Minardi, Fittipaldi, Jean Alesi discussed on The Autosport Podcast


But actually towards the end of that season, he comes on really strong and in Suzuka, he battles with Jean alesi's Ferrari all the way to the flag and ends up finishing 6th. And then come 93, he starts that in a really good vein of form. So he was never headed by his teammate for Brits so bar bats are in qualifying. At a nonstop run to fourth in the Kyle army season opener. And he qualified 13th air, which was the highest minardi would figure on the grid all year. And he took 5th at Monaco where he beat Martin Brundle's legit as well to that finish. He was beaten by martini, who has so many spells at minardi will go and talk about it a bit later when he returned towards their 93. And you could argue that his 93 season is kind of best remembered for their sort of coming together on the approach to the finish line at Monza where Fitzpatrick moves out to pass martini and he sort of ever so slightly jinxed to the right and Fittipaldi ends up somersaulting over his over his car and very fortunately Anne's back on all four wheels again. The pictures of that are just astounding to watch. And he doesn't see out the 93 season because Jean Marc goon on who another driver had impressed in F 3000. Oh, Fitzpatrick was the 91 F 3000 champion. Justin Wilson was the 2001 champion drove for minardi. Bedou was the 92 champion, so they did have a record of promoting young talents as we've mentioned multiple times. But goonan had backing from the French government who wanted to promote French sportspeople. So that took precedence over Fittipaldi towards the end of the season, and he was shuffled out, but I think the basis of his race performances and also his development was started in 92 towards the end of his time in minardi, a really reliable point scorer who yeah, he scored 6 points for the team, which I think is the second highest of anybody else. Former nadi, and let's forget he was driving for the team and a period when they weren't at their competitive zenith. That had arguably kind of passed at the end of 91, so I think Fittipaldi did a really good job as Minari was sort of beginning its descent towards the back end of the grid. That it couldn't really recover from. And it go on to get that footwork drive afterwards and it hit score half of his Formula One World Championship points that he'd scored in his entire career with minardi. So again, if you're just working on world championship points and that progression as well as you can say from first season to second season, when we look forward to the top three, which we'll get to. And then you look at the ones behind him, the release and Verstappen's that weren't point scorers. He sort of seems to suit a natural fourth place because you can't argue them against the top three that we're going to get to, but also he's so much better than the names that were we've done so far. Yeah, he can't possibly get into the top three debate. I mean, if you were talking about the best drivers who had ever sat in a minardi, which is not the list that these are, then I think I'd have him 9th or tenth in this list. I think they were pretty much everyone we talked about so far. I'd have on sort of basic ability or certainly in F one. I'd put them ahead of fit powder. But I think we're talking about their time at minardi, their impact at minardi, and are completely agree. He's got he's got the point scores, isn't he? He's got a decent record. He's got the longevity. He's there for a bit longer than a lot of the people we've talked about so far. I've just got a sort of handful of starts and maybe one season. He's got longer than that. Scored a high position. But I don't think he was outstanding in a way that the top three that will come talk about. So I think he's an absolute nailed on just misses the medal placing this driver. Nailed on fourth. Faint praise. But how much of his performance and how many of those points because obviously we're giving a lot of waiting now to he was a point score from minardi. How much of that James was on merit and talent versus drivers can pick up points when the 8 drivers ahead of them all decide to trip over each other and you pick your way through the mess. So how much of that was on genuine pace and he deserves to be there or how much of that was kind of fortune or luck? No, I think with Fittipaldi, you can say that it was earned. I mean, the car army race was, as I said, a nonstop race where that requires a lot of time management. Of course, minardi is going to always benefit from attrition to have to score points. It's very rarely. Unless we're talking about peer Luigi martinis time at the team going to be factoring at the front on sheer pace, but his actual his race drives were really good. And I haven't listened to the arrows podcast yet, but I hope that when Fittipaldi was discussed, mention was made to him losing a points finish or a potential podium even at Monaco in 1994. I mean, that was the track that he always went really well at. And a couple of years ago when I went for to pouty retired after a very long and distinguished career, he went on to race in jam car and sports cars, one three Daytona 24 hours. And a long chat with him about his career and it was really fascinating sort of hearing him reflect on his time in Formula One. That driver at Suzuka in 92 after several races of being a sub par version of himself while his neck wasn't at full strength to press a Lacey and score the team's only point of the year and Suzuka, by the way, is obviously not a not a walk in the park track. That's a real driver's circuit where you look to circuits like that. Where drivers are doing well and say that that's proper. And we have briefly mentioned there about the very best drivers that have ever sat in a minardi. You could make mention there perhaps of Alex Zanardi, who was the driver that subbed for, the dabali in 92, but he didn't do an awful lot in his time in the 92 minute RD either, which maybe you could argue was down to lack of race fitness because he'd been out of the car for a little while, but yeah, at a point when minardi wasn't at it at its peak, Fitzpatrick was a very dependable driver that led the team pretty well. Now I've been wondering whether to do

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