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Engine sounds: A couple of days ago I mentioned the engine sound changes we will hear in 2014. I found this last night. Listen to the sounds of F1 engines in 1967. (LINK) Sorry I can’t embed this video as the embed code they’ve given is wrong.
Italian rationality: For those of you who have been reading thejudge13 for some time, you will know my views on Ferrari – for those of you who don’t – Firstly, I LOVE Italy and Italian culture. I would live there if I could. However, as I often say – Ferrari would rather bask in the glory of being Ferrari than change their beliefs even if it would make them better.
There is an element of this in the Italian psyche I see in my friends of many years. Irrationality is accepted as a rational way of thinking and being and so to Autosprint – One of Italy’s finest Auto magazines. Today they publish a list of the best F1 drivers of all time.
This compendium relegates Senna from a top 3 spot that most other’s would dispute. Even better, current Maranello hero Fernando Alonso is not on the list at all. Juan Manuel Fangio, the five time World Champion of the 1950’s, gets the number one spot.
Interestingly, the runner up is Michael Schumacher, with triple World Champion Jackie Stewart also finishing ahead of the late and revered Ayrton Senna. Jim Clark, Alain Prost, Stirling Moss, Alberto Ascari and Niki Lauda are ranked fifth to ninth respectively, with reigning triple World Champion Sebastian Vettel completing the top ten.
And this is all the explanation we get for the rationale behind the compilation. “We have analysed not only the results on the track, but also the importance and impact a single driver had on his era”. God Bless Italy!!!
Force India switch to Ferrari engines: According to Turin newspaper La Stampa, Force India is in negotiations to revert to Ferrari F1 engine power in 2014. Talks between the Silverstone based team and Ferrari are “under way”, claims correspondent Cristiano Chiavegato.
Force India is currently powered by Mercedes’ V8 engine, but Vijay Mallya’s team began its F1 career with customer power supplied from Maranello. Central to the new talks, according to La Stampa, is the Ferrari linked French driver Jules Bianchi, who was Force India’s reserve in 2012 and is now reportedly first in line for the race seat alongside Paul di Resta this year.
If this was any other publication, I have to say I would question the credibility of this story. Yet the Agnelli familty who own La Stampa are related to the Ferrari family and have been the official/unofficial mouthpiece of Il Padrino’s clan for many, many years.
This is pretty interesting and goes some way to explain the prevarication of Mallya’s team over driver selection. Ferrari have lost Toro Rosso as an engine customer for 2014 who announced last month they will be switching to Renault as per their sister team – so the Maranello outfit only have Sauber as an engine customer for the new breed of engines coming next year. This would not be ideal, as it is better for engine manufacturer’s to have a number of different units being configured by different teams in different ways.
Antonio Pizzonia: was never one of F1’s greats, but he did bag a seat with Jaguar for the 2003 season. Pizzonia was dropped halfway through the season due to a string of poor performances.
What didn’t help his cause with the Jaguar F1 bosses was crashing a 400bhp Jaguar S-Type R with Autocar journalist, Steve Sutcliffe in the passenger seat. The incident took place at the first corner at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Apparently Pizzonia used the braking point for an F1 car.
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Nigel Mansell: You can tell F1 news is in short supply. I picked this story up in a South American newspaper. Nigel Mansell, WDC in 1992 and former driver for legendary marques such as Lotus, Williams and Ferrari has opened a second hand car dealership in his home town in Jersey. It sounds like he has big plans and this is the first of many as Nigel tells us, “We want to launch our network in Jersey. Whatever the customer’s budget, money is important for us and for them. Let us develop a more personal way to do this kind of business.’re Not looking for quantity, we are looking for quality”.
Somehow, this all seems quite fitting.
Silverstone accommodation: For those of you British GP fans who hate camping in the rain, you worries are over. For a mere £750 for 3 nights (2 adults and 1 child) you can now stay at this salubrious portacabin style hotel inside the circuit near Vale corner. Snooze box offers en-suite double rooms with a single bunk and includes breakfast too. Dinner is £29.95 per person and optional. There is a bar called ‘booze box’ with presumably equally extortionate prices for drinks and the offer of live entertainment.
You don’t get entry to the track with this offer. Mmm – wonder contractually how they can enforce you to buy a ticket if they sell you a room?
Van der Garde uncertain: Giedo van der Garde’s hopes of finally breaking into Formula One in 2013 have “shrunk”, according to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Now 27 years of age this could be Giedo’s last chance following his brief test roles at Super Aguri and Spyker. Of course he raced last year for Caterham’s GP2 Series team and was reserve driver for the F1 team.
With sponsor backing, the Dutchman was considered by many to be a leading candidate to be Charles Pic’s 2012 team-mate. Van der Garde’s new year has kicked off on a happy note with his engagement to his girlfriend, but De Telegraaf is reporting that Caterham incumbent Vitaly Petrov is now the hot favourite to complete the team’s 2013 race line-up.
Van der Garde’s manager Jan Paul ten Hoopen, however, said nothing has been decided. As I reported a couple of days ago, Ecclestone is keen to have a Russian driver on the grid for the inaugural Russian GP in Sochi next year.
Thejudge13 fact: There have been 824 F1 drivers. The country who has produced the most is the United kingdom (158) closely followed by the United STates (155). Italy are 3rd with 98, France next (71) and then Germany (50)
Of the 38 countries who have produced F1 drivers, only 14 of them have had F1 Driver champions. Again the UK dominates these honours having produced 10 different F1 champions. Next is Brazil and Finland with 3 each and with 2 champions the USA, Italy, Germany, Australia and Austria. The countries with 1 F1 WDC are France, Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Spain and New Zealand.
Thejudge13 quiz: 8 countries have only had 1 F1 driver, which are they and who were the drivers?
Summary of changes for 2013:
Front wing tests: Following the continual debate between teams over flexible front wings, the FIA has outlined ‘more stringent’ load tests for the 2013 campaign.
Minimum weight: Previously capped at 640kg, the minimum weight of cars has now been raised to 642kg. This is to compensate the heavier Pirelli tyres in 2013.
Stepped noses: With widespread dissatisfaction expressed at the introduction of ‘stepped noses’ in 2012, a compromise has been reached between teams and the FIA for the upcoming season. The area in question can now feature a small laminate panel, aimed at improving the transition of the drop.
Force Majeure: The force majeure regulation, relating to a car stopping on-track in qualifying, has been dropped from the rulebook. In 2013, the FIA will judge the level of fuel a driver would have required to return to the pit lane and add it to the one-litre minimum sample required for testing after qualifying.
DRS use: For safety reasons, the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will only be permitted in the designated race zones throughout an entire Grand Prix weekend this season. Previously, the device could be freely activated in practice and qualifying.
Curfews: The personnel curfew, which limited the time team members were permitted to work on Thursday nights, has been extended from six to eight hours in 2013. However, the number of exceptions has been cut back from four to just two.
Teams and drivers
HRT failed to find a new owner after being put up for sale by Thesan Capital during the final stages of the 2012 campaign, forcing it to close its factory doors before the year was out. The 2013 grid features 11 teams, meaning the Q1 and Q2 qualifying sessions will see six drivers eliminated as opposed to the previous number of seven.
While there are no changes at Red Bull (Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber), Ferrari (Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa) or Lotus (Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean), Michael Schumacher’s second retirement paved the way for a series of significant driver changes. Lewis Hamilton joins Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, while Mexico’s Sergio Pérez fills the vacant McLaren seat alongside Jenson Button.
New on the grid for 2013 is Esteban Gutiérrez, the GP2 graduate partnering Nico Hülkenberg at Sauber. Williams has retained race winner Pastor Maldonado and promoted 2012 reserve Valtteri Bottas to a full-time seat, with Toro Rosso opting to field an unchanged pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne. Max Chilton becomes the fourth British driver with his deal to race at Marussia next to Timo Glock.
There are still two (possibly 3) seats available for the 2013 campaign, but the candidates are now more clearly defined.
Pirelli outlined its tyre plans for the 2013 season last month, with the Italian company eager to bring back higher degradation levels. The heavier rubber is expected to heat up and wear out at a faster rate, with the differences between compounds also set to be larger. Tyre strategies will be even more important as a result, but the changes will not be fully understood until pre-season testing begins.
Jenson Button: For those of you interested in the twittershpere (and I know many of you are not), Jenson Button has started following Fernando Alonso today. Maybe he’s looking for tips…or sage words from the book of Samuri.
Again for those interested in the twittersphere – I wonder if F1 teams or the FIA and drivers will communicate like this. (LINK)
On this day in F1, Jan 2nd
How times have changed. For the first time this day in 1967, the Kyalami circuit near Johannesburg hosted the South African GP. Pedro Rodriguez was on trial for Cooper and Jack Brabham was on pole position. Denny Hulme jumped Brabham at the start and then the Australian spun, handing second place to John Surtees. By lap 21 Brabham had managed to regain 2nd before retiring 4 laps from the end of the race. On lap 59, Denny Hulme had to pit for more brake fluid, handing the lead sensationally to Love. A magnificent drive was heart breakingly halted as with just seven laps left he had to sweep into the pits to take on more fuel. Rodríguez took a fine win for Cooper from Love in second place and Surtees in third.
It was to be the last ever win for Cooper and Rodriguez trial was quickly upgraded to a full contract.
This page will be updated through the day – as F1 news breaks)
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