F1 Engine sounds, Force India to have Ferrari engines, Italian top 10 F1 drivers list, Bianchi to Force India, Mansell second hand car dealer

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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.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/tHFkd8fgBFQ?rel=0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

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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40 responses to “F1 Engine sounds, Force India to have Ferrari engines, Italian top 10 F1 drivers list, Bianchi to Force India, Mansell second hand car dealer

  1. If I were Ferrari, or any supplier, I’d be steering well clear of Vijay’s mob. The less said the better and my veiw is not merely formed on the King Fisher debacle of 2012 but includes his poor professional attitude to suppliers historically. In particular, his preference to leave bills unpaid until the aggrieved party has to spend further in recovery and/or threatening legal notices are legendary in the paddock.

    Also, IMHO, I think Fangio should be 1st on any F1 top 10 drivers list. Depending on the day, I usually place Senna about 4th as well. Once one consciously dismisses the fermenting mysticism of the Senna story and analyses his overall results, his teammate comparisons and the impact on his era (amongst other things) he really shouldn’t place above drivers like Fangio or Schumacher (Career No.1).

  2. it may be also possible that force india is doing these thing only for bargaining as it is hottly tipped that mercedes v6 engine and kers will be best.so to me it is no brainer to go to the ferrari as it also bring useless political baggage

  3. The Mansell car dealer story was in the Telegraph weeks ago…

    It is interesting that FI still haven’t confirmed either driver. My understanding is that PDR’s drive is linked to the Merc engine supply. If they do go Ferrari for 2014, would they feel any obligation to keep him? I wonder if we could see Senna and Bianchi in the white, orange and green next season…

    Re drivers country of origin, would I be right in guessing the USA total is heavily influenced by the fact the Indy 500 counted as a round of the championship at one point? In more recent times the US seems to be possibly the most under-represented country in terms of nations with well developed racing series.

    I would also guess that until fairly recently the US must have held the overall record for quite some time, they’ve only had a handful of drivers in the last 15 or so years, we’ve had quite a lot more in the same time period. Indeed, I’d guess that the UK has had more champions in the last 20 years than the US has had drivers on the grid…

    As for the countries with only one driver, you need a better knowledge of F1 going back than I have! Without cheating and using Google I’d guess three of them would be Columbia, Venezula and Monaco, being Montoya, Maldonado and, erm… I know there was someone in the 90s who was a Monagesque but I can’t recall the name at the moment… Beretta? No idea if Russia is another, I’d be surprised if Petrov was the only one but you never know. Are you counting Friday drivers, or only ones that have started a race? If the latter then of course the biggest country without an F1 driver would be China…

    • I guessed I’d missed it somewhere. Must have been a filler story for the Brazilian publication where I found it.

      You’re right, between 1950-1960 the Indy 500 was an official F1 race – yet few US based drivers came to Europe and even fewer of the Europeans went to the brickyeard. Strangely enough, when the 500 was removed from the F1 calender, the Europeans started taking it more seriously.

      Columbia surprisingly have also had Ricardo Londono, Roberto GUerrero 1981-83

      • Ah well, my initial three guesses were all wrong! I’ve found the list now so I won’t give it away for others but I’m surprised at how many Rhodesian drivers there have been! Presumably while it was still part of the commonwealth.

        Indeed, when you look at the list there are many countries that have had more drivers than you would think and at least two that it is very surprising have only had one.

        The Telegraph story was originally in the Motoring section on Dec 8th. It’s also online at

      • The number of drivers from Rhodesia was greatly helped by the existence of the South African Formula One Championship that ran from the early-60s to the mid-70s.

        That, alongside a number of quite successful touring car championships, ensured there were quite a number of handy little drivers hanging around for a time.

  4. It would be awfully helpful if you could enable the two RSS widgets.
    These are in Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets.

    JoJ and I were wondering where you get your data from, since it seems to include a lot of foreign sourced items.

    Our Noige trying to emulate Bernie indeed! A little late in life to start that but market conditions may suit the secondhand vehicle. Bernie started with motorbikes and rented forecourt space, didn’t do too bad.

    • What is RSS? Do I put them in the right hand bar. I put an RSS feed there with the Formula1.com news feed in.

      I’ve put another 2 in the right hand bar – but I’m not sure how to configure them for you.

      Re: stories – I have access to a news distributor (pay service) – and do a lot of trawling around the world media too – also people I know tell me when they’ve done a story for a particular news outlet.

      • You put the widgets in correctly 🙂

        RSS [approx. Really Simple Syndication] is what I was talking about last year, it’s a subscription service where your browser or other RSS client is notified whenever there’s a new item published.

        RSS powers many things on the web, most notably podcasts, although due to the popularity of the borg that is iTunes, most people think Apple create them.

  5. Great start to the year Judge…
    I do love the video links – the Pizzonia crash is a hoot – I started laughing as soon as he first turned the steering wheel and had to correct it – or did he…? As Sutcliffe says: “No way! We’re over,” It seems more than just a braking problem. Like snow-blindness, Pizzonia seemed to have corner-blindness…
    But I take my hat off to Sutcliffe’s first reaction after the crash to ask Pizzonia if he’s all right…
    I would have sworn at him – and even given him a good slap. And I’m not a violent person.

  6. Am I the only one who is irritated by the endless front-wing-tests…?
    Isn’t this just the result of over-regulation…?
    The more complicated the regs. the more ingenious will be the designers, and the more difficult it will be to police them. Hasn’t simplicity always been the answer rather than yet more regulation…?

    BUT… why are wings NOT allowed to flex – wouldn’t it be simpler, and perhaps even useful to road-car (etc.) development…? I believe there are many materials available that can be designed to flex – wouldn’t it be useful to have this technological development – for womankind…?
    Who benefits from this Brave New World regulation, which must cause headaches and irritations to all in F1 – as well as me…?

    No doubt someone will say de-regulation will raise costs – well, everything does… that’s life… If some teams can afford it, let them pay. Other teams will not, and will end up at the rear, but these are likely to be the same teams who are at the rear already… The gap might increase but check early F1 statistics – the gaps were huge, and nobody said at the time that it wasn’t fair, or didn’t provide exciting racing. Now some drivers whine if they have to lap someone. Remember the 1.5 L. ERAs running against 2.5 L. Maseratis etc. or 2 L. Cooper and Lotus cars against 2.5 L. Ferraris. Nobody said it wasn’t fair – they just raced and did their best – and enjoyed it…

    Now, in the ‘Nanny-State’ western-world, we add more regulations to try to make everything ‘fair’… Engines, etc., have to last longer, reliability is increased, and the opportunities for the back-markers to score points if the faster cars fall by the wayside has gone. Has there ever been a time when the three slowest teams have gone three years without any of them scoring points…? What is fair about that…?

    And, while I’m in the mood, what is the point about the fuel level at the end of qualifying…? If the car gets back to the pits it passes – if it doesn’t, it fails… Could it be more simple…? Is there a worry that ‘disreputable’ teams might ‘spike’ the fuel for qualifying…? Why not let them…? Maybe that would also aid technological development…

    Finally… can anyone explain the current fervent need for 2×2 grid formations… I love to see the old videos where the standard pattern used to be, 3x2x3, and 4x3x4 was not uncommon, and even 5x4x5 occasionally happened… If the 2×2 pattern was introduced for safety reasons (more Nannying…?) why are there now more incidents before the first corner than ever before…? If these grid formation regs. are for safety reasons would it not be easier to have better driver testing, and more disqualifications…? Go to the root of the problem, rather than pussyfooting around it. It has always been a truism that the safer you make the pursuit the more risks the participants will take.

    This is my first, ever, blog-rant – my apologies – it won’t happen again. I just hoped to stir up some discussion that goes back to basics…

    • “The gap might increase but check early F1 statistics – the gaps were huge, and nobody said at the time that it wasn’t fair…”

      Bad for television.

      • Hi Leigh,
        thanks for the reply, but I don’t quite understand why you say it would be bad for television… The producer could simply cut to another camera when there was a large gap in the procession and thus make it seem more interesting… Maybe you had something else in mind…

      • Simply truth BJF is that television audiences and the manner in which viewers consume drama has changed dramatically in the past few decades.

        Such huge gaps would most likely prove to be a huge turn off for casual viewers, who generally make up a majority of the F1 TV audience.

        This is also apparent in television drama which has had to alter the way it is produced in order to hold an audience.
        I’m a lover of older shows, but most of them simply would not pass the mustard in terms of pace and scripting. Modern audiences would switch away.

        Bear in mind, this has nothing to do with supposed reduction in attention spans (a theory that I do not buy in the slightest), but more to do with modern audiences less willing to put up with filler.

        All the elements that are supposed to make the sport “fair” and “close” are purely for the purposes of television and the casual audience.

      • Hello Leigh – thanks again…
        I cannot disagree with your comments – I have had some experience with TV Drama and wondered quite why I don’t get much enjoyment from present examples. I recently came across copies of the 1978 BBC series, ‘Pennies From Heaven’, considered back then to be the epitome of TV drama – I still think it’s great but am aware of many lulls in the proceedings…
        It’s still a bit sad though – or maybe it’s just me…

    • I think the answer to most of your points is that you have to draw the line somewhere. The fuel thing especially, if there was no way to test the fuel the car was running then why have fuel regulations? And fuel can be dangerous – you saw the Williams pit fire last year, with more flammable and / or toxic fuels that could have been a whole lot worse.

      I do like your point about altering the grid stagger. I think the main problem these days is that the cars get going much faster than in days of yore so the spread is needed for safety. Some tracks in particular wouldn’t support much wider a spacing anyway.

      However, I wonder if you couldn’t do a 3 way stagger for most races, either 3x2x3 or maybe even a zig-zag. It could open things out a little and maybe give Grosjean less opportunity to cause chaos… 😉

      It is odd that they don’t have a rolling start at somewhere like Monaco yet only have a 2×2 grid at some of these new tracks where they could start half the field side by side without problem.

      • Hi Stephen,
        Thanks for the comments. I would go with you on fuel safety.
        I have often wondered about a 2×2 zig-zag grid (is that what you meant?). The head-on shot of two single-files of cars is nothing to the old sight of 4-5 cars abreast at the first corner… and they did invariably manage to all get round – the only problem seemed to be Monaco which could have its own arrangement as you say.
        On track width, does anyone have figures for current circuits compared with a few years back…? And for past/present car widths? I had the impression track widths have been slowly increasing over the years – but perhaps the cars also.
        I half expected (hoped? 😉 ) someone would mention Grosjean…

        • Whislt we’re being controversial – I think Monaco should be dropped. They pay nothing into F1 funds – keep all the track ad revenue – and the cars have way outgrown the circuit.

          Best thing about Monaco is the highly technical demand of getting the fastest lap – and Schumacher showed he’s still got what it takes in 2012.

      • Well, M’Lud…
        That certainly is controversial – I knew nothing of their financial arrangements – but is nothing sacred…? I’m probably too old to answer that objectively…

      • (Any idea why there is a fairly limited ‘depth’ of replies on here?)

        Monaco is a tricky one. It isn’t really a race – very little chance to pass as we saw with Mansell / Senna in particular. However, it gets absolutely priceless publicity for F1. As you say it allows drivers to demonstrate their skill in terms of driving as fast as possible around a really demanding track.

        I can’t think of any way to do it other than by running a race, but if they could run the Monaco weekend without the race itself it would still be worth it. It would in some ways go against the norm in F1 but maybe a series of 3 or 4 sprint races would be more appropriate. Maybe grids decided by the top 4 times a driver posts in qualy and the results are an aggregate. I know that is difficult to follow sometimes but to be honest, as the race is fairly dull it will probably be no worse for most people looking for the result rather than just the experience.

      • (Any idea why there is a fairly limited ‘depth’ of replies on here?)

        tj13 has the “depth” of comments set to 3.

      • Hi Stephen
        “Maybe grids decided by the top 4 times a driver posts in”… thejudge13 🙂

  7. While I’m here again… (groan from the back of the class…)…
    What is this business about curfews on race weekends. These guys have jobs that many would give their eye-teeth for – why are they being pampered. I know it’s long hours but it’s only for three or four nights at a time, just twenty weekends in the year… and despite the long hours when they are actually ‘on-call’ many of these guys are able to sit down and rest at times.

    I also have a job that many people would conceive to be glamourous and desirable. I work regularly 12+hour days, often 100+hour weeks and, now I’m in charge, the only time I’m able to sit down is having lunch (sometimes) or in the toilet (usually). I and my colleagues in the same industry have little family life at the peak times BUT, we love the work, it is at its worst usually only during the summer months, we are (quite) well paid, and we always make up for it during the relatively quieter winter months. And I’ve been doing this for about 35 years

    Even my colleagues don’t suggest we should have curfews…

    • BJF, you’re having a bad day 🙂 Still knowing what your moniker stands for, I guess no one can complain.

      Anyway, I found a chink in your armour -try doing all that in -20 degrees.

      • The hottest I ever had to do all that was 44 degrees C., in Mexico, in July – without shade…! We took a group photo in front of a huge digital thermometer to send back to ‘the office’ – along with a request for a ‘tropical clothing allowance’. We didn’t get much sympathy though…

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