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The thoughts of Gian Carlo Minardi

NEWS STORY
28/10/2014

Lamenting the loss of Caterham and Marussia, former F1 team owner Gian Carlo Minardi comes round to the Pitpass way of thinking.

Though he sold his F1 team in early 2001 to Australian Paul Stoddart, Gian Carlo Minardi, who nowadays focusses on driver management, keeps a close eye on F1.

As Caterham and Marussia enter administration with just three races remaining, the Italian, like many, fears that others may follow and calls on the sport's powers that be to take notice.

"Honestly, it's a bad blow for F1, missing two teams, four cars and four drivers is certainly a sorry situation," he says.

"Unfortunately, the regulation changes have heavily affected all the teams' spending," he continues, "leading to this result for teams already in great difficulty.

"However, the situation seems strange for Marussia, which, thanks to the two points won in Monte Carlo by Jules Bianchi, currently occupies ninth in the constructors' standings, ahead of Sauber and Caterham. These points will turn into money from TV royalties at the end of the year, which should make the team attractive to a potential buyer.

"Indeed,” he adds, "perhaps it would be better to buy one of these structures, rather than starting from scratch," a possible reference to Gene Haas.

"If we exclude the top teams, the others certainly do not sail in calm waters," he continues. "This should make us think and ponder before making decisions such as new power unit regulations and double points, sometimes it's best to stop and count to ten to avoid being in these situations.

"What's going on at Caterham is ridiculous," he admits. "After two to three month, the consortium that looked set to rescue the team has disappeared as quickly as it arrived, vanished like a soap bubble. Factories under seizure, assets assigned to administrators."

As the sport faces the prospect of third cars, it's a situation that he is not in favour of. "It's a situation that I don't like very much," he admits, "but if you really need to adopt, it should at least be entrusted to a young driver to keep growing".

Finally, in terms of the calendar, and with an eye of the swathes of empty seats at various races this year, Minardi echoes Pitpass' long standing mantra of quality over quantity.

"Is a calendar of 19-20 events was too packed? Perhaps, are they too many for today's needs, even for the most dedicated of F1 fans."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nonickname, 30/10/2014 10:05

"Hello Darkness my old friend.....
Le Mans is the finale to an 11 month build up by Motor Manufacturers,a great number of them in fact.The cars also run in a number of other endurance events as well so the feedback is huge.
As for MotoGp, you are correct, it could never replace F nothing. It has 25 entrants every race. The competitors only have leathers,helmets and big balls. They are running as fast,or faster than F1 cars through the speed traps at most circuits and overtaking at the front occurs 3 or 4 times EVERY lap. The 'second string' entrants are allowed a less strict set of engine rules and damn me if Ducati and others are pushing for top 5 grid positions...and are still there at the end of the race.
I think they can and will replace F1 in terms of aTV viewership which is growing while F1 is falling."

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2. Posted by MrShadow, 29/10/2014 13:51

"We do need KERS in order to pass another vehicle while not increasing the fuel consumption. Le Mans is a single race, not something that has events 9 months a year. I have no talent to race, but have been watching F1 for 40 years as well, and MotoGP can never replace it.
Manufacturers pull out when their image is hurt by the sport, just like sponsors. With the press and fans complaining about costs, while the budget of Mercedes and Red Bull would not get them in the top 5 in football.
40 years ago there was little difference, except that almost all used the same (Ford) engine. There were a few rich teams that paid drivers, all other worked out of a garage trying to meet the running cost. As things were open every year 3 or 4 new teams popped up, and just as many went down.
what did change is how many drivers we lost due to injury."

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3. Posted by nonickname, 29/10/2014 13:22

"Add the below comment to your job application...In a society where the average city speed limit is 60 kph we don't need any KERS as we don't need most of the technology in single seat racing. Use it at Le Mans where it is right for the formula.Just look at the Nissa Delta project..the first electric car lap ever.Way to go. I have been racing for 40 years and watched F1 for most of that time...sad to say with the current regs and the bullshXt I have moved to watching MotoGP regularly, as are more and more motor enthusiasts.We will see the manufacturers destroy F1 and then pull out. They always do when the board decides the marketing plan is completed.Just think back, Ford, Jaguar,Yamaha (ok for a very short period) Honda who have been in and out like a needle in a sewing machine.God forbid that I am ever allowed out in public in a vehicle that I cannot diagnose the problem if it breaks down..."

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4. Posted by MrShadow, 29/10/2014 12:12

"nonickname
In a few years when your car uses a KERS-like system for extra acceleration you will remember this comment.
Within 5 years every car will come with an app that sends things like oil level and type pressure to your phone, and can send over a diagnostic to the road service if it breaks down. Fuel efficiency will rise and power wise the current Tesla will seem weak, while the reduction in noise level will make high traffic roads much more pleasant to live nearby.
Just hope that the other development do not get too far as you may no longer be allowed to switch off the auto driver inside the city."

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5. Posted by nonickname, 29/10/2014 11:15

"MrShadow,
go stand in the sun!!!!
Nothing on the 2014(or next years cars) will go to road cars.The technology goes the other way...ROAD CARS TO F1.
Perhaps you have a career writing the crap that the F1 spin doctors try to sell us.."

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6. Posted by MrShadow, 29/10/2014 11:07

"The same people that buy hybrid cars with all computerized safety features cry if F1 uses them. Agreed due to the fast restrictions on anything a team comes up with that the competition does not have F1 is no longer leading the tech development, but within its limits it is still a hars testing ground for new developments.
By the time your phone has an app that shows all functions of the car and warns in case of any deviation you may remember current F1 telemetry.
The current engine recovery systems are to test solutions for future hybind road cars, to optimze efficiency.
Instead of wanting the racing coffins back because they sounded good (and make you need a hearing aid today) understand that to stay relevant F1 has to be ahead of road technology."

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7. Posted by ffracer, 29/10/2014 2:47

"I agree with Ro. Never mind the gilted purists, struggling fans and commentators, but when you have former F1 greats unable to endorse this current rolling tragedy... with such ridiculous aids like DRS, sewing machine exhaust notes, virtual testing, engine freeze and horrible tires - no dig at Pirelli, they are merely complying with this ill-conceived script of deception - Bernie and Jean, WTF?

In truth, my 5 year old son, Michael, and his 3 1/2 yr old brother, Alex, cried when they heard the current cars in practice, hated the ridiculous noses and don't want to watch it any more... To boot, Michael was so incensed that he felt compelled to write a note to his favorite team, Red Bull, complete with a drawing of the his favorite RB7, imploring them to essentially ditch this current car and bring back the nice looking and sounding RB7, no joke (i'm a bad parent as I never sent it yet lol).

Chris Balfe, if I send this letter to you, can you help facilitate and give copies to Bernie, Jean Todt and Chris Horner and follow up with their responses? You have a knack for exposing the truth and I think this would make a great read. I think my lil guys, having like everyone else such anticipation for this season - and who both cried after watching the Ferrari F14T unveiling on Youtube for a hundred times no less - have a better handle on what the fans, teams and hallowed alumni want than Bernie and Jean do!

And I thought the end of F1 was when they didn't ban the Ferrari F189 with that semi-auto gearbox and demand manual shift ..."

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8. Posted by Ro, 28/10/2014 17:44

"Im sorry, but the reason why grandstands are empty is because 1) its too expensive 2) you dont have a clue of whats going on 3) the excitement of a screaming v8/v10/v12 coming towards you is now just a memory. Bring back the F1 of 2013....this years cars/races have been a total bore."

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9. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 28/10/2014 17:17

"The logistics for Nascar teams, travelling around the continental US are just "slightly" different to airfreighting F1 teams around the world."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by vermin, 28/10/2014 16:16

"19-20 events is not too much. Look at Nascar. It is popular giving the fans what they want.
"

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