Renato Cappucci

The son of an artist who eventually became the press officer of the Cine Citta film studies in Rome - where Federico Fellini made all his films - Renato Capucci grew up in Rome. He studied classics and then political studies at Rome University. The family were Minardi fans because Renato's mother was a cousin of Giancarlo Minardi's wife, although Renato was more interested in music than in motor racing. Like most Italians, however, he loved cars and was the proud owner of a 1969 Jaguar XJ6.

After he graduated Capucci had to do Italian military service and was an officer in charge of a platoon of mortar infantry, which was based at Forli, just a few miles from the Minardi factory at Faenza. Because of the family connection with the team Renato met Giancarlo Minardi several times and the two eventually discussed whether there might be a job for Cappucci with the racing team. In February 1989 Renato decided it was a good idea and moved north to Faenza. His job was to assist team manager Jaime Manca Graziedei - a fellow Roman. After two years Jaime left the team to return to Rome and Cappucci found himself assisting the new team manager Japanese former racing driver Tadashi Sasaki. At the end of 1993 Sasaki moved on, joining the Dome F1 operation, and this time Cappucci was named team manager.

With all the F1 growing fast, Cappucci found that the job had become too big for one man and at the end of 1995 Minardi hired Frederic Dhainhaut to look after logistics and race strategy while Capucci looked after the PR and marketing side of the business. He quit F1 at the end of 1997 but continues to work in the sport, representing an Italian brake company in the British market.