F1’s engine manufacturers will focus their attention on the exhaust pipe as they work on spicing up the sound of the turbo V6 engines.
Unhappy with the milder noise of the new and ‘green’ F1, Bernie Ecclestone recently said Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will work on making the 1.6 litre, turbocharged and energy recovery-boosted ‘power units’ sound better. Told, however, that making the V6s loud would require a total redesign, Ecclestone told Sky: “All the air exits in the end out of what we call the exhaust pipe. “So they can maybe do something there to make it sound a lot better.” Indeed, F1’s three engine suppliers sat down in Shanghai on Friday for the first ‘noise’ meeting.
Renault’s Rob White warned that the V6s will never sound like a normally-aspirated V8. “I think we need to be realistic about the scope of any action we might take,” he told reporters in China. Mercedes’ Andy Cowell added: “There are things we can do with the tailpipe, perhaps, to change the noise.”
Former F1 driver David Coulthard, meanwhile, said there are other aspects of the new engines that should be better appreciated. “We shouldn’t forget that these engines are very powerful and have more than 750 horse power when you factor in the renewable energy,” he told Austria’s Laola1. “I’m a big fan of the louder F1 but in the days of Charlie Chaplin, there was a picture and no sound at all, and still the people were entertained. “Certainly a bit more sound would not hurt,” Coulthard added.