Jun.3 (GMM) Former F1 team owner and boss Giancarlo Minardi says he would not have signed Carlos Sainz for 2021 if he was in charge at Ferrari.
Sainz has been selected to replace Sebastian Vettel, but Minardi told Il Resto del Carlino newspaper: “I would have given (Antonio) Giovinazzi a chance, also to protect the feeling of Italianism at this historical time.
“But I don’t want to be misunderstood,” said Minardi. “The choice of Sainz is the right direction. I even suggested to them a decade ago that they include him in the academy program.”
Some Ferrari purists, however, are worried about the growing trend at Ferrari of promoting drivers who are not already established grand prix winners.
“But Ferrari has Leclerc,” Minardi said, “and with Sainz they will have a solid element that always takes the car to the finish line without mistakes.
“I repeat that I was for Giovinazzi in the name of the tricolor, but I understand those who made a different decision.”
The immediate problem for Ferrari, however, is that Vettel is staying in red in 2020 whilst already knowing that he will depart at the end of the year.
“Let’s move on to the next question,” Minardi initially responded.
“I’ll be straightforward. If Seb thinks of continuing to race in 2021, managing it for Ferrari will be very difficult because he will want to prove that he is still a top driver.
“I would not like to be in (Mattia) Binotto’s place. If Vettel plans to quit at the end of this season, everything will be easier for the team,” he said.
Finally, 72-year-old Minardi slammed F1’s latest proposal – which has been vetoed by Mercedes – to spice up the action with qualifying races and reverse grids.
“Are we joking?” the Italian said. “I understand the desire for entertainment, but sport is not a circus. It’s like asking Juventus’ opponents to start ten points behind.
“Without talking about Enzo Ferrari, let us remember that motorsport is competition, it is passion, it is technology. If we turn it into a lottery, we might as well let it go,” added Minardi.