Forza Minardi is what i yelled when Minardi scored points in 2004… it all started here. I was a little kid of four when I saw my first Grand Prix on the television together with my dad. It was an amazing experience. Together with my dad I saw Jos Verstappen ending on the podium on the Hungaroring, I will never forget his excitement after the race it was something I never saw before and my love for the Formula One was born. Two years later together with my dad and his Italian friend we watched the Italian Grand Prix, all dressed in a Minardi suite. He gave me his passion for the Minardi F1 Team. Forza Minardi !
This is my story how my passion and love grew for Formula One but moreover for the Minardi F1 Team which started when I was little kid enjoying the life as every kid back then did playing outside, on our pedal kart’s we pretended to be race car drivers and held our own races after we came from school. I was always the Minardi driver and most of the time I won the race of course! And i always yelled Forza Minardi after the win! When I got older and started to understand how the computer and the PlayStation One worked, my parents gave me Formula One ’98 and Formula One ’99 for the PS1 and Grand Prix 2 with several add-on packs for the PC. I had a lot fun with it, after every Grand Prix I hit on the PlayStation and did the race again only now with Minardi winning of course.
My passion for the Minardi F1 Team got a boost when my parents helped writing a letter to the Minardi F1 Team in Faenza. With my best English, I wrote them that I was a big fan of them and that I always watched the Formula one to see the team and cheered for their drivers. I received a letter back from the team a few weeks later with their reply and many goodies such as signed driver cards. Moreover, with an invite to visit the Minardi Team in Faenza. Sadly, I lost the letter from the team; I still do not know what happened with it.
The next year it was unsure if the team would appear on the grid in Australia. However, there came Paul Stoddart who bought the team and brought it to the grid in Australia. The best part, Christijan Albers was rumoured as a potential driver for the Minardi F1 Team. In the end, he would end up that season as their test driver and later in 2005, he would be one of the team’s drivers. In 2003, Jos Verstappen was announced as one of the drivers for the Minardi Team. My dad and I watched every race that season, watching Verstappen in the Minardi, and both got a heart attack when Verstappen could end up on the podium during the Brazilian Grand Prix. We almost died when we saw how Verstappen crashed hard with the Minardi PS03B. I have good memories from that season. I had work and I bought my self a Minardi blouse, a Minardi T-shirt, and a Minardi jacket. With proud I wore them even at high school. Which gave me quickly the nickname Verstappen.
It was a big shock in the end of 2005 when the Minardi F1 Team announced they sold the team to Red Bull, which was already active with their own team by taking over the Jaguar Team. Toro Rosso would become the new team. However, you still saw the Minardi spirit around the team, the people where nice, and the atmosphere around the team was the same one as it was when it was Minardi F1 Team. During one of the historical races, or it was the BoSS GP, i visited in 2008 I came in contact with a former employee of the Minardi F1 Team who gave me some amazing inside in the team. He confirmed what the media said about the team, it was only 100times better. In the meantime, I was looking on internet to buy Minardi stuff. The result today is a lot of clothing, and scale models. Even a complete pit crew. And the amazing book Forza Minardi.
In 2014 during the “Italia A Zandvoort” event held at the Racing circuit in Zandvoort my biggest dream came true. I already was in contact with Gian Carlo Minardi back then, but finally I was able to meet him in person and have a little chat with him. I have never met someone that amazing. He spoke with full passion about his career in the motorsport and mostly about his years in the Formula One. Instead of blood, he has patrol in his veins. One of my items on the bucket list was a meeting with Gian Carlo Minardi. For this year I received an invite to come to the Historical Minardi Racing days, sadly, I wasn’t able to come but next year I will be there for sure.
I am glad to see the Minardi X2-seaters back on track. Now Paul Stoddart brought the cars to every Formula One race so fans can experience Formula One as it once was. With V10 engines and a lot of noise. We all agree that those hybrid V6 stuff does not work for Formula One. After 12years the Minardi Team is still a big miss on the grid and in the paddock. Forza Minardi !