice). For 2003 the Red Bull Junior Team was also looked after by Coloni.
Minardi in the GP2 series
In the 2007 season, the name Minardi appeared in the GP2 series .
Giancarlo Minardi had been running his own team in the Italian Formula 3000 series under the name GP Racing by Minardi since 2006. This racing team merged in 2007 with the GP2 team Piquet Sports, which was founded in 2000 by Nelson Piquet to promote his son's motorsport career and, after taking the first steps in Formula 3 racing, was involved in the GP2 series from 2005. In the 2007 season, the UK-based team then went on under the name Minardi Piquet Sports in the GP2 series. Giancarlo Minardi has been appointed director for youth development. Apart from that, he had no influence whatsoever on the daily racing, and there were no technical or organizational contributions from Italy.
The team's drivers were Alexandre Sarnes Negrão and Roldán Rodríguez . Each of the pilots achieved a podium placement. Rodriguez finished three more races on points and finished the season in 17th place; Negrão was a total of 20. At the end of the season, Piquet and Minardi separated again. The team has since been represented as Piquet Sports and Piquet GP in the GP2 series; since the 2010 season it has been running under the name Rapax Team .
European Minardi in US motorsport
In 2007, under the name "Minardi Team USA" and led by Paul Stoddart and Keith Wiggins, a racing team that was largely the previous HVM Racing team started in the US Champ Car racing series. The paintwork of the cars, whose chassis came from the racing car manufacturer Panoz, was reminiscent of the last Minardi Formula 1 models and was driven by former Minardi Formula 1 driver Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke . Paul Stoddart's engagement in the US scene was short-lived. In the 2008 season , HVM started again under its own name with Ernesto Viso in the IndyCar Series .
Literature on the team and comprehensive presentations
- Stefano Pasini: F1 Minardi Team . Ed. Celi Sport, Faenza, 1991
- Adriano Cimarosti: The Century of Racing . Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-613-01848-9
- David Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars 1906–2001 . 2001 (Crowood Press), ISBN 1-86126-339-2 (English)
- David Hodges: Racing Cars from A – Z after 1993 . Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-613-01477-7
- Pierre Ménard: La Grande Encyclopédie de la Formule 1 . 2nd edition, St. Sulpice, 2000, ISBN 2-940125-45-7 (French)
- A little Italian: Minardi. Team portrait in auto motor und sport, issue 23/1989, p. 264 ff
Literature for individual years
- Auto course . Yearbook 1988–1989 (French edition). ISBN 2-85120-308-8 .
- Patrice Burchkalter, Jean-Francois Galeron: Tout sur la Formule 1 1991 . Surèsnes 1991, ISBN 2-87636-067-5 (French)
- Patrice Burchkalter, Jean-Francois Galeron: Formula 1 - A complete guide to 1992 . Surèsnes 1992, 2-87-636-107-8 (Eng.)
- Alan Henry: Auto course 1992/93 . London 1992 (Hazleton Securities Ltd.), ISBN 0-905138-96-1
- Jens Ernat: Chronicle Review Formula 1: Season 1998 . Gütersloh / Munich 1998 (Chronik Verlag), ISBN 3-577-14571-4
- Roberto Boccafogli, Bryn Williams: F1 '98 & - The Duel of the Giants . Cologne 1998 (Naumann & Göbel Verlagsgesellschaft), ISBN 3-625-10751-1
- Willy Knupp (editor): Rennreport 2002–2003 - the year of the red records . Stuttgart 2002 (Motorbuch Verlag), ISBN 3-613-30484-8
- Official website (English / Italian / French / Chinese)
- Formula 2 statistics on www.driverdb.com
- Statistics on Formula 2 at www.formula2.net
- Auto motor und sport. Issue 8/2002.
- Ménard, p. 450.
- Pasini, p. 11 ff.
- Minardi's F1 debut was with a Ferrari! forix.com, 8W edition summer 2001.
- Statistics of the Gran Premio Mediterraneo 1983. formula2.net
- Pasini, p. 33.
- Piero Necchi in the AMS racing car and Sergio Minotti in his own Mirage M1 only competed at two or one event.
- Hodges: Racing Cars from A – Z. P. 192.
- Pasini, p. 52: “purtroppo Cecotto risentì negativamente della figura del nuovo velocissimo compagno”.
- Pasini, p. 61.
- Hodges, p. 192.
- The notary Francesco Attaguile was (honorary) chairman of the Sicilian Scuderia Etna since 1974. For details on Scuderia Etna, see the Scuderia Etna website.
- Entry on www.www.formula2.net: "Too slow".
- For example, Henri Julien, the owner of AGS.
- Examples are Fittipaldi (late 1982), Theodore (late 1983), ATS (late 1984) and RAM (late 1985).
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 12/1985.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 16/2005, p. 20.
- Auto motor und sport, 23/1989, p. 267.
- In some sources the car is instead listed as the M85 ; see. Hodges, p. 192 f.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 16/2005, p. 20. Giancarlo Minardi mentioned this anecdote in an interview to illustrate the technical and personal level of his racing team at the first Formula 1 appearance.
- Cimarosti, p. 352.
- Hodges, p. 193.
- Ménard, p. 451.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 8/1987.
- Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars, p. 177.
- Of the established teams, Tyrrell used a Cosworth naturally aspirated engine; The new teams AGS, March, Larrousse and Coloni also rely on this engine.
- Cimarosti, p. 377.
- The only exceptions were Osella and Zakspeed.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 33/1988, p. 40.
- Overview of the technical data for the 1988 Formula 1 cars from Cimarosti, p. 392.
- Auto Course 1988/89 (French), p. 37.
- With Cosworth DFZ engines in 1988, AGS, Coloni, EuroBrun, Larrousse, Minardi, Rial , Tyrrell and Scuderia Italia drove a total of eight out of 18 teams; Benetton had the exclusive rights to a more powerful expansion stage called the DFR.
- Cimarosti, p. 384 f.
- Motorsport aktuell, Issue 8/1988; on Enzo Osella's plans to prepare a DFZ in his own plant, which were also suppressed, Motorsport aktuell, issue 3/1988.
- Cimarosti p. 384 f. with further backgrounds to Heini Mader Racing Components.
- Prequalifiers were initially both drivers from Brabham, Onyx, Osella and Zakspeed as well as one driver each from AGS ( Joachim Winkelhock or, after his resignation, Yannick Dalmas ), Coloni ( Pierre-Henri Raphanel ), EuroBrun ( Gregor Foitek ), Rial ( Volker Weidler ) and Scuderia Italia ( Alex Caffi ).
- Auto motor und sport, issue 23/1989, p. 268.
- Il miracolo di Silverstone, cf. Auto press: Grand Prix 1989, p. 96.
- Motoring News of January 4, 1990. The engine was described as "bulky".
- Report on the test drives in Auto Italia, 9/1989, p. 48 ff.
- Motorsport Aktuell, Issue 26/1989, S: 9.
- Cimarosti, p. 417.
- Burchkalter / Galeron: Formula 1 - a complete guide to 1992, p. 90.
- Cimarosti, p. 416.
- Pasini, p. 69.
- Hodges, p. 194.
- Ménard, p. 453.
- The trigger for the substitution was the dismissal of Alain Prost by Scuderia Ferrari after the Japanese Grand Prix in 1991. Ferrari's test driver Gianni Morbidelli was then given the opportunity to contest the Australian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari, so that his cockpit at Minardi with Roberto Moreno was occupied. For his part, Moreno had started the 1991 season at Benetton and, after Michael Schumacher had been signed there, switched to the Jordan Grand Prix for a few races. After Jordan had given Moreno's cockpit to Alessandro Zanardi for the last race of the season for financial reasons , Moreno's path to Minardi was free.
- Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars 1906–2001, p. 179.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 30/2002, p. 10. Minardi's retrospective view in this interview is generally not free from sentimentality; Individual statements such as the assertion that his team never poached the design engineer from another team do not correspond to reality.
- Motor Revue 1993, p. 126.
- Ménard, p. 454.
- Cimarosti, p. 443.
- Hodges: AZ of Grand Prix Cars 1906-2001, p. 179; nb the contradiction to the information given by the same author in the preceding footnote.
- Auto course 1992-1993, p. 74.
- Cimarosti, p. 455.
- At the end of 1990 EuroBrun, Onyx / Monteverdi and Life Racing had ceased operations, in the course of the 1991 season AGS and the Modena team ended their engagement, and in 1992 Coloni successor Andrea Moda , Osella's successor Fondmetal as well as March and Brabham withdrew; at the same time, only the Jordan Grand Prix (1991) and Sauber (1992) were added as permanent new competitors.
- NA extent Cimarosti, S. 457th
- Cimarosti, p. 457.
- Cimarosti, p. 447.
- Footwork / Arrows , for example, took over the active wheel suspension from McLaren, cf. Adriano Cimarosti: The Century of Racing . Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-613-01848-9
- The works or semi-works engines of the Cosworth HB VII series used by McLaren and Benetton had pneumatic valves and some other modernizations, like the engines from Renault or Ferrari.
- Formula 1 - 50 golden years, Volume I, p. 94 (three-volume publication of the F1-50 for the 50th anniversary of Formula 1).
- Contribution to Jean-Marc Gounon at www.f1rejects.com
- From 1988 to 1993 Scuderia Italia scored a total of 13 world championship points, while Minardi scored 21.
- Notwithstanding this, Scuderia Italia was still active in the sports and touring car sector.
- Compare for example Willy Knupp: Grand Prix 94 Live miterlebt, Düsseldorf 1994 (Zeitgeist-Verlag), p. 63.
- This was out of the question because Scuderia Italia kept racing in other motor sport classes. Compare Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars 1906–2001, p. 179.
- Other shareholders were Vittorio Palazzani, Emilio Gnutti and Dino Maniga; s. Motorsport aktuell, issues 3/1994 ff.
- Cimarosti, pp. 455 and 470.
- Cimarosti, p. 471.
- Motorsport aktuell, issues 15/1994 ff.
- Cimarosti, p. 468 f., Gives the HB VIII an output of 705 hp. The Ferrari 043 engine then delivered 820 hp, the Renault RS6 / B 790 hp, and the Ilmor 2175 A delivered 670 hp. The performance of the HB-V engine was given for 1992 with 650 hp.
- Cimarosti, p. 469.
- Forti Corse , DAMS , DOME and a team initiated by Frédéric Dhainhaut signed up for the 1995 season ; in fact, only Forti Corse made it into Formula 1. For the messages for the 1995 season, cf. Motorsport aktuell, issue 1–3 / 1995.
- Formulation in Ménard, p. 454: “Ce vieux forban de Flavio Briatore a réussi à convaincre le motoriste nipponaise […] que ligier mérite vraiment un bon moteur”.
- On the whole: Cimarosti, pp. 474 and 481; Hodges, Grand Prix Cars from A-Z 1906-2001, p. 179; Motorsport aktuell, issues 3/1995 and 22/1995 ff.
- Hodges, Grand Prix Cars from A – Z 1906–2001, p. 179.
- There was a similar solution with the McLaren MP4 / 10 ; There the additional spoiler was attached to the engine cover.
- SS Collins: unraced - Formula One's lost cars. London undated (Veloce Books) ISBN 978-1-84584-084-6 . For DAMS GD-01 p. 8 ff.
- Hodges: Grand Prix Cars from A – Z 1906–2001, p. 179.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 43/1995.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 48/1995.
- Cimarosti, p. 495.
- The most powerful engine of the 1996 season was the Renault RS8B engine, which was used by Williams and made 740 hp. Compare to the whole: Cimarosti, p. 492 f.
- On this qualification requirement, the so-called 107 percent rule, introduced in 1996 in particular with a view to Forti Corse, cf. Cimarosti, p. 483 ff.
- Only Forti Corse, which had already ceased operations in the summer of 1996, was ranked behind Minardi.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 7/2002.
- Ménard, p. 455.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 48/1997 ff.
- Cimarosti, p. 514.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 7/1997.
- addition, Lola's works team also drove on Bridgestone tires in its only race in 1997.
- only younger ones were Mike Thackwell , who finally made his debut at Tyrrell in 1980 after a non-qualification with Arrows, and Ricardo Rodríguez , who started at Ferrari in 1961 .
- Overview of Esteban Tuero's career on www.f1rejects.com with critical remarks by Martin Brundle .
- Motorsport Aktuell, Issues 7/1998 ff. There it is further speculated that Ferrari ultimately only gave in after an intervention by the Argentine President, who pointed out to Giovanni Agnelli the importance of the South American market for Fiat.
- Chronicle Review Formula 1 1998, p. 17.
- Boccafogli / Williams: Duel of the Giants, p. 19.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 14/1998.
- Tyrrell, which has belonged to British American Tobacco since the beginning of the season, suffered noticeably from the lack of attention from the new team owners, who saw 1998 alone as a year on the way to their own racing team, which would debut next year; see. Chronicle Review Formula 1 1998, p. 16.
- Ménard, p. 456.
- Auto Bild, special edition Formula 1 Season 1999, p. 4 ff.
- On the speculations about the possible background to the resignation cf. www.f1rejects.com.
- Hodges: A – Z of Grand Prix Cars 1906–2001, p. 180.
- On the team's website, the current 1999 season was consistently referred to as “sezione grande” (great season): www.minardi.it, accessed on May 19, 1999.
- Badoer broke his hand during a test drive for Ferrari shortly before the second race of the season and had to sit out for a few weeks. Instead of his own test driver Gastón Mazzacane, Minardi signed Sarrazin, the test driver of the Prost team, as a replacement.
- PSN (Panamerican Sports Network) was a Miami- based sports broadcaster that went on air in Latin America in February 2000 and ceased operations two years later in March 2002. PSN supported Gastón Mazzacane in his involvement in Formula 1 until 2001.
- Ménard, p. 457.
- Motorsport Aktuell, issue 40/2000.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 47/2000.
- Sport Auto, 2/2001, p. 91.
- Quoted from: Rennreport 2002–2003, p. 153.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 26/2003, p. 4.
- Quoted from Auto Bild Motorsport, issue 5/2001, p. 20.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 44/2005, p. 14.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 11/2001.
- Giancarlo Minardi was personally injured by this step by Brunner. In a sentimental interview from the summer of 2002, he explained that his racing team had never turned away the designer of another team (see Motorsport aktuell, issue 30/2002, p. 10). This admission does not correspond to reality, particularly in view of the circumstances under which Brunner came from Ferrari to Minardi in 1998.
- This achievement, achieved in a car designed and built in six weeks, earned Minardi great respect in the pit lane. The specialist magazine Motorsport aktuell spoke of "Brunner on Mount Everest" (issue 11/2001).
- Rennreport 2002–2003, p. 18 ff.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 44/2002, p. 4.
- The degree of revision is controversial in the specialist literature. Some claim that the Asiatech engine used in 2002 was a completely new design; other sources claim that Asiatech made only minor modifications to the two-year-old Peugeot engine.
- Auto motor und sport - Formula 1 Extra 2002, p. 24 ff.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 9/2002, p. 23.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 11/2002, p. 5.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 4/2002.
- Allan McNish , Olivier Panis, Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld , Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella were involved in a mass collision after the start, Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello collided with each other during the further course of the first lap.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 31/2002, p. 17.
- According to f1rejects.com, Stoddart felt that Yoong had lost his confidence and needed encouragement.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 27/2002, p. 4 and issue 44/2002, p. 4.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 34/2002, p. 10.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 35/2002, p. 4.
- Der Stern, issue 25/2003, p. 142.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 16/2003, p. 4.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 12/2003, p. 5.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 12/2004, p. 5.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 7/2003, p. 4.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 20/2003, p. 11.
- The Fighting Fund failed in June 2003 when Frank Williams and Ron Dennis refused to make payments. They were of the opinion that an essential requirement for the fund to come about, the stability of the regulations, had not been met. On the whole: Motorsport aktuell issue 26/2003, p. 4.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 44/2005, p. 6.
- At the Australian, San Marino and… Grand Prix?
- Auto motor und sport - Formula 1 special, season 2004, pp. 43 and 47.
- Motorsport aktuell, issues 29 and 32/2004.
- In Baumgartner's case, a substantial part of his payments came from a support program of the Hungarian government; see. Motorsport aktuell, issue 8/2004, p. 8.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 1–3 / 2004, p. 4.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 38/2004, p. 18.
- The Swiss magazine Motorsport aktuell commented on the performance of the drivers in the summer of 2004 with the words that Baumgartner was "the less untalented" of the Minardi drivers (see issue 29/2004).
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 22/2004, p. 6.
- Christian Klien (Jaguar), Felipe Massa (Sauber), Giorgio Pantano (Jordan) and Minardi's own driver Bruni collided with each other on the first lap and dropped out.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 8/2005, p. 6.
- To the whole: Motorsport aktuell, issue 9/2005, p. 4 and issue 11/2005, p. 19.
- The engine was named Cosworth CK-2004 V10, but was technically identical to the CR-3L.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 15/2005, p. 18.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 18/2005, p. 21.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 31/2005, p. 20.
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 49/2005, p. 4.
- Internet page www.minardif1x2.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012 ; accessed on March 10, 2018 .
- Incredible, but true: Stoddart is back! motorsport-total.com, March 28, 2006, accessed October 3, 2010.
- In the first half of the season, Wilux was the main sponsor and at least for a time the namesake of the team. In the summer of 2004, Wilux withdrew.
- Overview of the history of Edenbridge Racing. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012 ; accessed on March 10, 2018 .
- No regrets for Paul Stoddart: Article on www.motorsport.com from May 4, 2004. ( Memento from June 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Motorsport aktuell, issue 26/2002, p. 15.
- European Minardi to collaborate with Coloni Motorsport: . Archived from the original on June 15, 2013 ; accessed on March 10, 2018 .