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FIA president appears open to louder engines from new cars

Mar 24, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Race Getty Images

The new era of Formula One was met poorly in some quarters after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with complaints seeming to center around the lack of noise made by the V-6 powered cars.

Australian Grand Prix organizers said the quieter cars may have breached their contracts with F1 management, and the series’ boss, Bernie Ecclestone, has said that ways to make the cars louder should be investigated as the season hits its stride.

In his comments, Ecclestone said he had talked to FIA president Jean Todt about the subject, and in an interview with Italian network RAI, the former Ferrari general manager appeared to be open to any ideas – even though he himself found the new sound of F1 “fascinating.”

“The noise is obviously different now, and if there is a problem with it then if the teams agree we can look at a way to make it noisier,” he said to RAI.

But noise is just one aspect that he’s concerned with when it comes to the turbo-charged motors.

He also touched on the subject of teams having to go into fuel-save mode too often in order to see the checkered flag, saying that he doesn’t want to see “Formula One ‘economy runs.'”

However, he said that fuel-saving wasn’t the cause of the lack of passing in Melbourne. Instead, Todt believed that was due to the cars’ aerodynamics and the lack of overtaking opportunities from the Albert Park circuit itself.

“I am convinced that very soon we will see a lot of overtaking,” he said on that subject. “So let’s wait before making judgements.”

Still, Ecclestone has indicated that he isn’t willing to wait very long, at least in regards to the noise issue.

“I don’t know whether it’s possible [to make modifications,] but we should investigate,” he said about that aspect to the UK’s Telegraph paper earlier this month. “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.”

  1. markdartj - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    It’s not as if the teams will “make their cars sound louder” if there isn’t a performance gain to accompany such an exercise. JT was probably pulling one over BE. They can’t both be such idiots, can they; I mean they were both team principals at one time.

  2. manik56 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Can someone please synthesize the field wide fuel saving and DQ of the 3 car for excessive fuel flow rate?

  3. indycar02 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:03 PM


  4. techmeister1 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I doubt the exhaust noise level or note means much to most racing fans. The 18,000 rpm NA engines were ear piercing and not healthy at all.

    The FIA has lost all credibility after they allowed Mercedes to conduct an illegal tire test in 2013 that resulted in Mercedes finishing second in the championship. The FIA has allowed Red B.S. Racing to cheat for three years in a row. The FIA is an embarassment to auto racing, IMO.

  5. barrylibby - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM


    The FIA will announce a solution to the lack of noise issue.
    All teams will be require to purchase from JC Whitnety catalogue exhaust tips,after
    meeting the following .
    1. Consult with a local kid ,hat on backwards ,loud stereo ,who drives a Honda Civic.
    2. Only place an order after Bernie purchases JCWhitney !

  6. testover6370 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    The NA V8 engines were loud, yes, but they were also kinda monotone. If any changes are made, hopefully it both increases the noise and gives that noise some character.

  7. lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Sound is a part of racing. The idea that fans don’t care what a race sounds like is preposterous. Not saying it’s enough of a factor to make anyone stop watching, but it certainly matters.

    Back when the Formula E series was announced, I had the temerity to question whether race fans for ready for a series in which the cars made no noise. I was, of course, crushed for it. Now, one race in, F1 officials are worried that their cars aren’t loud enough.


  8. thedude111 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    What do they expect the teams to do? They are essentially running a muffler (the turbo) now. There’s only so much noise you can get through it. Same thing with turbo diesel trucks, you can cut all the exhaust you want off of it but the turbo still acts as a muffler to an extent. The loudest one is a banks Duramax that runs straight headers with a supercharger, no turbo to muffle it.

  9. maddkemist - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Bring back the V10s and V12s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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