Gian Carlo Minardi, former team principal of the Minardi F1 Team has spoken out about the current state of F1. According to the Italian, F1 is slowly going back to the state Formula One was in the nineties, with more privateers and an increased amount of drivers who bring financial support.
Just ahead of the first 2013 car launch, Minardi said he sees F1 edging closer and closer to how it was in the early 90's: “We’re going back to ‘90s, when the grid was composed by 18 Squads (mostly private), who had to integrate their budget by choosing rich drivers. Starting by saying that if a driver gets the Superlicense, then he deserves to race in F1, the impossibility to get enough money through sponsorships, forces a team to choose those drivers who can either rely on the support of multinational companies or on the support of countries which use sport to promote their own products and tourism; their choice is not based on sports meritocracy. Teams’ financial situation won’t be better, as the reintroduction of the turbo engine in 2014 will further increase costs.”
The Italian continued by noting that the attempts to reduce costs have changed little, apart from shifting the team resources: “Strengths have been shifted from one side to the other. Private testing restriction has forced teams to concentrate their resources on new sectors, such as virtual simulation. Moreover, top teams can rely on an in-house team that supports technicians in managing the race."
To effectively cut costs, he suggests to have less sophisticated cars, reduce the employment of electronics and aerodynamics and set rules which will help the development of material and technology to be applied on road cars.
Finally, regarding the lower series that allow drivers to grow an eventually get into F1, Minardi called for a simplification of racing categories, reverting to a simple F1, F2, F3 system, rather than the different series that exist in different countries: "The revolution FIA is carrying out now is aimed at reducing the number of categories in order to make the talent identification process easier. In the past, we had only few categories: F1, F2 and F3. In F2 there were 4 or 5 constructors and more engine suppliers. That was the right way to emphasize talent. We must have the courage to make some steps backwards, even if it’s not easy. The CSAI has made a hard decision: suspend the Italian Formula 3 Championship with the aim of collaborating with Berger and the FIA to achieve a change."