F1’s bosses, personalities and former drivers alike have been calling for changes to the new V6 Turbo formula after Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix drew criticism from fans and organisers.
The new engines, introduced for 2014, were intended to propel Formula One into a new era of cost-saving and eco-friendly development; but Australian Grand Prix organisers are considering suing FOM for a breach of contract as the engines did not sound ‘sexy’ enough.
The V6 Turbo’s rev at much lower levels than their V8 predecessors and consequently do not produce the same distinctive noise, something immediately apparent when one watches the race on television.
“I was not horrified by the noise, I was horrified by the lack of it.” said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in an interview with The Age.
I’ve been speaking with Jean [Todt, FIA President} this afternoon and what I’ve said is that we need to see whether there is some way of making them sound like racing cars.”
“I don’t know whether it’s possible but we should investigate. I think let’s get the first few races out of the way and then maybe look to do something. We can’t wait all season. It could be too late by then.”
“Each day I grew to like the throaty sound just a little bit more especially when behind a car accelerating at full throttle. But there simply isn’t enough volume and some of the intense drama has been lost.” added SkyF1 pundit and former F1 driver Martin Brundle.
“I can’t imagine anything can be done in the short term, but hopefully for next season they can specify a megaphone exhaust and even twin pipes although I suspect that would cost tens of millions for the three manufacturers to redesign and re-map their motors. Something needs changing, especially as they don’t use anywhere near the 15000 rev limit to save fuel and ride the torque lower down the rev range.”
If a solution can be found in the short term, it is unlikely to be implemented before the Spanish Grand Prix in May when the F1 teams will return to their European bases. In the meantime, races like Malaysia and China on long, open circuits may prove even quieter than the Melbourne race where the sound was reflected off nearby walls and buildings.