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Gian Carlo Minardi
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Gian Carlo Minardi interview

Gian Carlo Minardi, a person who lives autosport, who breaths autosport, who has petrol in it’s vanes instead of blood. A man with an true autosport heart. He is one of the fewest team bosses from the last 20 year who really loved the autosport, who has an amazing passion for autosport. I’m glad he had the time to have this interview with us.  I did meet him in personally during the Italia at Zandvoort in 2014. Nothing more then positive feedback for Gian Carlo Minardi. The interview is in English and in Italian. Many thanks to Alberto Piva who translated the answers from Gian Carlo Minardi from Italian to English.

The first time you entered the Formula One was in 70’s with “Scuderia Everest”, the team entered with an private Ferrari 312T. How did you experienced the first involvement with the Formula One? I can imagine this was a great period.
[IT]E’ stata una esperienza fantastica, da appassionato e tifoso Ferrari poter gestire una F.1 321T era un onore e grande soddisfazione e contemporaneamente fatto conoscere il Comm. Ferrari.
[EN]It was a fantastic experience for me, being a fan and a Ferrari enthusiast, to have the opportunity to manage a F1 321T. An honour and great satisfaction to know the Comm. Ferrari.

When did you decide to enter the Formula One with Minardi? Was it after the win of Michele Alboreto in the Formula 2, at Misano in 1981? Or did it happen at an later stage?
[IT]La decisione è maturata nel tempo negl’anni 83/84 quando abbiamo capito che eravamo cresciuti come costruttori e potevamo fare il gran salto.
[EN]We made the decision in 1983/1984 when we understood that we we’re growing as an constructor, and we we’re able to take the next big step into the Formula One.

In 1984 you launched the “Minardi F1 Program” with the goal to enter the Formula One. Did it take in these days a lot of time to set up an completely new Formula One team and prepare it?
[IT]Abbiamo lavorato tanto perché abbiamo costruito il prototipo della M 184 e contemporaneamente corso in F.2 , ma la sfida, la passione e un po’ di incoscienza ha fatto si che è nata la Minardi F1 Team.
[EN]We worked a lot because we have built the M184 prototype and raced in F2 at the same time. The challenge, passion and a bit of unconsciousness, made the Minardi F1 Team possible.

Who designed the Minardi M184, and from which material was the car build?
[IT]La M 184 è stata progettata dall’ Ing. Giacomo Caliri e la scocca era assemblata in alluminio – Kevlar – honecomb.
[EN]The M184 was designed by Ing. Giacomo Caliri and the chassis was assembled with alluminiu, Kevlar and honeycomb.

The same year  Minardi made it’s debut in the Formula One, you managed to get an contract with Alfa-Romeo to use their new supercharged V8 engine for the next season. The engine was tested by Alessandro Nannini with the M184 in July 1984. During the test no problems we’re found with the engine, not even after testing more then 2000KM. What was your opinion about these engines, and did you think at that time that Minardi could score their first points?
[IT]Era un motore interessante e già collaudato, cosa poteva nascere è difficile dirlo, fare i punti al debutto non era comunque facile visto che andavano a punti solo le prime 6 vetture.
[EN]The engine was interesting and solid (stable withouth any problems). It’s hard to tell how we would have done it with the engine.  Scoring points was in these days way harder then it is today. The only six cars got points, now it’s the first 10 cars, it’s an huge difference.

A few weeks after the succesfully test of Minardi with the Supercharged V8 engine from Alfa-Romeo, Alfa-Romeo decided to stop with their Formula One aspirations and any other projects they had running. Carlos Chiti was forced to leave Alfa-Romeo and Minardi had no engine for 1985. Did you make an attempt to convince Alfa-Romeo to supply Minardi the engines they already we’re made? Since the engines seemed solid enough.
[IT]Certamente che abbiamo provato, la rinuncia Alfa Romeo ci aveva creato tanti problemi poi risolti con la Motori Moderni di Ghiti e Mancini, ma Alfa Romeo fu sorda alle nostre richieste.
[EN]Ofcourse we tried to convinced them to supply us the engines. Their retirement caused us a lot of problems, that we could resolve later on with Chiti’s and Mancini’s Motori Moderni. Alfa-Romeo refused to listen to our requests.

We are working on a second interview with Gian Carlo Minardi, about their, for most of you, unknown F3000 Minardi, and many more.
In the meanwhile check out their site for more Minardi info and news!