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F1's new sound

Since the new 2014 Formula One World Championship began there has been a lot of talk about the sports new sound.

This is all down to the change in engines.

The old engines used up until the end of the 2013 Formula One season were 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8s and they may a very high pitched scream.

This season they were replaced by the new 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 engines supported by energy recovery systems. The new engines are a lot quieter, during the Australian Grand Prix weekend the crown noise was notably a lot more audible, with the old scream replaced with a lower gruntier noise.

The change has received a mixed response.

On Vital F1, our poll which has been running since after Friday's practice session currently has 68% saying they like it and 16% saying that it's just different, with the remaining 16% saying they prefer the old noise. [You can still have your say, use the voting panel to the right of this article.]

If he had voted Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone would appear in that final 16%.

'I was not horrified by the noise, I was horrified by the lack of it,' Ecclestone has been quoted by Sky Sports.

I was sorry to be proved right with what I've said all along; these cars don't sound like racing cars. I've been speaking with Jean [FIA president Jean Todt] this afternoon and what I've said is that we need to see whether there is some way of making them sound like racing cars.

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said that she actually liked the new sound when speaking to the BBC: 'Personally I like the sound of the engines, but then I love F1 and I love watching cars go round a racetrack.

'I think people will pretty quickly get used to what F1 engines sound like.

'We've had so many changes over so many decades of motor racing and you very quickly forget what a previous engine sounds like and I think people just want to see a good race.

'As we can deliver that then I think that any issues that perhaps... or contentious conversations around that may fade away.'

So why did Formula One change?

The old V8-engine's produced 750hp and whilst the new power units will produce the same figure, more of it will come from the new Energy Recovery Systems.

In Formula One over the past couple of seasons spectators have become used to the use of kinetic energy recovery system [KERS], the old system produced 80hp and was limited to just 6.7 seconds of anyone lap via a driver pressing the KERS button on the steering wheel. With limited use it was generally used as a device to try and defend or attack for race position.

The new Energy Recovery Systems however provide over double the horse power with 161hp and will be in use for 33.3 seconds per lap.

Part of the new generation of Formula One regulations is to also push technology in terms of fuel saving measures, so that F1 is still at the forefront of modern day technology.

All these new power-trains with hybrid engines and energy recovery systems, are things that will develop in some form or another into the road cars of the future.

It's something that the manufacturers wanted and it has already enticed Honda back to Formula One who will return next season with McLaren.

'This new power-unit we have developed is a completely industry-relevant engine formula and this is why we could attract some new engine manufacturers and keep some of them on board actually,' McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said.

In a further bid to give Formula One a more environmentally friendly feel, fuel is limited to 100kg per race, whilst fuel flow must not exceed 100kg/h, which is what caught Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo out in Australia.

Boullier concluded: 'This new formula has a very torquey engine, less aerodynamic downforce. It is more of a driver formula and you could see that this weekend; there were a lot of small mistakes.

'And even if there is a need to manage and save fuel and energy, it was still interesting to see some overtaking and it was really a challenge for the drivers.

Mercedes executive director of business Toto Wolff said: 'This is modern technology, this is where road cars are going.

'These cars are going to go quicker than the old ones in a couple of races, we're going to get used to the sounds and I promise next year you will not notice any difference any more.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 20 2014

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments

Fascinating stuff Red5, thanks for explaining, amazing technology!
The Fear

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