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Mercedes tests new megaphone; tough to get a true reading (UPDATED)

May 14, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

So Nico Rosberg is underway today with Mercedes’ new megaphone on the back of the chassis, designed to modify and perhaps amplify the sound of the 2014 Formula One engines.

Video was captured by a YouTube user above, and it did provide the first glimpse of what it could sound like, but getting an actual reading is a bit more difficult.

Especially considering, as one reader noted in the comments section, the video was later removed. If you saw it beforehand, good on you.

Perhaps a better alternative is offered by NBC Sports Group’s F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, who before he was in motorsports was trained as a musician.

Of the YouTube video, Buxton writes on his blog:

A video has leaked out of testing today, and already people are saying the engine note is unimpressive, sounds worse, whatever. But the video is misleading. It features poor sound reproduction at a part of the track where the car is mid corner and not under constant acceleration and so it is impossible to determine what the true sound is. Factor in also that the film is taken from the side and the exhaust is only shooting the sound backwards, not flaring it outwards.

So that provides a bit of context with which to take the sound, which right now, clearly is just in development.

  1. kylebaugh66 - May 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Not any better at all. The only thing they can do from here is run it how it is and try to make the turbo spool as loud as possible

  2. chad4208 - May 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Video removed by user. I guess because of things said in this article?

    • Tony DiZinno - May 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Not sure if the comments section had a direct reason to do with this, but, you’re right, the video has been taken down.

      The copy’s been updated to reflect that. If you saw the video earlier today, guess you’re in luck.

      • chad4208 - May 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Well I didn’t mean this article specifically…I meant what was said about it in general and reported in this article. But it doesn’t matter really, does it? At least not until something real indicative of how it would really sound comes out

  3. techmeister1 - May 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    As noted the audio is not an accurate representation of any exhaust note changes.

    While it’s dumb to think you need a lot of noise in racing for it to be quality racing… I understand that F1 want’s to appeal to the clueless as well as knowledgeable people. If not for the rules requiring a thermal recovery exhaust system then it would be far easier to increase the noise level. I say just use sound generators. The clueless will never know the difference and they’ll be happy.

  4. zoonsky - May 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    It’s not clueless to find the noise change disappointing. The ‘lost’ energy from that was transferred to the people on track, heightening excitement and the whole spectacle.

    If purists continue to sneer down at the unknowledgeable and ignore what has been clearly communicated, because it doesn’t matter to ‘real’ racing fans we will all be old people wondering why the new generation never became enamored with the sport like we did.

    • techmeister1 - May 14, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Too late. Many yoof don’t seem to be enamored with driving let alone motorsport. The statistics support this on every level. Yoof are more interested in electronic distractions so many don’t even care to have a driver’s license. I guess they think Ma and Pa are going to chauffeur them around all their lives.

      In addition the yoof who think that you need ear piecing noise from race cars are technically ignorant. If they can’t understand that the dangerous noise levels adds nothing to the experience except health issues for all involved, they certainly are not going to be motorsports fans for long. There is still plenty of noise in F1 racing. Those who like the ear piercing sounds are in the vocal minority.

      • zoonsky - Nov 14, 2014 at 3:34 AM

        It appears the season has told us the noise still is an issue. Along with drivers running at 80-90% instead of ever pushing to the limit. If only FOTA still existed and could work, right now id the ideal time for a breakaway series that actually tries to be the pinnacle of motorsport.

  5. mcseforsale - May 14, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    All this to add an additional 1 MPG. Thanks for bending over and fellating the tree hugging granola crunchers. How about go after NHRA instead of F1? They burn what….10 gallons per quarter mile of nitro-methane?

    I agree that the sound is probably misleading and probably sounds better at certain parts of the track. I remember the old IMSA days with the turbo 6s and they were raunchy, gruff and growled. But, it wasn’t the loud whine of a small displacement NA engine. The racing is great this year, although, I think they can do a better job of placing the microphones for the broadcasts.

  6. barrylibby - May 15, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Everyone is missing the an important element here.
    Note the shape of the thing. This has nothing to do with noise. It is a defensive weapon for
    Silver Arrows to shoot at each other as they attack each other on track !
    Eventually video will be disclosed showing Herr Lauda loading it prior to assuming grid position !

    Red Bull will soon have it for Sebastian to defend against Riccardo !

  7. adamlucas9999 - May 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    F1 is becoming a joke. OK, more like a cartoon, Speed Racer is the driver in the Ferrari replacing Kimi, he was too serious and Turbo Dogs are entering a team next year.

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