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Former FIA prez Max Mosley rubbishes F1’s ongoing noise saga

Apr 15, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

Max Mosley And Representatives Of The NUJ Arrive To Give Evidence To A Select Committee On Regulation Of The Press Getty Images

All the noise about Formula One’s noise is just that to former FIA president Max Mosley. Noise.

And he believes that the current FIA president, Jean Todt, is doing exactly what he would do if he were still in charge.

“I’d do pretty much what Jean is doing, which is take no notice,” he told Reuters in a recent interview from his home in London.

“Or pay lip service to the discussion – ‘Oh, that’s interesting, Bernie’ – but in the end take no notice because there’s nothing anybody can do, the regulations are fixed, nobody can change anything.

“If you try to change them, Mercedes will stop you and your own rules stop you. So there’s nothing to discuss until 2015 and arguably not even then because of the notice periods. So Jean can just very gently take the Mickey.”

The noise – or to some, lack thereof – of F1’s new V6-powered machines has been a hot-button topic in the early rounds of the 2014 World Championship.

Promoters of the Australian Grand Prix have cried foul, Bernie Ecclestone has sounded off on the matter, and reigning World Champion Sebastien Vettel stirred things up when he called the engine noise “s***” last month in Malaysia.

More recently, Ferrari ran a release with the president of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, saying that the “new F1” was “a product that has absolutely no sense” – which dovetailed nicely with a Ferrari-organized fan poll that had more than 80 percent of the voters rejecting this year’s changes.

To Mosley, all of them are raising a ruckus just to further their own particular agendas – and that those groups have no idea that the public is on to their tactics.

“The truth of the matter is I think that the public don’t take the slightest notice,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is going to say ‘Ooh, Vettel says the engines are rubbish so I’m not going to turn the television on Sunday’. It just doesn’t happen.

“People might turn it off if it’s a boring race, but everyone will turn it on.”

Mosley also mentioned that, “ideally,” Formula One should have gone even further on the green side of things engine-wise with a four-cylinder powerplant.

But in the meantime, he believes that the new noise will eventually be accepted.

“Those cars were becoming dinosaurs and then the sponsors all have to answer to some sort of board about their green credentials,” he said.

“Well, these cars are still very fast…My bet is that by this time next year, people will have forgotten all about the sound. They’ll be fascinated by the cars, by what’s happening.”

  1. indycarseries500 - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    4 cylinder?! If they went that route it wouldn’t be about the cars being quiet it’d be about them sounding like absolute garbage.

    • worknman24hours - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      The cars reflect the cars you can buy today.

      The technology is exactly the same.

      F1 cannot stay in one place and expect the corporations or the fans to stay.

      Formula One stands for today and tomorrow not yesterday and last decade.

      The actual racing is getting better every race.

      You want noise?

      Put some playing cards on your kids bike and give it a spin.

  2. cuencanolenny - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I couldn’t agree more. Pretty much every time there is a major change in the power plants someone complains. Oh, and they used to run 4 cylinder engines and the cars were fast. To try and change the rules would penalize Mercedes who have clearly made the best adaptation and all the MB powered cars are fast. To change the exhaust would require changes to so many other systems that are affected by the exhaust tuning that Mercedes would be penalized and that certainly wouldn’t be fair. The other teams will just have to work overtime to come up with a solution for their power plants. Also, the Mercedes cars have the new rear suspension which is making their cars much like the Red Bulls were the past few years, the best in the corners.

  3. mcseforsale - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    BMW was wringing 1200-1400hp out of a 4 cyl turbo in qualifying trim back in the 80s. And the sound, albeit a little louder, sounded a lot like the new V6. I would be a lot of folks complaining about the noise have never actually been to a track when the older cars were running. I for one witnessed the 2001 Canadian GP with the V10 and it was painfully uncomfortable without earplugs in.

    • indycarseries500 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      The V8s were a lot more painfully uncomfortable than the V10s.

  4. 1994i500pushrodpower - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    The problem with the current F1 cars is that they don’t sound like true racing cars and don’t give PAYING fans the racing experience they have come to expect. I know that if I went to an NFL game that had the crowd noise of a PGA match, I would be very disappointed. Who cares if F1 is the pinnacle of auto sports if you feel like your are watching cars powered by vacuum cleaners. I think that F1 is about to go through their “Tony George” era (ouch)

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