Minardi

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Minardi was an automobile racing team and constructor founded in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi. It competed in the Formula One World Championship from 1985 until 2005 with little success, nevertheless acquiring a loyal following of fans. In 2001, to save the team from folding, Minardi sold it to Australian businessman Paul Stoddart, who ran the team for five years before selling it on to Red Bull in 2005 who renamed it Scuderia Toro Rosso.

During its time in F1, the team scored a total of 38 championship points. 16 earned by the team's first driver, Pierluigi Martini. Martini also recorded the team's only front row start: 2nd at the 1990 United States Grand Prix and led a lap during a heroic performance in the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix. The team never achieved a podium finish, only managing three 4th place finishes: Martini twice in 1991 and Christian Fittipaldi in 1993.

Before Minardi's demise, it was a particularly well-liked team within Formula One circles for many reasons. In the paddock, the team was noted for friendliness, accessibility, and lack of corporate culture (universally regarded as having the best espresso in F1). On the track, their cars were regarded by many as well-designed for their tiny budget (in comparison to front-runners such as Ferrari and McLaren), their low position recognised as a result of a lack of funds (and engine power) rather than a poor car. They also resisted employing pay-drivers more than most other financially strapped teams, producing an impressive alumni, most notably double World Champion Fernando Alonso. Former Minardi drivers who have gone on to win Grands Prix include Alessandro Nannini, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli and Mark Webber while Alex Zanardi went on to win two Champ Car titles, and both Justin Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi have won races in premier North American open-wheel competition.

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