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2.6 Minardi


This article is from the Formula One Motor Racing FAQ, by mitchmcc@ultranet.com (Mitchell McCann) with numerous contributions by others.

2.6 Minardi

Engine: Ford
Nationality: Italian
Key personnel: Owners - Flavio Briatore
- Gian Carlo Minardi
- Giuseppe Lucchini
Technical director - Mauro Gennari
Year formed: 1974
Formula 1 debut: 1985
1996 car/drivers: M195B- Fisichella, Lamy, Lavaggi,
1997 car/drivers: M197 - Katayama, Trulli
Address: Minardi Scuderia Italia
Via Spallanzani 21
Faenza (RA)

Based on the experience accumulated in motor racing with the
'Scuderia del Passatore' in 1972 and "Scuderia Everest' in 1974
Gian Carlo Minardi felt capable of constructing his own cars and
in 1979 he founded the Minardi team in association with Piero
Mancini and Giacomo Caliri. The first Minardi F2 cars, equipped
with BMW engines, got good results such as Alboreto's win at
Misano. In 1985 Minardi entered F1 with a car driven by
Pierluigi Martini and powered by a Motori Moderni turbo engine.
In 1986 a big jump was foreseen and the signing of qualified
drivers such as Andrea de Cesaris and Alessandro Nannini
testified to that. Unfortunately the sophisticated technology of
the turbo engines and reliability problems didn't allow the
achievement of significant results. In 1988 Minardi switched to
Ford Cosworth engines and signed Spanish drivers Luis Sala and
Adrian Campos. After the Canadian GP, Campos retired and was
replaced by Martini who scored Minardi's first championship
point with 6th place in Detroit.

In 1989 Martini and Sala scored top six finishes and Martini
started third on the grid twice. In 1990 Sala was replaced by
Paolo Barilla. The high point of the season, during which
Minardi did not score any points, was Martini's front row start
at the U.S. GP. In 1991 Minardi adopted the V12 Ferrari engine
and after struggling with it at the beginning of the season
finished 7th in the constructor's championship. In 92 they
switched drivers and engines going with the Lamborghini V12 and
Gianni Morbidelli and Christian Fittipaldi but scored only one
point. 93 was a slightly better year with Fittipaldi and
Fabrizio Barbazza both scoring points to give Minardi 8th place
in the constructor's championship.

In 1994 Minardi merged with the Scuderia Italia to form the
current team - Minardi Scuderia Italia. Powered by a Ford HB
engine and driven by Martini and Michele Alboreto the team
scored 5 points finishing 10th. 1995 represented another step
backwards with the driver combination of Martini, Badoer and
Lamy scoring just one point. 96 was no better and they were
forced to take on rent-a-driver Giovanni Lavaggi for several
races. On the bright side, Flavio Briatore has taken a financial
stake in the team and it remains to be seen how his influence
will affect the team.


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