ATLAS F1   Volume 6, Issue 49 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The F1 FAQ

  by Marcel Schot, Netherlands

Have a question about Formula One statistics or history? Well you're not the only one, and it's about time someone came up with the answers to Formula One's most Frequently Asked Questions. Send us your questions, to - we may not know everything, but we will sure make the effort to find out

Firstly, some more information on the flat 12 question covered in the last F1 FAQ column. Alex from France pointed out an omission on my part in the list of flat 12 engines in Formula One. In 1990, Coloni used a flat 12 Subaru engine. Poor Bertrand Gachot had to drive the machine, which suffered from a complete lack of power. In all eight attempts, Gachot ended up stranded in pre-qualifying, more than once unable to set a single decent lap.

Speaking of Gachot, there's another question involving him from Eleanor:

"i recently read in a article that bertrand gachot raced under the eurpoean community flag. What i would like to know is why he did this."

Bertrand Gachot is a very international man. He was born in Luxembourg, has French nationality, and early in his career drove in Belgium most of the time. In fact, for a long time he was believed to be Belgian. To emphasis this international lifestyle, he has raced under the European Community banner. Only after he won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 did his French nationality became an item, and since then people have become confused when trying to work out which country his achievement should be classified under.

"I was recently reading some old Wheels Australia magazines I found in the back shed. One of them had a story on an Australian/American ? Racer named Bruce Campbell. It stated that he had competed in the 1932 and 1934 Indianapolis races, the first post-war Black Forest Hill climb in germany in 1946 which was won by Hermann Lang and the 1952 German and French Grand Prix's. I did a bit of research and couldn't come up with anything. Have you ever heard of him and was he an Australian."

The only Campbell in Indianapolis 500 records is Ray Campbell. He started the Indy 500 in 1932 and 1933. However, there's no record of him being entered in a Formula One event at any time. Unfortunately there's no additional information at hand for the Indianapolis Campbell. Finally, there are no records of any driver named Campbell ever competing in Formula One.

"Is it possible to drive an f1 car? It is a dream to do this around Spa or Monza, but anything will do. Sunil"

After a bit of digging, I found some information about a company, which I remembered having read an article about. There's a company which offers drives in cars including the AGS JH25, Larrousse LH94, Arrows FA17 and Benetton B198 in the south of France and even at Barcelona, Magny Cours and Spa! However, beware the prices, because this isn't a cheap thrill by any means. You should think of figures in excess of 2000 UK pounds. Their website is

There's apparently another company which offers drives in a Larrousse LH94, Arrows FA17 or Benetton B198 at Spa, Vallelunga, Magny Cours, Jerez, Barcelona and the Nurburgring. Prices range from around 1300 Euros to as much as 4000 Euros. If you want to know more, you can visit their website at On closer inspection, I discovered that it appears that these two companies are closely linked as galleries at each of the sites show the same cars in the same livery, including the F1 International logo on the wings of the Larrousse! Despite this, the circuits and prices they are offering don't match up, so I am unclear what the exact relationship between them is.

Finally there is, which is located in Canada and offers drives in cars including the Benetton B198, Lola T97/30 and Arrows FA15. Prices range from 4400 US dollars to 8000 US dollars. So the answer to your question is that it is possible, but you need to have a really big wallet!

"I thought I knew how cars/drivers were assigned numbers. But how come Eddy Irvine, now at Jaguar, did not get No. 3 this year? Alexis"

The way the cars are numbered is as follows: numbers 1 and 2 are appointed to the team for which the World Drivers' Champion will drive in the next season; after that, the final classification of the Constructors' Championship is followed. Thus, for the 2000 season the numbering was: 1 & 2 McLaren (because Mika Hakkinen was World Champion), 3 & 4 Ferrari (Constructors' Champion), 5 & 6 Jordan (3rd in Constructors' Championship) and so on down to 22 & 23 for BAR, who came last in 1999. Jaguar was considered to be the continuation of Stewart Grand Prix, and therefore took numbers 7 & 8. Number 13 is skipped in the awarding of the numbers, since many people consider it unlucky.

"Villeneuve was penalised at the 97 British grand prix for not maintaining a reasonable gap to the saftey car on the restart. Having just read article154 J of the sporting regualtions it seems if necassary the leading car may fall more than five car lengths behind the saftey car. Schumacher at Monza certainly did this causing (Because of slowing and speeding up again) Button to crash out. I feel that this manoeuvring was unecassary and should of lead to a penalty. What do you think?"

What I think is of no importance, as I'm merely writing about the subject. What the FIA states in article 154 leaves enough room for whoever is in the lead to do almost anything except drive in reverse. 'If necessary' covers just about any possibility. Schumacher could claim a throttle problem or a braking problem and nobody would be able to prove otherwise - after the race, Schumacher said that he was trying to get some heat into his brakes, a perfectly valid explanation after several laps running at low speed. On the other head, some people believe that Schumacher brake-tested the rest of the field, causing Button to crash out.

However, the FIA didn't take any action over the matter, and as far as I know nobody filed a protest about the incident. It would seem all teams are aware of this 'leniency' in the rules, with Jenson Button becoming victim of his own inexperience in dealing with these rare matters. Thankfully however, Button avoided the other cars, rather that colliding with them, which could've seen another pile up less than 30 minutes after the one that caused the safety car to come on to the track in the first place.

Editorial Remarks:

  • Some of the questions we receive have already been replied to in previous F1 FAQ columns. Therefore, before sending in a question, we suggest you have a look at the back issues, by searching the FAQ database. Not that we mind getting so much mail, just that we feel bad for those who feel they are left unanswered...

  • We receive quite a few questions from you all, and it is absolutely impossible for us to research and respond to each of you, be it here or privately. Please, don't feel discouraged if your question was not replied to; it might come up in the next column. And don't forget - you can always look for answers at the Atlas F1 Bulletin Board.

Marcel Schot© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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