The ultimate Minardi drivers list M-S


Minardi is probably one of the most favourite teams that was on the grid in the Formula One. They were for many drivers the first step for Formula One. Think about Giancarlo Fisichella, Mark Webber and let’s not forget about Fernando Alonso. However, Minardi was also one of the teams that let a lot of drivers race for them if they had the money for it. Even if it was for just two or three races. Then there is also the amount of drivers that tested for the team. One of the well known drivers is Israelian driver Chanoch Nissany who had too much grip with the Minardi he tested. So here is the ultimate Minardi drivers list!

The list on alphabetic order of name, I was thinking to do it by year but it meant that several drivers would return on the list. Like Pierluigi Martini, Alessandro Nannini and so on. A little legenda;
(D) = Driver
(T) = Test driver
(X2) = Minardi 2 seater

The ultimate Minardi drivers list A-F
The ultimate Minardi drivers list G-L
The ultimate Minardi drivers list T-Z

Michael Schumacher(D) – (X2) Active year: 2002 I don’t think there is an introduction needed for the 7times world champ! Believe it or not Michael Schumacher did test/drive with a Minardi. On the 25th of October 2002, Minardi was at Fiorano to shakedown a bunch of their cars. One of these was a red Minardi 2-seater. The team had asked if Schumi was able to give the 2-seater a shakedown. So he did. He completed 100 laps with the car having his wife Corina as passenger, and for one lap also Jean Todt!

Michelo Alboreto(I) – (T)(D)
Active year: 1985 / 1993 – 1994

Alboreto’s first test for Minardi dates back to 1985, he tested the 25th of November that year at Fiorano with the Minardi M185. Via the Formula Junior Monza in 1977, he debuted in 1978 in the Formula Italia, he would also compete that year a couple of races in the Italian F3 Championship. For 1979 he made would race a full season in the Italian F3. Winning three races, he would move to the European F3 championship in 1980, which he won with the Euroracing team.

The same time also with Euroracing he would finish third in the Italian F3. 1980 was also the year that Michele would compete in his first endurance races in several series with success. In 1981, he debuted in the Formula 2 with the Minardi team. The same year at the age of 24 he would made his debut in the Formula One for the Tyrrell team at San Marino replacing Ricardo Zunino. A year later, he would win with Tyrrell the Ceasar palace grand prix.

In 1984, Michele moved to the Ferrari team where he would reach most of his successes in the Formula One. Winning several races and finish second in the 1985 championship. That same year Alboreto tested for the Minardi team the 25th and 26th of November at Fiorano with the M185. After 1985, his career went not as good as it used to be. Leaving Ferrari, he raced for Footwork and Scuderia Italia before he appeared at Minardi in late 1993. However, in the summer of 1993 he already tested with the M193 at Estoril. In 1994, he would race for the team, scoring a point in Monaco with the M193B. After his Formula career, he continued racing in endurance, winning the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1997. He sadly died in April 2001 while testing the Audi R8 at the EuroSpeedway.

Mike Gascoyne(GB)-(X2)
Active year: 2000 or 2001
Mike Gascoyne is well known as a designer in the Formula One. He worked for teams like Sauber, Jordan, Tyrrell, McLaren, Toyota and Renault. Besides designing Formula One cars he also drove with them like in the Boss GP in 199 when he drove a Tyrrell. He also tested some F1 cars.
In 2000 or 2001, it is not quiet sure, Mike drove also around on a wet Doningtonpark with the Minardi 2-seater.

Norberto Fontana(AR)-(T)
Active year: 2000

Norberto Fontana was in the race for a Minardi seat in 2000. Norberto made his debut in the Autosport already in 1992 in the Argentinian Formula Renault series. In 1993, he made the trip to Europe where he would debut in 1993 in the Swiss and European Formula Ford championship. In 1994, he moved to the German Formula 3 championship, winning three races and finishing sixth overall he became rookie of the year. 1995 would be more successful, winning the German Formula 3 championship and the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort made him one of the hit guys in the Formula One Paddock. For 1996, he moved to the Japanese Formula Nippon where he managed to score several wins.

In 1997, he would continue racing in the Formula Nippon, which he would finish overall as third. That same year he would made his debut for the Sauber F1 Team during the French Grand Prix. Fontana was an obvious choice for Peter Sauber. His first test with the team dates back to 1994. During 1995 and 1996, he tested a couple of times for the team as well. With two, nine places. Sadly, he made a couple of mistakes in the four races he drove for the team,

For 1998 he had a contract signed with the Tyrrell Racing team. However, we all know how that went. Jos Verstappen was in favour to stay as driver. Norberto Fontana who had a contract was simply said he would not race for the team that year. While Ricardo Rosset would take the place from Jos Verstappen at the team. 

Pierluigi Martini(I)-(T)(D)
Active years: 1984 – 1985 / 1988 – 1995

Pierluigi Martini is the older brother from Oliver Martini. Pierluigi is drove most of his career for Minardi in the Formula One. During his years with Minardi, he scored 18 points.
Pierluigi made his debut in the Autosport in 1981 in the Italian Formula 3 championship for 1982 and 1983 he would compete in the Italian and European Formula 3 championship winning the European series in 1983. That year he also made his debut in the Formula 2 for Minardi and have his first taste in the Formula One while testing for the Brabham team.

A year later, he made his debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Martini Racing. Toleman had asked Martini if he was available to replace the suspended Ayrton Senna for the 1984 Italian Grand Prix. Sadly, he failed to qualify for his home race. Just after the race, he was asked by Minardi to test with their M184. This car was built in preparation for their debut in 1985. This car was fitted with the Alfa Romeo engine. Eventually the M185 would be fitted with the Motori Moderni engine.

The Motori Moderni was not ready on time. This meant that the M185 would be fitted with the Cosworth engine. Martini tested with this car in early February at Misano. For 1985, Martini signed a contract with Minardi. Due to the engine Pierluigi retired from most of the races, his best result was an eight place at Adelaide. In 1986 and 1987, he competed in the International Formula 3000 championship with success.

In 1987, he tested for Minardi a couple of times the Minardi M187 at Misano. For 1988, he would continue racing in the International Formula 3000 championship for First racing who were working on their own F1 car. Minardi asked Martini if he was interested to race for the team from Detroit on, it was a good move. In Detroit, he finished as sixth, which meant one point! He tested in 1988 also with the Minardi M188 fitted with the Subaru boxer engine.

For 1989 he would race again for Minardi, the M189 was simple but efficient. He scored a fifth place during the British and Portuguese Grand Prix and a sixth place during the Australian Grand Prix. During the season, he also raced in the ITCC. In 1990, he was again one of Minardi’s drivers. Sadly, the Minardi M190 was not the success the team hoped it was. No points were scored during the season a best result was 8th place during the Japanese Grand Prix. In 1991, Minardi managed to sign a deal with Ferrari for the use of their V12 engine. While it was an expensive deal, it was a good one. The engine was reliable and Martini scored a fourth place during the San Marino Grand Prix and the Portuguese Grand Prix. Compared to today’s point system he would have scored in six races points.

Roberto Del Castello(I)-(T)
Active year: 1984
Roberto Del Castello was the first driver that tested with the Minardi M184 fitted with the Alfa-Romeo engine.