The president of the racetrack Enzo and Dino Ferrari: “The problems of reliability can delay developments”. And on Sainz: “Error not from him, but he will recover”
The “hills of passion”, Lambrusco, wraps, noise and the Ferrari that dominated. Like that of Australia. Next stage Imola (April 22-24), the wait is already full. «We want to exceed 100,000 spectators, we have already sold 94,000 tickets. There is still room, on Saturday the qualifying sprint race will be an event within the event ». Gian Carlo Minardi, 74, the energy of a little boy, president of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari racetrack. Imola is he, born in Faenza, has challenged the giants of F1 with an artisan team.
Do you remember your first time in Imola?
“In 1982, I was already in Formula 2. But even better in 1985, the year of his F1 debut with Pierluigi Martini (who lives next to Rivazza ed). Fans with chops, wine, Minardi flags, on an abusive truck. Other times! But today’s F1 is also spectacular ».
About the new rules?
“Yes, we have ten machines that are all different from each other. Brawl in front, brawl in the center of the group, brawl behind. And now Imola arrives, the first “real” circuit. Cherry on the cake”.
Were you surprised by such a strong Ferrari?
«In Maranello there are men capable of producing better cars than the 2020 and 2021 ones, I was more surprised by the mistakes of the opponents. But I didn’t expect such a competitive Ferrari. Merit of the team: after hard years it has remained united and followed its boss. But let’s keep our feet on the ground ».
But it looks like a World Cup Red.
«But in F1 it’s easy to go from stars to stalls, there are 20 GPs left. That said, she was strong everywhere, and the way Leclerc won in Melbourne said a lot ».
«Confidence, serenity, it was unassailable. He even went for the fast lap at the last minute. He is right, he was driving a “Beast”. Now he starts another championship with the races in Europe and it will be understood if these results are the prelude to the opening of a cycle ».
She followed Leclerc since she was a child. What did she make her see?
«He had the DNA of a potential champion, already from karts. With a competitive vehicle he is proving what he is made of. He has made mistakes in the past, but no one inside Ferrari has ever dreamed of questioning him. Last year he wanted to go beyond the limits of the car, now he has completed the final step ».
«He makes no mistakes, he has matured. He has a straightforward and confidential relationship with the car. It is a sign of security ».
Sainz under pressure, has he already become the second guide?
“Let’s go slow. He had a bad weekend in Australia. You got nervous and made a mistake. It is not like him, that he is a reliable driver. But there is no need to worry ».
«Ferrari also wants the constructors’ title and Carlos is one of the best in F1. With Charles forms a winning couple, you will see that he will reflect and will never fail in that way again ».
Minardi discovered Alonso. Does Leclerc remind you of Fernando in anything?
«When they are pilots with a capital“ P ”their attitudes are very similar. Charles has a different character also because he grew up and was shaped within the Ferrari Academy. I struggle to compare them, there are two generations in between ».
A few months have upset the balance: Verstappen and Hamilton are now behind, far away.
«Max not far behind. He has already won in Jeddah, and also in Bahrain he was close before retiring. Lewis is missing, when Mercedes gives him the vehicle we will have even more fun ».
But Red Bull’s problems seem enormous.
Reliability woes can distract development of the car. But if he is on the track he is fast ».
Do you think Mercedes can come back?
«With so many problems Hamilton and Russell made two podiums and several points. In such a long championship it is too early to give them up for dead. Let’s enjoy this moment of Ferrari supremacy, let’s live GP after GP ».
Do you like Russell?
“And how can I not like it? Like Leclerc, he has won in every category. In two races he has placed behind a seven-time world champion. The level of drivers in F1 today is very high ».
Vettel, four World Championships, last in the standings.
«He was unfortunate to have missed two GPs for Covid, in the third he went out. But he should retire. He has a lot of money, he has won titles and he will never win again ».
April 12, 2022 (change April 12, 2022 | 07:16)
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