“New F1 Sounds S***!” Says Vettel
By Automology April 2, 2014
“If you don’t like it race something else” said Button, after Vettel goes a bit Looney Tunes.
The 65th Formula One World Championship season is just underway and already the change in the format from the wonderfully noisy old 2.4-litre V8 used between 2006 and 2013 to the new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 that incorporates a kinetic energy recovery system has caused some drivers to despair and an almost deafening volume of whinging from the engines detractors. The engineering marvels that are propelling F1 cars faster than before, but at a fraction of the noise and with less fuel, have not been widely welcomed in a world that revels in the roar of machinery.
As Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg came out on top in the first two practice sessions and then finished one-two, the first for Mercedes since 1955, at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel weighed into the debate, describing the sound of the new engines as “s***” and calling it a “shame”.
Looking back on the events in Australia a fortnight ago, when he was forced out of the race early, Vettel said: “I was on the pit wall during the race, and it is quieter than in a bar. I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular – and the sound is one of the most important things.”
Vettel, who is the current World Champion, is not alone. F1’s octogenarian supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has been against the new engines since the beginning but even he has toned it down somewhat after hearing the cars from track side for the first time at Sepang. “It’s a little better than we thought,” said Ecclestone, who had watched the season opener in Melbourne on television.
It was left to veteran McLaren driver Jenson Button (he is not really a veteran but as the oldest man on the grid he may feel that way sometimes) to urge the drivers to concentrate on the racing rather than the roar.
“When you win a race you win a race, it doesn’t matter what it sounds like. If (the engines) were silent you wouldn’t care,” he said “Go and race something else if you are not happy.”
What they will all think of the upcoming Formula E that will be using all-electric cars!