Giancarlo Minardi: 'Races not boring in 2017'

Giancarlo Minardi hits back at claims the new Formula 1 regulations have made the races boring.

Giancarlo Minardi has hit back at claims that the new Formula 1 regulations have made the races boring.

Last time out in Russia, there was only a single overtaking move all race, with the faster 2017 cars being blamed for the lack of action.

Former F1 team owner Minardi told Italy's Autosprint: "I analyse a grand prix with the times that the drivers are posting, and what was noticeable was how close the grand prix [at Sochi] was.

"There were the three protagonists, [Valtteri] Bottas, [Sebastian] Vettel and [Kimi] Raikkonen, but also [Max] Verstappen who improved lap after lap. It was a beautiful fight."

Minardi said that the missing protagonist in Russia was Lewis Hamilton, who was outperformed all weekend by his new Mercedes teammate Bottas.

"I think first of all Hamilton underestimated Bottas," he said. "Hamilton is a strong driver but he easily becomes demoralised."

As for Ferrari's strong start to the 2017 season, Minardi said that he is happy the Maranello team pushed ahead with their own plan to improve.

"I argued for years that we do not need to go looking for people abroad," he said. "Now the team must not lift its head but continue to work and believe in creating a new winning cycle after the Schumi-Todt era."

While Minardi was full of praise for Vettel, he was critical of the German's Ferrari teammate Raikkonen.

"I don't understand those fast laps Kimi did late in the race," said the Italian, referring to Sochi. "What was he doing earlier? Even in Bahrain he complained of the tyres and then did his fast lap with two races to go.

"For me, Kimi remains a mystery and it's unfortunate because if he went as fast as he should, the constructors' title would be within reach for Ferrari."

The championship continues with the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2015
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