New engines are not much quieter than V8s – FIA

2014 F1 season

http://youtu.be/w5c2MlUKH2w?t=1m29s

Renault energy F1, 2014 F1 engineThe new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines being used this year are not significantly quieter than the V8s they are replacing, according to the FIA.

The sport’s governing body estimates the maximum volume of the new engines is around 134 decibels, down from 145 last year.

It claims the new engines are louder than the typical noise level at the front row of a rock concert (110 decibels) and above the threshold of pain (130 decibels). At close quarters the difference in volume will hardly be noticeable, it added.

The FIA’s head of powertrain Fabrice Lom pointed out similar capacity engines have been seen in Formula One before:

“In 1988, V6 turbo F1 engines were revving lower and had less capacity. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost both had fans in those days and the show, as far as we remember, was quite good.”

Concerns have been raised over the reduced volume of the new engines. Marussia team president Graeme Lowdon said: “I hope we don’t lose the magic that happens in the garage when you take the lucky few people into that environment.”

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82 comments on New engines are not much quieter than V8s – FIA

  1. karter22 (@karter22) said on 11th March 2014, 11:12

    Not really worried about it. It seems it´ll just have a different tone to it.

    • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 11th March 2014, 12:32

      Most answers here seem to be from a TV viewer point of view, which is not what the topic is about. The real question should be from the point of view of the spectator at the track. For me, not wearing earplugs says it all about the sound of these new engines.
      Finally, it should feel that we are watching F1 and not Formula-E.

    • The sound it makes at 1:56 driving by reminded me of an old Hit and Miss engine.
      (Listen: http://youtu.be/0w5OII6h504)

    • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 11th March 2014, 16:28

      I grew up hearing the screams of the V12s and the V10s on TV. Even watching on TV, the sounds were monstrous. It was obvious from just watching on TV that the sounds would be deafening on track. That is what got me hooked on F1. I have visited only 4 races in my lifetime. The 2004 and 2006 Malaysian GP and the 2012 and 2013 Canadian GP. The sound with the cars on track was exhilarating. You could hear them warming up from half a kilometer away. The ground shook and your heart raced when they passed by.
      That era is over. I am not alone in this. My entire generation (1990s to present) feel fairly let down by the new muted noises. Those people who grew up watching F1 from the 1980s have their nostalgia which helps to accept or even be excited for this new era of muted Formula 1. But I don’t have any such reason to welcome the new sounds. Nor do most of the people of my generation.
      Yes, I will continue to watch and follow F1. Maybe even go to some races if I get the chance. But to me, that special touch that F1 had, is gone. I will never again feel the thunderous roars and screams which gave me goosebumps every single time. It makes me sad to realize that for my generation, F1 is run as a politically correct eco-sport rather than an extreme sport run by passion.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 16:37

        Please don’t speak on behalf of a generation which includes me. There is plenty wrong with F1; the change from what used to be a sport into what is now basically a motorsports themed reality TV show (thanks for that analogy @keithcollantine). But actually the noise is one of the least important parts of that. In fact, overstating the significance of such a peripheral and superficial consideration is EXACTLY the kind of dumbed-down mentality which has created this situation in the first place.

        • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 11th March 2014, 20:16

          I said most of my generation. You are one of the rare younger fans who doesn’t care about the noise.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th March 2014, 21:15

            Where did you get ‘most’ from exactly?

          • Sir OBE said on 11th March 2014, 21:38

            I don’t remember voting for you to represent me.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 21:46

            An odd claim really considering according to your profile you only started watching F1 in 1999…

          • If someone only started watching F1 fifteen years ago he can’t have an opinion of the V12 and V10? Who are you to decide? Me, I fell in love with F1 in 2004 and to me, the V10 is the best sounding engine ever. I don’t get excited either about the new sound of F1.. I’ve been to races a few Times, V10-era and V8.. V8 was a huge step back, V6 is a death wish..

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 12th March 2014, 8:01

            @rojov123 I’ll echo what @matt90 said as well as @mazdachris. Where do you get the ability to make an arbitrary claim such as “most of my generation” as someone from that generation though those engines were great so were the V8s of then and last year and from watching clips of testing these cars are quite loud and very similar to the 80s which had great sounds from what I’ve seen and heard.

            I grew up watching many different motorsports from 93 onward including f1 but didn’t follow it on my own until 96, and every year the engines have sounded wonderful and I don’t see why this year wouldn’t be the same. It seems to be more of an issue of size rather than function…which is quite sad on your part.

      • joc_the_man said on 11th March 2014, 17:04

        ” F1 is run as a politically correct eco-sport rather than an extreme sport run by passion”

        I think Rooney spelled it out very well here. We fans love F1 for different reasons – I myself like Rooney obviously, fell in love by the magic, the noise, the goose bumps when the cars revs down the straights when at the grandstands at race week-ends and everything else related to the pinnacle of motor sport that F1 have been for me as well (from early -90’s up to 2013).

        Do not take me wrong, change is good and F1 need to develop as well. However, the FIA way to destroy the magic by ignoring us fans who loves just that…THAT makes me sad.

        I cannot understand why….
         the noise needed to be lower (could easily set the rev limit higher)?
         why eco-drive is a good thing in F1 (why do we have Formula E then)?
         we have the silly looks of 2014 cars (come on!)?
         we got double points rule (come on Bernie)?
         tyre mgmt is a good thing (Pirelli rules the show)?
         tyre blanket ban is a good thing?
         there are talks abt budget cap when the most expensive powertrain EVER is introduced?
         FIA do not bother to talk to the fans?
         F1 should be streamlined to align to other motorsport series?

        I will also follow F1 also but the magic is lost and I will not spend my money visiting the race venues any longer. The sport is now from 2014 nothing special – like any other football series or something. Sad times.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 11th March 2014, 18:10

          Yeah, the new motors do not sound that great at all, only during the braking phase do the bells and whistles of the new drive train really stand out.

          I am only watching some of this year to observe the problems the teams have adapting to the new rules, trying to speculate as to the interests of the people in charge, and whether or not a few drivers stand out. It’s far worse in some other classes of racing, but not very different. The big disappointment for me in 2014 is SuperGT getting limited to 2 liter 4 bangers, … words just cant describe how disappointing that is.

          There is nothing to be gained by forcing people to run less fuel and smaller displacement motors; the only reason for this is to promote a philosophical agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with competition, racing or motor sports.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 12th March 2014, 2:51

          I think you are underestimating the complexities of F1.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th March 2014, 11:34

           the noise needed to be lower (could easily set the rev limit higher)?
          The noise didn’t need to be lower, it is a by-product of producing a new turbo and ERS PU with similar maximum power to the old V8s. Just raising the rev limit would increase the torque and power to a level the FIA wouldn’t be comfortable with. Keeping the rev limit lower also aids reliability. Now that engines are number limited this is important. Engines being number limited and less prone to exploding makes it cheaper for the teams.
           why eco-drive is a good thing in F1 (why do we have Formula E then)?
          There were fuel limits in the ’80s too. FE is clearly so much more extreme that saying ‘why bother having it if F1 is a tiny bit eco’ is simply ridiculous. Also, the E does not stand for eco, it stands for electric, so FE doesn’t have the capacity to push ICE technology and economy, whereas F1 does. Making it more of a challenge in terms of economy is attractive for manufacturers, so is probably part of the reason that Honda are making a return and injecting some more variety next year. The cars will manage 8.5 mpg (using imperial gallons) in Melbourne- that is pretty impressive for such a high performance engine in a race.
           we have the silly looks of 2014 cars (come on!)?
          An unfortunate by-product of rules with loopholes that allowed teams to actually use aerodynamically beneficial mid-height noses (rather than the intended low ones) so long as they had a ‘finger’ attached.
           we got double points rule (come on Bernie)?
          Because he is an idiot determined to take away any sporting integrity from F1 before he finally loses his grasp and/or ends up in jail. Also Abu Dhabi almost certainly paid him.
           tyre mgmt is a good thing (Pirelli rules the show)?
          Because fragile tyres produced a great race in Canada 2011, and the old bulletproof tyres tended to produce slightly bland races. Pirelli were asked to make fragile tyres but went too far. I would hold off your complaints as they might not be much of an issue this year.
           tyre blanket ban is a good thing?
          I forget why, but why is it a bad thing either?
           there are talks abt budget cap when the most expensive powertrain EVER is introduced?
          F1 needed a change of engine. It couldn’t keep putting it off and running fairly irrelevant technology. So despite the need for spending cuts it had to be done. Which means that the expensive PU justifies spending cuts even more.
           FIA do not bother to talk to the fans?
          They have very little interest in what we have to say.
           F1 should be streamlined to align to other motorsport series?
          Again, the engines being shareable it more attractive for engine manufacturers to get involved. They could get their engines running in multiple series with minimum hassle and/or maybe give them a source of extra revenue. I assume that if LMP teams buy F1 engines it could drive down the price for F1 teams, although that is just my speculation.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th March 2014, 11:38

           the noise needed to be lower (could easily set the rev limit higher)?

          The noise didn’t need to be lower, it is a by-product of producing a new turbo and ERS PU with similar maximum power to the old V8s. Just raising the rev limit would increase the torque and power to a level the FIA wouldn’t be comfortable with. Keeping the rev limit lower also aids reliability. Now that engines are number limited this is important. Engines being number limited and less prone to exploding makes it cheaper for the teams.
           why eco-drive is a good thing in F1 (why do we have Formula E then)?
          There were fuel limits in the ’80s too. FE is clearly so much more extreme that saying ‘why bother having it if F1 is a tiny bit eco’ is simply ridiculous. Also, the E does not stand for eco, it stands for electric, so FE doesn’t have the capacity to push ICE technology and economy, whereas F1 does. Making it more of a challenge in terms of economy is attractive for manufacturers, so is probably part of the reason that Honda are making a return and injecting some more variety next year. The cars will manage 8.5 mpg (using imperial gallons) in Melbourne- that is pretty impressive for such a high performance engine in a race.
           we have the silly looks of 2014 cars (come on!)?
          An unfortunate by-product of rules with loopholes that allowed teams to actually use aerodynamically beneficial mid-height noses (rather than the intended low ones) so long as they had a ‘finger’ attached.
           we got double points rule (come on Bernie)?
          Because he is determined to take away any sporting integrity from F1 before he finally loses his grasp and/or ends up in jail. Also Abu Dhabi almost certainly paid him.
           tyre mgmt is a good thing (Pirelli rules the show)?
          Because fragile tyres produced a great race in Canada 2011, and the old bulletproof tyres tended to produce slightly bland races. Pirelli were asked to make fragile tyres but went too far. I would hold off your complaints as they might not be much of an issue this year.
           tyre blanket ban is a good thing?
          I forget why, but why is it a bad thing either?
           there are talks abt budget cap when the most expensive powertrain EVER is introduced?
          F1 needed a change of engine. It couldn’t keep putting it off and running fairly irrelevant technology. So despite the need for spending cuts it had to be done. Which means that the expensive PU justifies spending cuts even more.
           FIA do not bother to talk to the fans?
          They have very little interest in what we have to say.
           F1 should be streamlined to align to other motorsport series?
          Again, the engines being shareable it more attractive for engine manufacturers to get involved. They could get their engines running in multiple series with minimum hassle and/or maybe give them a source of extra revenue. I assume that if LMP teams buy F1 engines it could drive down the price for F1 teams, although that is just my speculation.

    • joc_the_man said on 11th March 2014, 17:22

      …the statement by Mr Lom is just a desperate attempt to defend the rule change. He seems to under estimate the intelligence of us fans by throwing dB numbers as if we do not know that it is a logarithmic unit. Stand by a race track and compare. The magic is gone just as Marussia head Mr Lowdon feared. Sad times.

  2. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 11:14

    11 decibels is a pretty big difference!

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 11th March 2014, 11:23

      It is, I’m not an expert on decibels and it seems to be a hugely complex subject but I do know that it’s not a linear scale and an 11 decibel increase is equivalent to more than double the “loudness” regardless of how that’s defined. No doubt a decibel expert can explain further.

      I should point out that I don’t really care, 134dB is still loud and I have no concerns about the different sounds, from what I’ve heard so far they sound interesting and just as exciting.

    • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 11th March 2014, 11:42

      Indeed, it’s a logarithmic scale so they will definitely be noticeably quieter. Not sure if my calculations are right, but I think the noise of the new engines will be a touch over 75% of the old ones. Obviously they only mention “maximum” volume, and I suspect the new engines will have a wider volume range than the old engines (which just seemed to be constant loud whine, with small changes in pitch).

      I’m more interested in how the new engines sound on TV. I’ve been to two live F1 races, one last year and one in 2011 at the height of the EBD. The sound live is so much different, much more enjoyable and less annoying than the mostly featureless scream you get on TV. The 2011 cars sounded amazing off-throttle, one of the most unique sounds I’ve ever heard – particularly the Lotus which basically sounded like an extremely loud and unhealthy chainsaw. Live, they sound angry, unpredictable and beast-like – on TV, they are annoying and a bit boring, if distinctive.

      The TV recordings never seem to have picked up any of that texture, and I’ve always presumed it was because of the ridiculous sound levels meaning the microphone sensitivity had to be toned down. Now the engines are quieter, I’m hoping the mics will pick up a lot more of the cool sounds these bizarre creations make.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 11:51

        Actually if these new engines are quieter then it’s easier for mics to pick up the depth and texture of the sound as they can be turned up a bit in terms of sensitivity. I know what you mean about the cars sounding different in real life, and you get none of the pops, bangs and crackles on the TV, but for me it was still a hugely irritating and obnoxious sound which I won’t miss at all.

      • Julien said on 11th March 2014, 17:52

        My phone, my iPad and, a few years ago, my dad’s digital voice recorder were able to reproduce the tremendous sound of those cars in a much more convincing way than what I’ve ever heard on TV.. You’ll find that all YouTube “amateur” video you can find let you hear their sound much more vividly than what the FOM gives us..
        So it’s obviously not just a matter of microphone quality :( But then what? Pure incompetence on their part? I wouldn’t be that surprised, given the overall terrible quality of realization of F1 grand Prix those days (for example camera angles were usually much better 10 or 15 years ago IMO)

        • av2290 said on 11th March 2014, 20:12

          I am a sound engineer and I’d like to chime in here.

          What you have from the FOM production is mediocre sound engineering. Basically, they use shotgun directional mics that automatically switch with the camera the director chooses, and also a constant “venue ambience” mic channel mixed into that audio feed at a lower level and left always on. The problem starts with the fact that shotgun directional mics do not pick up the reverberation of the environment in relation to the sound source they are pointed at. You can visualize this as looking at a landscape through a pinhole. Reverberation plays a huge part into what we perceive to be loudness and excitement, and it is why people that know F1 proper like those cell phone videos at taken at tests. They are more true to the reality of the environment. Even if the full frequency was captured properly by FOM, you’d need a hell of a speaker system to reproduce the full frequency sound properly at the decibel level experienced at the trackside. For the average person, that is impractical and cost prohibitive.

          Basically, FOM need to hire a better sound engineer to design a system that captures the “feeling” and “vibe” better than just your standard shotgun mics. This will vastly improve the TV viewing experience greatly.

          FOM, for a nominal fee, I am available for consultation BTW :)

          • Julien said on 12th March 2014, 9:48

            Thanks for the very interesting technical POV :) I hadn’t even thought about the directional microphones stuff …

            I almost wish I was wrong to blame the FOM ! But are they really the only ones to blame ? I can’t name any motorsport whose sound is properly reproduced … Maybe MotoGP is less worse than others but it’s still far from reality and far from what I get with my crappy smartphone mic … And I’ve never heard e.g. Nascar in real life but I’m sure they do sound much more impressive than what you get on TV

            In any case it’s a shame … Beside airshow and (I guess) rocket launches, motorsport events have to be the most amazing sound experiences in the world, and … we only get crap on TV :/

            BTW, aren’t there also big constraints in terms of sound compression for TV broadcasting ?

          • AJ (@av2290) said on 12th March 2014, 17:01

            @Julien the best sound production in motorsports is NHRA Drag Racing here in the US. They do a great job of capturing the emotional feel of the sounds.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1stzb2mewc

            its worth the commercial wait to hear how good their sound (and general) production is. Even better with good headphones.

            As for your question on compression, yes it can be detrimental but only if the initial capture and mixdown aren’t done right.

      • Boomerang said on 12th March 2014, 21:27

        Thanks mate for mentioning logarithmic scale, that’s the key point.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2014, 11:45

      Indeed when saying its less than 10% down in numbers, I am pretty sure that the FIA person who prepared this press release did not understand how Decibels work @mazdachris, @glennb, @jerseyf1.

      Now, Personally I do not see it as a big problem. People on TV won’t have a chance to notice, as their sound was muffled anyway to protect their ears. And on track I think the advantage is that you can hear interesting details from the car sounds and possibly do not need to use ear plugs all the time in the grandstands.

    • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 11th March 2014, 12:07

      @mazdachris I am just wondering, with all this expertise of the engineers in F1, is is not possible to retain the loudness and other body vibrating effects of the V8′s in these new V6′s??

      I understand and support that we have to adopt newer technology. But let that new technology be stay hidden from the spectators (as the new engines and MGUs are hidden), but let the spectators enjoy the power that a F1 cars bring. I hope I was able to get my point across.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 12:38

        If I understand what you’re asking, you want to know why they couldn’t make the new cars sound like the old ones?

        Well, there are lots of reasons.

        Firstly on the subject of ‘loudness’ measured in Decibels. Actually rather than loudness, what this specifically measures is sound pressure – or rather how energetically the air is being vibrated. Without getting too technical here, you need to think of an internal combustion engine as a big airpump – to generate a specific amount of power, a certain amount of fuel and air need to be mixed together and burned inside the engine, and then the expanded gasses are forced out through the exhaust. The more powerful the engine, the more air gets moved through it, and the more potential there is for noise. So we know that the new engines are a little less powerful, and we know that they are also more efficient. This means, put simply, that there is a significant reduction in the amount of air being cycled through the engines. Then you also have the addition of the turbocharger – the turbine is driven by the exhaust gasses, so some of the exhaust gas velocity is taken out of the equation before it leaves the exhaust, again changing the potential for sound pressure.

        That’s the reason why the loudness is reduced compared to before. As a general rule of thumb, if an engine is less powerful, there is going to be less noise, and if there’s a turbocharger (or a muffler or anything else) on the exhaust, then the noise will be quieter still.

        In terms of the actual pitch and tone of the sound, the reason for this is fairly complicated. But basically, the nature of the sound is measured in terms of frequency – you can think of this as being how close the soundwares are to one another. If they’re very close, then it’s high pitched, and if they spaced far apart, it’s a deeper sound. if you were looking at a speaker moving, you’d see a low bass note with the speaker vibrating slowly but moving through it’s full stroke length, whereas for a mid or upper range note, the speaker will be vibrating fast but not moving as far in and out. The air being moved by the speaker is moving in this same pattern, and that’s what you can hear. You need to think of the pistons in the engine as being like the speakers – the faster they are moving, and the more frequently the cylinders are firing, the higher pitched the sound. Very high RPM engines are like the speaker putting out a high treble sound – the pistons move very fast, over a fairly limited distance (because the crankshafts and conrods are kept as compact as possible to minimise rotational mass), whereas a lower RPM engine is more like the speaker making its midrange sound.

        But with engines you need to take the analogy a little further. Because the exhaust plays its part as well. For instance, the old V8 engines uses two exhausts (one for each bank of four cylinders) so this was more like having a pair of speakers rather than just the one. If you had all eight cylinders going into one exhaust, the characteristics of the sound are changed, because the resonance of one bank of cylinders would have an effect on the other. This happens with our new V6 engines. Actually in some respects this does bring the V6 sound closer to what we’re used so, because dynamically the frequency of pulses from the single exhaust being fed by six cylinders at 16000rpm is not that dissimilar to a single exhaust being fed by four sylinders at 18000. There’s some maths which underpins this, but it’s pretty complex. So in that respect they have produced a sound which is probably about as close as you’re going to get to what there was before. Hopefully this makes sense!

        The other thing is that, again, we have the turbocharger slowing the exhaust gasses down which has a muting effect on the noise. Think about the opening of ‘Iron Man’ with that distinctive sound of Ozzie Osbourne shouting through an electric fan. That’s what’s happening to the gasses as they’re going through the turbine.

        So the point I’m labouring towards is that the characteristics of the sound are created directly by the physical properties of the engine. They aren’t something which is specifically tuned to sound a certain way – they’re a natural consequence of the type of engine being used. Every type of engine sounds totally different, and one engine can’t be made to sound like another without physically altering the engine itself. And of course, the major question is why you would ever really want to? Form follows function; these cars are designed to be as fast as possible within the rules, and no part of the car is designed without that ethos in mind. There is not a single race car designer in the world who would genuinely put effort into making something look or sound a certain way if there wasn’t also some kind of performance benefit to be gained.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 11th March 2014, 12:55

        But let that new technology be stay hidden from the spectators

        where’s the fun in that?

    • @mazdachris you’re right , it’s the difference between a conversation and a rock concert.

      I don’t know how to answer the FIA but even though I prefer this to the V8 the 1988 turbos sounded awful! I think everyone still remembers the v10′s from 10 years ago so FIA obviously at the time the 88 turbo’s were okay.

    • johnny stick said on 12th March 2014, 0:48

      Yah this is the same math that gave us double points; 11 db is a lot! Does the FIA think we are just as dumb as NASCAR fans?

  3. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 11th March 2014, 11:19

    They are definitely quieter – at least from my experience at Jerez.

    The V6s certainly sound ‘sweeter’ than the V8s did – and sound really cool under braking and switch off – and you can still hear the cars approaching from half way around a circuit. It’s just that when these new cars pass you, the sheer force of the sound doesn’t rock through your entire body like the V8s used to and there’s now less of a need for ear plugs when you’re spectating at the track.

    While I know that engine sound is a big factor for many fans, I actually think that given how futuristic and technically impressive these new engines are proving to be, losing the sheer volume of the V8 engines is really not too bad a price to pay to finally bring F1 into the 21st Century.

  4. Do people that are worried about the loudness of the new engines actually go to the races? I think the bigger problem is being so far from the track now. The first race I ever went to I was standing at a guardrail less than 1 meter from the cars. The cars could be experienced that way. The last race I went to was Imola ’99 and I was in a bleacher some 300 meters away from cars that must have been outrageously loud, but the distance was for me the last straw.

    • av2290 said on 12th March 2014, 1:45

      agreed 10000%. Looking to buy tix for the USGP but all the “normal people” seating is so far from the track. Most of the seating is at areas where the cars are at their slowest. Who wants to go to an F1 race to see the cars negotiating 50 mph turns?

  5. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th March 2014, 11:32

    Loudness isn’t everything anyway. Sure, the old V8s were painfully loud, but it was a really, deeply unpleasant noise. I go to a lot of motorsports events and I reckon the only thing I’ve found more unpleasant on my ears than F1 cars were the jet powered funnycars at Santa Pod. For me, the sound of these new V6 engines is a huge improvement, and if they’re a little bit quieter, then even better.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2014, 11:47

      I agree, yes. The sound of these new engines makes for enjoyment hearing all the details in it, with a nice rough throaty base and the huffs, whizzes and wheeze of the whole thing being different between engines and teams.

  6. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 11th March 2014, 11:45

    I hope they crank up the effects on TV so viewers hear all the growls, whines and (Renault) pops and bangs – these trackside videos sound fine, but the world feed could sound a bit lame – as the old 80s turbos did on TV, and current Indycars.

    Graeme Lowdon’s comment about “the lucky few” says a lot about F1′s self-importance and lack of access. Surely there is room to let some fans in among the tumbleweed in the massive concrete paddocks, and within a safe viewing distance of the pit lane. Hopefully Bernie’s successor will be more enlightened about this – someone with experience of US race meetings could be a good idea.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th March 2014, 11:48

      Its rather that they don’t have to muffle them as much @tomsk. There are regulations on how loud a sound you are actually allowed to put on a TV show to protect listeners, so the sound of the cars has been toned down for us watching over TV for years now.

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 11th March 2014, 12:50

      The ‘lucky few’ are lucky because they get to go inside the pit garage as they start the car up, not necessarily because of their celebrity outside the world of F1

  7. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 11th March 2014, 11:45

    Loudness and feeling the vibrations near you does make it really awesome though, but this is only true when you’re at the tracks. Until I listen to the new turbos ‘live’ then will I decide if I still prefer the V8s.

    For TV fans it doesn’t really matter at all as the V8s sounded so muted so there’s no difference.
    It’s the speed that I’m concerned about for this year on raceways, quail will be fine as it’s flat out.

    • George (@george) said on 11th March 2014, 18:03

      @johnbt Autosport did a comparison using Rosberg’s race stint in testing vs his 2013 race lap times, in the new car he started off slightly faster and ended up slightly slower (apparently he was in aggressive fuel saving at that point), and his tyres lasted around twice as long. It’s not a great comparison as it’s obviously different conditions and the Mercedes was horribly slow at Bahrain last year, but it at least shows they’re not far off.

  8. Brian (@bealzbob) said on 11th March 2014, 11:46

    I think the pitch (note) of the engines is actually people’s main criticism. They don’t wail or scream in the way many want their F1 cars to do. I’m not a critic of the new sound but that’s my understanding of the criticism (maybe I’m wrong?)

    Plus, as mentioned above, 11 decibels is a big difference on what is a logarithmic scale.

  9. James Dillon said on 11th March 2014, 12:11

    So that’s around half the perceived volume then. That’s a pretty big difference!

  10. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 11th March 2014, 12:13

    The V8′s sounded like a bag full of rattley spanners. They were load, but not pleasant. These V6′s sound fantastic, a nice throaty sound engine note and the whizzing and whirring of the ERS and turbo certainly adds to the experience.

  11. claudioff (@claudioff) said on 11th March 2014, 13:32

    I really don’t get the noise fuzz. Long time ago I witnessed a flyby of two jet fighters in a beach where I was camping. The speed and noise was amazing and I still can feel chills only remembering it. In that case noise equals power (I am pretty sure that the military would prefer a quieter jet). For me, F1 should be about speed and the noise only a side effect.

  12. TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 11th March 2014, 13:33

    Interesting non-F1-fan’s article on the US-based Wired magazine today – wired – autopia – 2014-f1-sound
    The first video has a “best” bit around 2:36… some good sounds from the engines at the Jerez test.

  13. JohnNik (@johnnik) said on 11th March 2014, 13:36

    Glad that 3db has already been covered in the thread. I recall reading something about when there was one car on the track during testing, the mechanics couldn’t hear it at times. It seemed to be reported as a change from the norm.
    These cars are a lot quieter, though it’s hardly a surprise. Less cylinders, lower rpm’s and a turbo in the exhaust pipe wasn’t going to end up louder than last year!

  14. Davide (@dac72) said on 11th March 2014, 13:38

    If you watched any of the pre-season testing on TV one of the most common statements by the commentators and some of the spectators interviewed in the grandstands was that this years cars are much quieter and nobody needed to use any hearing protection and that included trackside viewing. I know this is not scientific, but the new power units are it is obviously much quieter than the old units. :-(

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