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Mercedes set to test prototype louder exhaust next week

May 9, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

Lewis Hamilton AP

Mercedes is set to test a prototype exhaust design at next week’s test in Spain in an attempt to find a solution to the sound problem that has marred the beginning of the new season.

The downsize from V8 engines to turbocharged V6s has resulted in a definite reduction in sound. The issue appears to be rather subjective, with some praising the new technology and not seeing the noise as a problem. However, the likes of Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo have expressed their disappointment with the new sound, and met in Bahrain to discuss the issue.

Soon after this, the FIA confirmed that it was looking into ways to improve the sound, and Mercedes will be the first team to test a new system which works much like the bell in a trumpet.

“Mercedes will evaluate a prototype solution during next week’s test to assess its impact on the tailpipe noise,” the team confirmed on Twitter.

“It’s a first step in a development process to address the feedback from our sport’s fans about these mega new hybrid power units.”

Teams will get the chance to test next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which is hosting this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes also confirmed today that it has renamed its car the “F1 W05 Hybrid” in honor of the new engines for 2014.

“What we are seeing in Formula 1 today is the next generation of innovations that will eventually find their way from the race track to the road,” team boss Toto Wolff explained. “Mercedes-Benz is leading the way in promoting the positive new direction the sport has taken.”

  1. techmeister1 - May 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    The change is engine displacement has almost nothing to do with the exhaust note most of which is muffled due to a turbo and the energy recovery system. Hell is the fans are so dumb as to need more noise – which by it’s very nature is unhealthy…the teams can use exhaust noise generation that will simulate the actual engine exhaust noise being generated by the unmuffled engine. This is the same tech as used to cancel noises except you go out of phase instead of in-phase.

  2. keef180 - May 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    You’ve clearly never heard the scream of an F1 car in person. If you had you would understand the fans frustration with the sound.
    It’s not a noise level issue per se so just making it louder will accomplish nothing. It’s more of an exhaust note that is missing completely rather than being less loud.

    Oh and calling F1 fans ‘dumb’ in an implied scenario is just as ‘dumb’ to be honest. These complaints have come from all over the paddock and at one stage legal action was being mooted post Australia due to a loss in the ‘effect’ of F1.

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