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Sarrazin speaks about Minardi

Motor Sport magazine has a regular feature called MY ONLY GRAND PRIX and this month takes us back to Interlagos '99 ...



Stephane Sarrazin: I was at Barcelona testing for Prost. Alain called to tell me that Luca Badoer was injured and that Minardi wanted me. I didn't get a chance to test before Brazil. Prost said 'Don't worry, as the Minardi is slow you'll be at the back. There's no pressure, just try to learn.'


I didn't know the car or the circuit. Immediately in the wet first practice I think I was 14th and quite fast compared with my teammate Marc Gene. I'm not tall but it was a small car and I wasn't very comfortable. Before the first session the mechanics didn't move much, but after it they changed everything for me!


My start from 17th was very good and on the second lap I passed Alex Zanardi in the Williams, but went straight on. After that I passed a few people including Gene. Later I was just behind Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR and I was faster than him. Then after the last slow left-hander my front wing collapsed and at the fast corner before the pits I went straight on. Inside the car it was OK but on TV it looked bad! I was 11th at the time, Prost's Olivier Panis was 12th or 13th and he finished sixth.


The team was very happy with my race. Gabriele Rumi asked me to continue but it wasn't possible because Prost didn't want it; I was test driver for him and raced in his F3000 team. Alain said, 'Continue with that and next year you will race with me.'


That's life - F1 is like that. In 1999 I was second in F3000 behind Nick Heidfeld until Spa, but in the last two races I dropped to fourth. In 2000 I tested for Prost and raced in F3000 with McLaren but it was a difficult year. I tested for Prost again in 2001 then left to become a test driver for Toyota.


No. Nothing really happened and a lot of drivers arrived in F1 with a lot of money so it was quite difficult.


It was not a difficult choice - it was my dream to drive in rallies. I didn't hesitate when Subaru and the French Federation made the offer.


It's quite hard, like starting again. You need to work with the co-driver and it's a different style of driving. F1 is incredible, very fast and exciting. But rallying changes all the time; narrow, bumpy, slow then fast, grip and then no grip. You have to concentrate at every corner.


He's done very well with rallying. The fickle world of F1; what if he had taken up Rumi's offer ...
I also like the Minardi mechanics getting to work after first practice.
Also, his reference to other F1 drivers in the race rubs in how far Minardi has slipped in recent years.

## For little gems like this and great writing on all sorts of motor racing MotorSport is the mag:



  • Starting 17th....passing Zanardi, Villeneuve, being 11th.....
    Other times!!
    BTW yes, he was quite unlucky, he was for sure better than many other people we saw in F1 in the last few years!
  • how far Minardi has slipped in recent years.
    Not as far as Jordan :P
  • I hate the Sarrazin story, he was so impressive that weekend, having never sat in the car before, and he never gpt another F1 start. Just shows that there is no justice in racing.
    The team was very happy with my race. Gabriele Rumi asked me to continue but it wasn't possible because Prost didn't want it;
    FAP image
  • Yes, always have to laugh when someone says F1 has the 20 best drivers in the world. 15, maybe.
  • It really puts a smile on my face reading articles like that. I hope (in an optimistic way) it will be possible in the future for Minardi drivers to reflect on races in that way.
  • the coming year will be our year - you wait and see -

    we will get 5 points minimum!
  • Neil, glue sniffing will do you no good, drop it:hehe:

    Sarrazin was damned good in that race, couldn't break the contract with Prost since Minardi couldn't pay the release clause, f*ck Prost for dropping him for people like Burti.

    Simon, helluva article BTW. Clown's right, Judas has apallingly reached rock bottom in these years, featuring some spectacular moves like dropping Frentzen. Can't compare with Minardi.
  • I think Neil is onto something. Granted I always start the season thinking Minardi will get the WCC but I REALLY think this year will be good - mainly due to our rivals chaotic states and our new car.
  • ^ And engine.
  • I think Neil is onto something. Granted I always start the season thinking Minardi will get the WCC but I REALLY think this year will be good - mainly due to our rivals chaotic states and our new car.
    Reading the 1st line thought you meant he was onto "something" (like glue or dope) !!!:hehe:

    I kept on reading and I noticed you mean onto SomeThing, like: he has a Point !!!:)

    And I agree with you both !!!

    Minardi will kick the Jordan's and the Bull's asses!!:cool:
  • I too am optimistic for 2005 (well, one has to be) but the chaos at Midland/Jordan and RBR adds to that optimism. However, Minardi is better than having to hope for the misfortune of others. If that really is where we are at then that in itself shows the 'slippage' in our position and is quite sad. For all his treachery, the one thing you can say about EJ is that he has won races.

    Autosport is saying Glock/Doornbos are likely at Jordan along with a possible Dallara chassis?
  • Dallara? I thought the rules stated you had to build your own - could he (Dallara) be the reported 49% investor?

  • Dallara has some sort of contract with Midland and it seems the buy-in to Jordan is imminent. Who else by Gary Anderson is working on the Dallara 'F1 project'. However, that would be for 2006, I suspect, once/if Midland has more than 50% of Jordan. EJ's boys are working flat-out to fit the Toyota engine at the moment.
  • I read somewheretoday that the team would retain their name in 2005.
    From 2006 onward it would become Midland F1 with a Dallara chassis.

    Re. chassis-building: I remember Reynard being linked to BAR in their first season!!
  • I'm dismayed about the fact that we wont see the new car - or engine - at Melbourne. We'll be at least 3 seconds off the Jordans imho. :(

    Nothing new for me, you lucky Imola sods. ;)

    Aussie fans always get screwed. We also never see the new TOIT. :rolleyes:
  • You know the solution P1, join us in Imola!!!;)

    The new car will definately be worth it:D
  • P1, you will see the new cars.

    In 2006.
  • Way to be optimistic! Sheeeeesh. :spank:
  • I won't be that optimistic till I see the new car shaiking down and doing a few laps. Naturally, it can't be slower. But first I want to see how the others are doing as well.
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