Former Formula 1 team owner Giancarlo Minardi has hit out at the F1 Strategy Group’s “unsportsmanlike” decision to block Marussia from racing its 2014 car this season.
Minardi competed in F1 for the best part of two decades, and spent much of its time racing at the back of the grid, much like Marussia, before it was finally sold to Red Bull at the end of 2005, morphing into Toro Rosso.
Giancarlo Minardi believes it is vital that smaller independent outfits are protected, as without them larger teams are left to prop up the grid.
“It’s absurd and unsportsmanlike behaviour,” Minardi wrote on his column for minardi.it. “The opposing small teams hope to split up the remaining prize money that was due to Marussia, but perhaps they did not count to ten. Get rid of the two Cinderellas – Marussia and Caterham – and the grid shrinks.”
“The last row would be occupied by teams with far greater budgets and ambitions, such as Force India, Sauber and Lotus. It could have serious consequences both commercially and in terms of team image.”
Minardi says those larger teams and manufacturers cannot be trusted to stay in Formula 1 when results go against them – as occurred in the late 00s – while smaller outfits such as Marussia, and previously his own team, exist solely to compete.
“This situation reminds me of the ’96-’97 seasons, when I defended very strongly the importance of small teams,” he added.
“I argued that without teams participating with great passion but limited means – hoping, who knows, to find the right funds for the future – in the last row there would inevitably finite big manufacturers. A situation that has repeatedly occurred in the 2000s.
“The manufacturers are not waiting years to grow and achieve positive results; they have commercial and image objectives in the short and tangible consequence of the choices in those years, was that year after year we have lost almost all of them.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Images courtesy of Minardi and Marussia F1 Team