Giancarlo Minardi is pondering a switch into politics after putting himself forward for the office of mayor of Faenza.
The former Formula 1 team principal, who has only had a limited involvement in grand prix racing since selling his team to Paul Stoddart in 2001, wants to do all he can to help the town where his former outfit is still based. Minardi is running under the slogan, "Faenza races again" and has the backing of Italy's ruling center-right coalition parties – the People of Freedom party and the Northern League.
Speaking about his decision to stand as Mayor, Minardi told respected daily newspaper Il Resto del Carlino: "It's been a difficult decision. I'm 62 and I've never been interested in politics.
"I've always lived in the sporting world, but that teaches you many things. I've made this decision now because I know I'm unconditionally supported, and I'm stepping into politics because I've understood that Faenza is going through extremely difficult times.
"I know people at the national level and I think I can use that in favor of my hometown. I will not campaign against anyone. I will have to change the way I work, but work doesn't and has never scared me. I will bring a team of young professionals: I'd like to bring to politics a method I used in sport."
Minardi is not the first motor racing personality to follow a career in politics. Former grand prix great Carlos Reutemann was a governor and senator in his native Argentina, while former world rally champion Ari Vatanen became a Member of the European parliament.