A respected veteran Formula 1 correspondent has allayed fears that the sport’s scream will become a whimper when the new V6 turbo engine rules take over next year.
Apparently spurred on by Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula 1 circuits’ union chief Ron Walker told Autoweek last week that the 1.6 litre ERS-boosted engines of 2014 sound “like a lawnmower engine”.
And Ecclestone hinted the sport’s authorities might be forced to artificially enhance the noise, for fear of losing spectators.
But Jean-Louis Moncet, the long-time French commentator for TFormula 1, said the fears are exaggerated.
“I don’t think the engine noise for 2014 is really a problem,” he said in his Auto Plus blog.
“I started as a journalist in Formula 1 in 1978, when Renault was winning acclaim with its turbo.
“Ferrari was not long to follow, then BMW and then others. In those days it was a 1500cc V6, single or twin turbo, except BMW had an inline 4 cylinder.
“So, a memory, and one to reassure you,” Moncet told his readers. “The Grand Prix of France, at Paul Ricard, and Nelson Piquet on the Mistral straight.
“Sincerely, in the middle of the straight you could easily imagine the BMW, at 330kph, tearing up the asphalt and digging a trench to a depth of twenty metres. It howled that much.
“So it’s going to sound different (in 2014), but there will be noise — lots of noise, without which, Formula 1 would not be Formula 1.
“But I think a lot of this fear about the noise is coming from young journalists listening at the Grand Prix circuits to the turbocharged engine in the GP3 cars, that sound like a power drill.
“The ERS Formula 1 engine will be fundamentally different,” Moncet concluded. (GMM)