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Minardi Fans

I class myself as a motorsport fan with a big liking for Minardi. Being based in DC does not help as our nations capitol is not the center of the universe (regardless of what others think) specially on motorsport terms. I may have mentioned before but I am currently putting an article together on Minardi and what Minardi means. Possibly this website has me most confused. Hopefully some of you can help. Can I say firstly my thoughts on this website. 1. Seems to be split on the Paul Stoddart V Giancarlo Minardi issue. 2 Does not seem to support the team racing in the lower series (with the exception of mcsf, silverghost, Bouc, Ger maybe a few more). 3 Has some wonderfully talented people who contribute. and lastly where does this website see itself if Minardi go into GP2 and Stoddart enters also maybe in 2008.

I recently had a reply from the Minardi Club of Rome who said that they follow Giancarlo Minardi's ideas and therefore support the new Minardi Team. I think I can say the MCSF is also of this opinion by going to their website.

OK heres the question can you guys in a few lines let me know what is Minardi? What does Minardi mean to you? please put the replys here or if you prefer my email is ndngm@yahoo.com



  • Dear Spark, dear ForzaMinardi.com community

    I hope you’re all sitting down for a comfortable read, because explaining my position may take a while. I mean, I could give a one line answer but it wouldn’t do a “fundamental” question like the one posed by you any justice.

    Let me first clarify some preliminary points. I’ve started this site back in 1998 and have been responsible for it since then. This is my baby and I’m still proud of it for what it has done (though I admit that most of it is down to the very technology the internet offers -- even though this site and forum, in stark contrast to the odd “christinaaguilerafans.org” has had a very special feel ever since). It has brought people together who otherwise would have never met.

    From Palermo to Kuala Lumpur, from Melbourne to Pittsburgh, people sit down with their coffee (or because they are just suffering from chronic insomnia), exchange the odd pun and debate, sometimes fiercely. This place has been talking about F1, politics, movies, children, women and yes, Minardi for over 6 years (that’s when I first installed a forum) and lo, some of the “founding members” are still here, one year after Minardi F1 was erased by Red Bull. This site has, more than anything else, turned into a gentleman’s club and has been able to survive without Minardi.

    Without Minardi I hear you say? Well… it seems to me that there isn’t a whole lot of Minardi going on. Is this site not supporting the F3000 team then? I mean it’s all good and well but the awful truth is that the Euroseries is only marginally more competitive then the soap box derby at Buffalo Grove, Illinois, it’s not on TV anywhere, drivers change like underwear and the team has no connection to the old F1 outfit apart from the name (very nice livery) and GCM himself who doesn’t even show up at most of the races. I mean, I wish them well as they’re the last thing flying Minardi colours, but to say that I long for every weekend a race takes place and follow it online as much as I can, no, I don’t. I find it hard to get passionate about them. Might change next year when they make it into GP2 but if not, I can’t shoot myself either. I used to think that returning to the retro colours of the 80s would be a good thing but to be frank, I find it a bit farcical. Remember the time you saw a bag of candy you used to love as a kid and bought it and then found out that it doesn’t taste the same anymore? A silly example, but nevertheless one that serves to illustrate my point. We can’t turn back time. Unless GCM returns to F1 with Minardi and gets back all the people who made it a great team, Minardi will remain what it is now, a memory; a memory of a great team.

    And, to answer your second question: I don’t think anyone in here should have a problem with Paul Stoddart. That guy kept Minardi alive for five seasons (though, especially in 2003 and 2004 the impression they gave as a team wasn’t a very healthy one). His way of doing things was very “Minardi” and I’m sorry to hear that some of his ex employees now speak badly of him. Sure, it wasn’t the Minardi of the Rumi days but still a very charismatic team and as such not better or worse than its predecessor.

    Following on from this, a debate about whether ForzaMinardi.com is a better or worse fan community than the Minardi Club Rome, or any other club is entirely superfluous and one I find quite soporific. We can’t go to Minardi heaven so there’s no gods we have to appease by our behaviour. We have nothing to prove. Every single one of us signed up to this board because we were at some point interested in Minardi, or have good memories about the team. The fact that still so many of you (and as both Murph and P1 have returned I don’t think anyone’s actually left) come here every single day illustrates that this site, even without a team to support, hasn’t lost its raison d’être. We come here to read about Lease’s eloquent remarks, viges’ one-liners, Murphs pics, quig’s rambling about US foreign policy, facty’s prediciting competition, hoping to gain some insider information from James, the “caption competitions”, the laughs and the fights. I still enjoy every single day of it, that’s why I’m still willing to foot the bill and even though I’m a very busy fellow these days I try to get some updates done at the front page when there’s some news about our old drivers, Stoddie’s F1x2 team or other news regarding the Minardi brand. The fact that I don’t (or can’t) give you an in depth account of the Euroseries season is because, apart from the aforementioned reasons, there are Web sites out there that do a much better job anyway. Just look at places like Minardiblog.comwhich has pit access 24/7 and comes up with great videos; excellent coverage I could never match.

    Hope this helps to clarify my personal situation as the founder and administrator of ForzaMinardi.com

    Love you all!

  • I was a fan of Minardi as it was when Stoddart was in charge. But I could have imagined still supporting the Minardi team in the era after Stoddart. Sadly it turned into a load of red bull. The F3000 team doesn't really interest me. I never saw what the GCM fuss was all about. But then again, I haven't been here for a very long time.

    I would be very interested in seeing Paul Stoddart coming to GP2 with a Minardi team. If he has the guts for it.
  • As I suspected, as many opinions as there are answers - no one here agrees about anything.

    Minardi for me is about the old ways of doing racing, fair play, helping your opponents, putting on a smart show, enjoying the racing, all that stuff that Todt, Scumacher, Matescitz et al would never understand.

    It's the Italian thing, in part, a fundamental part of the allure of motor racing - continental back when continental was exciting. Combine that with the Minardi underdog vibe, and I think you've got as close as you're going to get to the essentials of the Minardi thing. The stylish underdog, always keeping the fun alive, and the politics always an obstacle to the racing, not the other way round. For an old fashioned English type like me, that's an irresistible combination.

    That's also why the Euro3000 team matters - it's a symbol of the never say die aspect of the team. It's more than a badge on something else, it's directly connected through the man himself, has ex Minardi personnel, and upholds the same ideals. I think there's a lot of misplaced snobbery in the attitude of those who think the series inadequate - just my opinion, of course, but racing is racing, you beat those you face. Plenty of years F1 has been a no contest formula.... Maybe people will change their tune when we see the GP2 team break cover. It's not about turning back time, it's about reaffirming what was important all along - and let's just say that the original dream was not about unseemly arguments with Dutch toilet salesmen, or gadget manufacturers, Tom Walkinshaw or Max Mosely even.

    Stoddart did his best in his period of tenure, but the prevailing conditions were always against him. Ultimately, he made mistakes, but his approach was still pretty Minardi - he fought his corner, looked after his team, and walked away with his pride and, I presume, his fortune intact.

    I agree with RJ about the strengths of the site, it is like a club, if an argumentative one. Where I disagree is about the future - I think the continuation of Minardi as a racing team is vital. Without it, oblivion is ultimately unavoidable.

    We need to know that out there somewhere there's a team that when the chips are down, when their backs are against the wall, in a real emergency, will all go and fix the bloody coffee machine themselves - even if it's another team's coffee machine.

    The future remains blue and yellow.
  • I reckon that I can provide a view on this particular site that may help to understand why you don't understand.

    The personalities that inhabit these pages are simply having fun. Whilst the fraternity's core is the Minardi F1 team, that is not what holds it together. That's why the views on what Minardi is (and should be) are so very divergent, and always have been.

    Before Stoddart came along, it was a Minardi fan site. Since then (and to a great degree, because of his tenure) the place has taken on a personality. I use that word because whilst many sites harbour differing views on drivers, management, and all the rest for the team being supported, none contain our unique blend of blind loyalty and cold, cynical criticism, underpinned by an unspoken mutual intellectual respect.

    Indeed you do come to FM.Com to read the thoughts of remarkable people such as Murph, whose continuity with the sport provides perspectives that most professional F1 reporters would struggle to see. But you also come here to take a swipe at him when he gets too pious and precious about it all.

    I don't want to get into a sentimental listing of all of the personalites in the way that that idiot Austrian kid with the Anglo/Austrian/Nedderland Anschluss fantasy did, other than to use a particular personality by way of example. The fact is that the joint stimulates, and it does this in ways that are not predictable. Where else can you have fun with America with the protagonist at least understanding the position from which you base your debate? Where else can you read the ramblings of a Jamaican-born sawbones with a passion for informed pessimism and a penchant for obscure (and often misplaced) colloquialisms? And where else can you get real information (if you can sift through the rubbish) on what is happenning in the sport?

    FM.Com is like one of those quirky tropical islands that everyone visits, but where some remain long after the novelty that drew them there has faded. Oops, I think I just Shirley Valentined the joint!

    The fact is that even when the disagreements get hot, respect remains because that repect has been built over time on an intellectual understanding of what drives the protagonists' views. It is a world community that simply does not want to disunite simply because its raison d'etre has been temporarily misplaced. Whatever the faithful might say, they won't leave because this is where their views belong. This is where the friends they will never meet gather, and this is where they want to be.

    Basically, just your basic, run-of-the-mill enigma really.
  • Sorry, I thought this was the Sauber site. How dreadfully embarrassing. Goodbye.
  • But seriously ...

    as silverghost says, the underdog thing seems to be of particular importance to the Brits as we are so used to losing. Rugby and cricket tournaments in the past few years have confused us.

    The ultimate irony is that Minardi, that most Italian of teams, has barely any support in its homeland.
  • "OK heres the question can you guys in a few lines let me know what is Minardi? What does Minardi mean to you? please put the replys here or if you prefer my email is ndngm@yahoo.com

    Norman "

    I believe that Silverghost is on to a couple of things.....

    #1: Minardi and the "Italian Thing".........
    #2: Minardi and the "Underdog Role".......

    I would add that for me, I saw Minardi as the ghost of Formula One of the sixties & seventies before Bernie & Company made F1 into a very profitable ( for many but not Mr.Minardi) Big Business....... a 2-hour Sunday afternoon TV show with lots of bells and whistles. Minardi used what resources that were at their disposal and competed to the very best of their ability.......Besides Ferrari in the 2000-2006 period & Renault of the past 2 years, I can't think of one Formula One team that worked to and met 99% of their potential...... The Toyota's et all should be ashamed at what they have "accomplished" with their resources..... there is nothing like that "Faenza" spirit.

    A question for you, Norm........ living in the DC area..... what F1 or for that matter any type of racing events do you attend.....living in the mid-Atlantic area you are pretty close ( 6-8 hours of driving) to a lot of venues from Montreal, Watkins Glen, Mosport, & Lime Rock to the north....Road Atlanta to the south....Indianapolis & Mid Ohio to your west ...plus SCCA Regional venues as well...........

  • I think Minardi were the last of the 'garageista' in F1; A bunch of blokes out in the shed bolting something that could get on the grid and take it to the big names, more or less, for the sheer hell of it.

    There is a kind of dream that this is possible... or there was once... maybe it needs a noble spirit that is very rare these days to inspire...

    anyway, the PS05 was the last of those cars, personally I cling to the hope that somewhere those chassis are in safe storage and sitting ready to answer the call to a more achievable F1.
  • I was here nearly at the beginnning of the site and may be considered a loyal FM.com contributor! ;)

    I was mad on Scuderia Minardi but the way things turned out, do not tell me I should support Squadra Toro Rosso now, as some people here have done. Their argument was that some things in Toro Rosso remained as before, but I am not impressed.

    So if you see all my mails, do not think that I suffer from a Jekyl and Hyde syndrome, as I am supporting Ferrari now. It is the only Italian team left.

  • I was initially all against everything when Red bull bought Minardi but I gave it time and things changed for me. I return today after being away since June and I didn't realise how much I've missed this place.

    I try to follow Minardi as much as I can which has been difficult but I never gave up.

    I'm not a STR fan, I'm more open and less biased as long as there's good races. I look forward to next year as I feel this year was good with an unworthy champion.

    With the Paul Stoddart/Giancarlo Minardi thing. I'm on the fence. I support both.

    If both have a GP2 team. I'll support both.

    I believe Minardi will be in F1 again and I'm waiting for that to happen.
  • Wow I have to say I enjoyed the debate on Paul thinking of Minardi in Champ car. Thanks for sharing your thoughts prior to the season starting I hope to have a article in Sports Illustrated I'll let you guys know
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