Lauda scoffs at idea that engine volume can be turned up

Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda

It is absurd to suggest that Formula 1 engine manufacturers should urgently turn up the volume of the new V6 turbo engines.

That is the view of Mercedes Team Chairman Niki Lauda, who days ago in Melbourne admitted the sound of the 22 cars charging to the first corner left him ‘underwhelmed’.

Williams technical boss Pat Symonds agrees: “For me the start is the most exciting part of the race, and I loved it when the 22 drivers revved up their engines.”

“I don’t generally complain about the sound, but at the start (in Melbourne) it did seem a bit quiet,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Lauda, however, said: “The debate about the engine noise is absurd – you can’t change that now.

“It was decided by all parties five years ago that they wanted turbo engines, and so we put in a turbocharger before the exhaust.

“It has a different sound, any child knows that,” the great Austrian told Osterreich newspaper. “If you take the turbo away, you don’t have hybrid engines anymore.”

As for the duller sound, “We have to get used to it,” Lauda insisted.

With a slightly more open attitude, however, is Lauda’s Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff.

“I’m not much of an engineer,” he told Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper. “These things will be looked at.

“If it is decided that something must be done, then we would have to think about it carefully.

“I would think that it is possible, but whether it is right, I don’t know.

“The V8 engines sounded fantastic, but I saw (the Melbourne race) up close, and I can assure you that Formula 1 is still the top of motor sports, it’s not GP2.

“This (move to V6) was the right step,” Wolff insisted. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

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  • Robin Ducker

    Sadly the lack of decibels is the result of efficiency. At least the engine note is ok if not loud. I suppose if we went beyond 100kg of fuel per hour we might have a better note. Just ask Red Bull…

  • RBC

    Valentino Rossi said “I think motorcycles and cars should race with the fuel they need, but what is happening now is just an exercise for the engineers.”

  • wpicky77

    IMO, F1 is going in the wrong direction… fans want loud, fast and pushing to the extreme limits.. F1 is in the entertainment business, it’s our Hollywood for us crazy racing fans.. If Hollywood movie’s were all censored up with no more smoking, swearing, nudity or graphic scenes, it would be considered boring day time TV and no one would go to the movies anymore.. We go to the movies for the raw effects, openness, liberty and to dream and envy!!! F1 has gone from being the pinnacle of motor racing (Movie) to daytime censored TV (F1 Now)
    F1 will not survive if it tries to please all of the tree huggers

  • KevinW

    Rossi is great, and is a standout in one of the last forms of motorsport that are still real enough and dangerous enough to be considered a true sport. MotoGP, Moto 2 and Moto 3, along with several of the other motorcycle racing series around the world deliver more thrilling races, shocking rider performances (how can they lay those bikes down that far?) and a lot less of the fakery that F1 now delivers. Australian V8s are another series delivering real door bashing scrums to the checkers. As F1 looses its visceral side, its intensity, it’s insanity, the only thing it offers is boring races with delicate and insanely expensive cars driven by premadona’s, run by elitists, at the highest ticket prices in motorsport. Not sure how they figure this is a formula for success.. For me, I’ll be seeing Rossi race in person this season, and watching the mess of F1 play out off the DVR, where I can take naps and do other things while the parade laps roll off. Wait, there is an advantage to the new quieter gentler cars – now I won’t have to hit the mute button to doze off.

  • RBC

    Agreed 100%.

  • bugler1

    I didn’t watch the whole race. It wasn’t formula 1 but a parade.
    Formula 1 has been killed.

  • Bond James

    It is the death of F-1 as we knew it I’m a com marshal and we didn’t even need earplugs,the FIA has over regulated the cars and will drive fans away-and if you don’t believe that your delusional