Ecclestone: I think the sound is a little louder than we thought

Bernie Ecclestone and Ong Beng Seng interviewed in the Sepang pitlane

Bernie Ecclestone and Ong Beng Seng interviewed in the Sepang pitlane

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone admitted  that the sport’s new-generation V6 turbo cars are actually louder than he first thought after hearing the sound live for the first time at Sepang on Friday.

The Formula 1 chief executive did not attend any of the pre-season tests or the season opening Australian Grand Prix, where a big controversy about the milder tones of the turbo V6 engines kicked off.

“It sounds terrible on the TV,” Ecclestone told Britain’s Sky Sports in the Sepang pitlane during the second practice session on Friday.

He was standing with Ong Beng Seng, the Singaporean magnate who is a leading figure in the city-state’s highly-popular night race.

“Mr Ong was complaining about the noise,” Ecclestone revealed, referring to the Singapore Grand Prix chief.

Lewis Hamilton in action at Sepang

Lewis Hamilton in action at Sepang

“We were just saying, I think it’s a little louder than we thought. If we could get it up a little bit more than this, then it would be alright,” he added.

In the wake of Australian promoter Ron Walker’s harsh critique, Ecclestone said on Friday that “all the promoters” are also complaining to him.

“We will have to have a reduction in fees!” Mr Ong laughed.

More seriously, however, Ong revealed that Ecclestone met with a Singaporean government minister on Thursday, because “We are a city race, and we must have the buzz with the noise.”

83-year-old Ecclestone, however, suggested he was somewhat relieved to have actually heard the turbo V6s in action for the first time on Friday.

“People said you couldn’t hear anything, (but) it’s not true,” he said and added, “People buy F1 and when they get what we’ve got at the moment they don’t think it’s F1.”

Asked if the engines can be made louder by tuning the exhausts, Ecclestone replied, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the engineers. I’ve asked them and they’ve said no…” (GMM)