October 16, 2005: The last Minardi race – HISTORY

The 2005 Chinese Grand Prix This scene was Renault’s first World Championship success in the constructors’ championship, but at the same time it was also home to a long and historical sporting reality that closed its doors for good, not without a certain sporting sadness: sixteen years ago, in fact, the Minardi He officially left the world of Formula 1 just after that Twenty years of experience In the first division, it closed a long and exciting “Made in Italy” arc which, throughout its history, had the merit in releasing and promoting some young talent who later achieved great successes.

An adventure that started in that Faenza, in Ravenna County, officially in the mid-1970s. son of the owner of the Fiat Agency, Gian Carlo Minardi He made his debut as a team manager at the time, managing teams in Formula Italia, Formula 3 and Formula 2. In the latter category, in 1980, he took full control of the Scuderia EverestHe called it Minardi and at the same time began to establish itself as one of the most emerging realities of the tournament. It was thanks to tangible results on the track, backed by the successes of the late Michelle Burrito, in which Minardi has made a huge leap in quality Formula 1, which was achieved in 1985 Thanks to the contribution of partner Piero Mancini and engineer Giacomo Caliri. But the first season in the first division was hampered by the sudden withdrawal of Alfa Romeo, which decided not to supply its engines to the newly born Faenza reality after reaching an agreement and, above all, after the start of the first project. One seat Formula 1. At that point, Minardi continued his work. With Cosworth engines, after the car was tested by a young Alessandro Nannini, who, however, could not participate in the official season because he did not have a super license. The seat was occupied Pierluigi Martini, the only driver for the new team to have, from the fourth race onwards, replaced Cosworths with Modern Motors, a company in which the engineer Carlo Chitti was present. Among the many difficulties, the team took several retirements, and reached an excellent result as the best result 8th place in Australia.

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Even more frustrating were the next two years, from 1986-1987, and then they were compensated for by what happened in them 1988: For the first time in its history, Minardi has actually concluded a race In the point area, succeeding with Pierluigi Martini on the occasion of United States Grand Prix. In Detroit, the driver from Romania finished at Sixth place, is the position that gave the team first place and the best result so far. The growth process received a welcome response, too, in 1989: In addition to improving her score, with the same martini finishing three times in points (and on two occasions finishing fifth), Minardi wrote the story to mark British Grand Prix: For the first time, the single seat for Martini and the Spaniard Luis Perez Sala closed Both are in points, respectively, with fifth and sixth positions.

An excellent season has put the team in a position to establish itself with the level of performance in the ’90s, the first race of the new decade, Phoenix, seems to confirm these feelings: in the qualifiers, in fact, the Faenza team conquered – even here for the first and only time – an exciting event first lineMartini finished second behind Ayrton Senna. However, the continuation of the championship turned out to be somewhat disappointing, to the point that Gian-Carlo Minardi terminated the partnership with Cosworth Motors, and signed a contract with Ferrari for 1991. The agreement with House Maranello, who envisioned Minardi’s role as a real small team, was not respected by Ferrari itself, so much so that the Faenza House lived out a season well below expectations tonight, while concluding in fourth place ad Imola ed all’Estoril, with the best results in its history. After the racehorse trial ended prematurely, Minardi struck an agreement with Lamborghini engines signed by engineer Mauro Forghieri for 1992, but even here, the results were disappointing. Among the few positive aspects, there was the participation of Alessandro Zanardi. Two seasons thus had consequences for the team’s finances, to the point where it seriously entered an economic crisis.

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Despite these circumstances, 1993 started with an unexpected fourth place for Christian Fittipaldi in South Africa, the Brazilian driver and then the protagonist, at Monza, in one of the most incredible crashes in Formula 1 history: trying to beat his teammate . In the final meters of the Italian Grand Prix before the checkered flag, a South American car collided with Romania, flipped through the air and fell back onto the track, before crossing the finish line in this way. Fortunately, there were no consequences for both pilots, but Minardi continued her difficult period. The solution came on the eve of the 1994 World Championships, with the merger of the team Italy team, which allowed two other pilots to like them Giancarlo Fisichella and Luca Badoer To be able to enter F1.

Despite this new move, the situation re-accelerated with the passing of the seasons, so much so that Gian-Carlo Minardi, while remaining team boss, sold more than 80% of the team to Flavio Briatore and Gabriel Rumi, the last owner of Fondmetal, who ensured continued activity in Formula 1. However, the absence from the points area – which has been going on from 1995 – has continued until 1999, the year in which abstinence was broken on the occasion of European Grand Prix: After Badoer retired while the latter finished fourth – with the Venice driver crying even on the track in disappointment – team spirits were lifted by the current Sky Sport F1 technical commentator. Mark JennyWho finished the race in sixth place.

Despite this placement, Minardi returned to miss the points zone as well in the following two years, marked by the sale of the team to the Australian. Paul Stoddart. Speaking of Australians, Team Faenza returned to the limelight at the first Grand Prix of the 2002 season in Melbourne. After debuting last year Fernando Alonso, was set later Mark Webber, author of a sexy book Fifth place in his first race On the upper flight, furthermore at the home doctor. Even with this all-important result – Webber and Stoddart took the podium to applause from the crowd – the season’s continuation was marked by constant disappointments, even the lack of participation in the Spanish Grand Prix, a sign that the economic crisis is always more serious.

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Resist Minardi in the following tournaments, scoring points on a date dear to his history like United States Grand Prix: in Indianapolis, IN 2004, in fact celebrated an eighth-place finish from Hungarian Baumgartner (F1, meanwhile, expanded the points area to the top ten seeded spots, as opposed to six from previous years), while in 2005 He scored points with Albers and Friesshire, in a race on the condition that there were only six cars for the mass withdrawal of two-wheeled Michelin cars. This, moreover, was The last points of the race in its history, which finished definitively on October 16, 2005 on the occasion of the Chinese Grand Prix.

After twenty years in Formula 1, the Faenza-based manufacturer competed in its last race (Doornbos 14 and Albers 16) at the end of signing a contract that provided for the team’s complete move to Red Bull, which, since 2006, has reshaped the team under Logo Red Bull. This is how Minardi closed twenty years on the best journey with 340 races and 38 points overall It was conquered without stepping onto the podium, but establishing itself as one of the most interesting facts for young drivers. The Minardi legend now continues in the secondary classes and with an event Minardi Historic Day At Imola, where the public has the opportunity to watch the start-up of some single-seat people (not just from the same team) who wrote the history of Formula 1.

FP | Alessandro Prada

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Queenie Bell

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