TEAM Minardi

Team Boss: Paul Stoddart
Driver One: J. Wilson
Driver Two: J. Verstappen

The Minardi team has to be one of the most deserving teams in present day Formula One. Giancarlo Minardi knows he will never match the likes of Enzo Ferrari or Ron Dennis, but he continues, race after race, year after year, winning the hearts of many die hard Formula One fans that can see his passion and devotion to the sport.

He was born in 1947 with the love of cars apparent from the start. He ran a Fiat dealership in Faenza, but at the age of 26 he began running cars in the Formula Two category with a Chevron chassis and a Ferrari V6 engine. Due to his close ties with Marenello, he ran an ex Ferrari Formula One car in the Scuderia Everest colors in 1976 but became a constructor in his own right in 1980 when he built a Formula Two chassis that was driven by Alessandro Nannini. Giancarlo finally broke into Formula One in 1985 when he entered with a single car powered with a Ford Cosworth engine. Only taking part in the first two races of the season with Pierluigi Martini, the 1983 Formula Three champion, behind the wheel.

With the turbo era in full force and McLarens' Alain Prost and Niki Lauda blitzing the field, Giancarlo found the car to be out of it's depth with the underpowered Motori Moderni turbo and without a second driver for Martini to compare himself with, he was accused of being the failure when it was the car that just couldn't keep up. He returned to Formula Three for the 85 season and he was replaced with the two-car combination of Andrea de Cesaris and Alessandro Nannini. But unfortunately, the car was still powered by the Moderni and the new drivers fared little better than Martini. Adrian Campos replaced de Cesaris for the 87 season, but points continued to elude them until the following year when the team reverted back to Ford Cosworth power and reintroduced Martini. He scored Minardis' first point on the streets of Detroit, finishing sixth out of the nine drivers that took the checkered flag.

Martini was partnered with a very promising Spaniard that year, Luis Perez Sala, and between them in 1989 they put Minardi into the top ten of the championship after both finished in the top six in Silverstone as well as Martini finishing sixth in Adelaide and fifth at Estoril. He made history for the small team that day, the 24th of September 1989, when he led the field for a lap. The joy Giancarlo felt that day was unsurpassable and his delight at finishing tenth in the championship was far greater than any team owner could ever hope to feel. It was such an important step for them as the long-distance freight benefits were priceless. Unfortunately 1990 was once pointless again but things were looking brighter after they made a deal with Ferrari for their V12 engines for the following season. Portugal was kind to them again when Martini finished fourth, just ten seconds behind Jean Alesi's third placed Ferrari, enabling the team to finish seventh overall.

Not only did they lose Martini for 1992 they also lost the Ferrari engine, replacing it with Lamborghini V12's, driven by Formula Three Champion, Christian Fittapaldi and Gianni Morbidelli. Fittapaldi scored the teams only point of the season at Suzuka. Minardi suffered a big blow just before the start of the 1995 season when they lost out on a deal for Mugen Honda engines to Ligier. Forced to rely on Ford engines, the team scored just the one point again that season when Pedro Lamy was sixth in the Australian Grand Prix. 1996 was pointless as well after the team ran into financial difficulties and two ninth finishes from Jarno Trulli in 1997 were the highest the team saw all season.

Giancarlo Minardi now only owns 15 percent of the team with Gabriele Rumi buying out Flavio Briatores's 70 percent share early in 1998. The team switched to Ford V10's for the season, but in 1999, they employed Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer and newcomer Mark Gene. Another one point season followed but not until after some promising qualifying performances and a heartbreaking race when Badoer was running a strong fourth only to retire with engine failure close to the finish. Watching the young passionate driver succumb to tears was heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, Badoer chose to leave the team, opting to continue as test driver for Ferrari. The teams test driver from the 1999 season, Gaston Mazzacane, partnered Marc Gene for the 2000 season where despite some strong performances in practice, they failed to secure a single point and finished 10th overall ahead of Prost. Things went from bad to worse for the team at the end of the season. They lost all their sponsors, both drivers and were without an engine supply for the new season.

After talk of numerous takeovers, it was eventually announced, just weeks before the start of the opening round of the season, that Australian businessman, Paul Stoddart would be purchasing the struggling outfit. The team continued for the 2001 season, initially with Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques, however Marques was replaced by Malaysian rookie, Alex Yoong in the 14th round.

Now backed by the Malaysian government, the team changed names once again and was known as KL Minardi. Yoong continued with the team in the 2002 championship where the outfit ran Asiatech engines. Australian driver Mark Webber was announced as the second driver and on his debut race in front of home fans in Australia, Mark secured fifth place and two points, sending the crowd and everyone up and down pit lane wild. 

Webber continued to impress and with a strong drive at Monaco, basically clinched a ride with Jaguar for 2003. Yoong meanwhile was forced to sit out two events after problems in qualifying and was replaced by British rookie Anthony Davidson. For 2003 Yoong moves to the CART series and the new drivers will be rookie Justin Wilson and experienced racer, Jos Verstappen, The Faenza based squad will run with Ford engines in a package that is being hailed as their best in 19 years. 

2003 Engine

Number of cylinders: 10
Configuration: 72 degree vee
Number of valves: 40
Displacement 2998cc
Cylinder Block Cast aluminium monoblock
Ignition system Magneti Marelli step 8 control unit with Minardi software
Lubrication system Dry sump
Fuel injection Magneti Marelli
Sparkplugs Champion

2003 Car

Model European Minardi PS01
Chassis Carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque
Bodywork Carbon fibre
Suspension, front and rear Upper/lower carbon-wrapped titanium wishbones, front pullrod/read pushrod-activated torsion springs/rockers, mechanical anti-roll bars
Dampers Sachs (to Minardi specification)
Steering Minardi rack and pinion
Gearbox Minardi sequential, six-speed, semi-automatic, longitudinally mounted, titanium casing, hydraulic activation (Magneti Marelli ecu, Minardi software)
Brake discs Brembo carbon
Brake calipers Brembo, six piston front and reas
Brake pads Brembo carbon
Cooling system Minardi-designed water and oil radiators
Cockpit instrumentation Magenti Marelli set in steering wheel
Seat belts TRW Sabelt six-point harness
Steering wheel Personal
Driver's seat Minardi
Extinguisher system Lifeline
Wheels OZ forged magnesium (13.0 x 12.0in front / 13.0 x 13.7in rear)
Tyres Michelin
Fuel cell ATL, Kevlar-reinforced rubber
Fuel Elf
Lubricants Elf
Front track 1480mm
Rear track 1410mm
Width 1800mm
Length 4509mm
Weight 600kg (including driver and camera)


Lease Plan, Sebring, PDP BOX DOCCIA S.p.A, Ciet, The Fauth Estate, COCIF, Sorbini, S.E.F.I. Group, Allegrini, Monrif Group, Vire, Faenza Worldwide.

The Team

Chairman and Managing Director: Paul Stoddart
General Manager: Gian Carlo Minardi
Team Manager: Rupert Manwaring
Sporting Director: Frédéric Dhainaut
Technical Co-ordinator: Gabriele Tredozzi
Head of Aerodynamics Loic Bigois
Aeordynamics Manager: Jean-Claude Migeot
Press Officers: Graham Jones
Stefania Torelli


Minardi Team SpA,
via Spallanzani, 21 z.i
48018 Faenza,

Tel: +39 0546 696111
Fax: +39 0546 620998


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