Gas Guzzling Music

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Petrolheads will understand why opening a window and letting rip through a tunnel beats any form of music, especially if you have a car with big displacement and horsepower. I won’t rule out the smaller engines with turbos as many owners (I’ve owned two WRXs) love the sucking, hissing, whooshing and warble of BOV and big exhaust.

However, nothing quite beats the throb of V8 (especially the Ford GT), the scream of Italian V6 or the roar of either a V10 or V12. Having owned and driven pretty much all types of engine, my favourite note comes from BMW’s inline-six from the E46 M3 – it’s raw, raucous, dirty and earth-shattering when the revs go past 5500. The only engine to top this for me is the V8 from the F1 cars before they went all turbo – I attended the British GP in 2010, and the first time they took to the track, I experienced serious goosebumps.

The brilliant video below is a compilation of some of the best engine sounds around. Whilst some are missing, it’s a great way for the petrolhead to kick back and take in the combustion engine’s suck, squeeze, bang and blow sound track.

Is your favourite engine in there? If not, what’s your favourite sounding car?

Scuderia’s Modern/Retro Nose & Their Mathematical Equation To Winning

 Ferrari SF-15T vs Ferrari 640/1

Ferrari SF-15T vs Ferrari 640/1

Although this post isn’t the usual Gargling Gas mix of muscle/death/sleeper/drifting fury, the contents are close to my heart.

Ever since my father bought me a Matchbox Berger/Mansell Ferrari 640 when I was 11, I’ve been part of the passionate scarlet tifosi. In fact, I can’t recall missing an F1 race since.

Matchbox Ferrari 640

Matchbox Ferrari 640

If you follow F1 you’ll know that along with the 2014 engine change, reducing the 2.4-L V8s to turbocharged V6’s, the cars all had bad nose jobs. You’ll also know Ferrari didn’t win a single race.

2014 Ferrari Bad Nose Job

2014 Ferrari Bad Nose Job

Ferrari recently unveiled their 2015 car, the SF-15T, a car I couldn’t help compare to my old Matchbox toy regarding its nose. The Scuderia also claim to have an equation that should see them win at least two races this season.

I penned an article for Motorward on the SF-15T nose job and what they claim it will take to taste champagne again. If you want to see the results and a prettier face, please read my Ferrari article and let me know what you think.


How Will F1 Fare With New 1.6L Turbo Units?


2013 will say farewell to the 2.4L V8 engines, and although displacement is down to a tiny 1.6L, KERS will still be a main component in power supply in 2014. The FIA initially wanted the replacement engine to be a four-cylinder unit, but Ferrari complained about the terrible noise they made, and being close to Bernie Ecclestone (CEO of F1) **nudge, nudge, wink wink ** it was eventually agreed the V6 would be the choice.


Pictured above is the first image released by Mercedes-Benz for the engine they’ll be using in 2014. Like the aforementioned BMW M12/13 engines, this small displacement unit will be turbocharged. That being said, the hp figures will be half of the crazy eighties era at around 750-hp. It’s reported the engines will be high-pitched, and due to the turbo spooling at 125,000-rpm, it will be very loud.  These engines also produce more torque, especially coming out of corners, so from a spectator view the sport should appear more exciting.

Throw in KERS with twice the previously regulated amount of power (80-hp for 6.7 secs upped to 161-hp for 33.3 secs) and you’ll be witnessing a true test and ability of modern science and technology.

The design and use of a completely different engine it a massive deal for an F1 team, from weight to placement, aerodynamics and a thousand other aspects. So it seems whoever is the most dominant in 2013, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in 2014.

I’m looking forward to 2014 and can’t wait to hear the combined sound of all those turbo-powered beasts revving before the lights turn green.

Luca di Montezmolo Unhappy With F138


Ferrari fans have been hit with some bad new lately as the president Luca di Montezemolo recently told Sky Sports,“The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race (Hungary) doesn’t sit well with me.”

Oh dear – when Montezamolo isn’t happy, someone usually wakes up next to a severed horse’s head.

The President was very succinct with Scuderia team principle Stefano Domenicali and the engineers, focusing mainly on the F138’s performance — or lack of.

Montezemolo, being the hot-blooded Italian that he is, did not mince his words when it came to ordering the team to step up. In fact, he presented them all with a metaphorical knife, along with an invitation to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the remaining half of the season.

With nine races remaining, Montezemolo clearly thinks the championship is still on the cards, and perhaps this is due to past experience – Ferrari always gains momentum in the second half of the season. Not helping matters is their current world champion contender Fernando Alonso, who made negative comments about the lack of new parts available – this didn’t go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone on the team.

Montezemolo also attended the technical analysis, leaving no stone unturned including the subject of the the new Pirelli tire compounds, a variable that definitely did not suit the Ferrari. Pirelli’s choice contributed to artificially altering the hierarchy in the field, something that has not pleased the president or the men of the Scuderia. This topic will be the subject of further debate in the near future.

So, can Ferrari come out of the garage after the summer break and seriously challenge Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and the revived Lotus Team, or will Ferrari drop the baton, I mean knife?

Fangio’s Mercedes Sells For A Record Price

Fangio's 1954 Mercedes

Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes

Considered by many as the greatest F1 driver ever, Juan Manuel Fangio’s legacy lives on as the W196 Mercedes he raced in 1954, the year he won his second World Championship, sold for a record price of £19.6 ($29.6M) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s auction.

This amazing piece of racing history was one of two produced at Fangio’s request without covered wheels so he could position the car more accurately on the track while driving.

This is the most valuable car ever sold at auction, beating the 2011 sale price of a Ferrari by £9.6M. It is the highest price ever fetched by an F1 car or a Mercedes of any kind.

F1: All Those Knobs And Switches

I created this infographic for Motor Ward and it was almost cathartic reading up and listing what all this controls operated – mind blowing stuff.


1. Front wing flap activation

2. To engage neutral

3. Differential setting for exiting corners

4. Engine Rev Limiter

5. Course Front Flap Adjustment

6. KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) Discharge Unit

7. Recovery Strategy Menu

8. Engine Torque

9. Fuel Mixture Selection

10. Pre-selected Clutch Settings

11. Pit lane Limiter (100kph)

12. KERS activation

13. KERS Charge Adjustment – Gears Down (located behind)

14. Car To Pit Radio

15. Recovery Strategy Scrolling

16. Clutch Paddle

17. Recovery Strategy Accept

18. Engine Kill Switch

19. Clutch Biting Point Selection

20. Race phase Switches

21. Reverse

22. Oil Pump

23. Drink Pump To Feed Driver

24. Clutch Paddle

25. Fine Front Flap Adjustment

26. Menu Scroll

27. Gears Up + just to the right: Corner Entry Differential Setting
This took some research to actually find a fairly recent Ferrari F1 steering wheel. I believe this is from Fernando Alonso’s car, and whilst it is recent, technology is constantly moving in F1 so it may have been tweaked… but you get the general idea.

During an F1 race you don’t get to see what’s going on inside the cockpit; however, you do often catch the esoteric radio messages between driver and team.

These messages usually pertain to the multitude of controls on the complex steering wheel. Not only do F1 drivers have to contend with extreme G-forces, but lap after lap they are constantly analysing how the car feels. The tyres start to wear, temperatures and pressures change, and as the fuel burns away, the car becomes lighter. All these factors play a significant role in how the car handles – this means the driver requires an extremely technological steering wheel (costing more than an actual supercar) that can deal with all eventualities.

In the above Infographic, you can see from the amount of controls as to how complicated machine an F1 car is. To give you an idea of what exactly goes on inside the cockpit, we’ve numbered all the controls available to the driver and what they do to enable any car adjustments without having to pit.

So as you can see, the driver can make many mechanical adjustments whilst racing. Pit to car communications are vital in deciding strategy and how the tyres are performing, so the RADIO button is one of the important ones. The driver can even deploy a pump that feeds liquid through a pipe and into the driver’s helmet for re-hydration, extremely important in maintaining hydration and concentration in the stifling conditions.