Engines “louder than we thought” – Ecclestone

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Bernie Ecclestone has revised his opinion of the new 2014 engines after hearing them in action for the first time during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Ecclestone, who was not in Australia for the first race of the season two weeks ago, said he was “horrified” by the quieter engines, adding: “these cars don’t sound like racing cars”.

However during today’s practice session at the Sepang International Circuit Ecclestone told Sky: “People said you couldn’t hear anything – it’s not true.”

“I think it’s a little louder than we thought,” he added. “So if we can just get it up a little bit more than that – I wish I could get it up, but anyway – then it will be alright, you know?”

But Ecclestone repeated his claim that race promoters, such as Singapore Grand Prix backer Ong Beng Seng who joined him at the track today, would use the reduced noise of the engine to pressure him for a reduction in feeds.

“All the promoters are complaining,” said Ecclestone. “They’re all saying the same. We’ll have to see a bit what’s going to happen.”

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60 comments on Engines “louder than we thought” – Ecclestone

  1. Lemon (@lemon) said on 28th March 2014, 12:51

    “I wish I could get it up”..Was this an intentional innuendo? I can’t hear his tone of voice which obviously doesn’t help..

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 28th March 2014, 12:52

    He can’t get it.. anyway, it would be kinda good if the organizers get a reduction in fee (should have happened a long time ago).

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th March 2014, 13:02

    What an idiot.

    I wish I could get it up

    Poor bloke.

  4. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 28th March 2014, 13:16

    I imagine the promoters will say almost anything if there’s even a slim chance they have to pay less fees. But this debate on the sound has gone far enough. It only matters to those who care more about the ‘entertainment’ factor than the sport itself. Double points is the real controversy of this season, because it is nothing more than a cheap gimmick, like DRS and the tyres (which are thankfully not an issue this season). F1 should be all about racing with cutting edge technology. The sound is irrelevant and the issue should be laid to rest because it is a boring non-issue which distracts from problems which actually effect the sport.

    • Thank you…

      • BogRacer said on 28th March 2014, 15:02

        Tyres WILL be an issue this season, we’re just not talking about it…yet. This weekend at Sepang we’ll see at least 3 dry weather stops if tyre deg remains constant over the weekend.
        The difference between this year and last is that are more sexy controversies that have emerged (engine noise, double-points, “fuel-flow-rate-gate” etc.). Just goes to show how much the broadcast media dictates what constitutes a “controversy” and what doesn’t.

    • Mark said on 28th March 2014, 16:41

      +1 completely agree. Classic Bernie talk loudly about some irrelevant he doesn’t like to distract from something no one wants that he does.

    • medman (@medman) said on 28th March 2014, 17:26

      If any racing fan thinks the sound is “irrelevant”, that fan is mistaken. Sound is a large part of the equation in motorsport. It is often the sound, and not the visual of a chassis, that attracts people to the sport. As a young man, it was the sound that inspired me to learn more about cars and engines in general. Formula one seemed like magic, and it was the sound that made the difference for a young boy that knew nothing of lap times or why the cars were designed to look the way they did. I can STILL to this day remember what it FELT like standing track side at an F1 race as a boy and hearing those monsters coming, then going. And you indeed FELT the ground shake when a pack of cars thundered by. The magic is gone, I’m afraid. And maybe the older fans can get used to it, but it will not inspire the younger generation to dream. And that is the real shame. Going to an F1 race used to mean you were going to see the best of everything. The best cars, the best drivers, the best technology. Now we have pay drivers and cars that whine instead of roar. I don’t call this progress. It’s exactly the opposite I’m afraid. I still watch F1, but with each passing year, I find myself missing what F1 used to be more and more.

      • Chuck Lantz said on 28th March 2014, 18:39

        Medman: Thanks for saving me a whole bunch of typing. Your thoughts mirrored mine, 100%. My all-time favorite Christmas gift was a Riverside record of The Sounds of Sebring. I played that thing until it wore-out.

        Prior to that I checked-out a copy of a Sound Stories Isle of Man record so many times that the librarian finally gave it to me, saying that “you’re the only one checking it out for the past year anyway, so you may as well keep it.”

        As a result, to me the sound is everything. If racing ever goes all electric, I’m jumping off a bridge.

        • Palle (@palle) said on 28th March 2014, 20:23

          @medman and Chuck: Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be:-). Excuse me, but You sound like 2 old men, who miss what F1 was when You were Young, the women younger and ripe and You had much more energy.
          That said I can agree a little bit with the argument that the sound is important. I also miss my AC Schnitzer 3l BMW engine, when driving my 330D. But I don’t think that the F1 of my youth had a better roar. Actually I kind of hated the high pitched whine of the many rpm’s. I much more like the deeper sound of this era’s engines, however I agree that the dB level could be higher. Some of the best engine sound I have experienced in real life is the Panoz Le mans racer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U86lf-LRXiE

        • medman (@medman) said on 28th March 2014, 21:20

          I agree. I can handle hybrids, in fact I welcome them. I would prefer a V12, V10, or V8 hybrid system, but I was more than willing to give twin turbo 6′s a chance. But the noise they make is pitiful. Pitiful. I’ve always loved motorsport, and F1 in particular, but I detest the direction it’s headed, and I may have to step away from it for my own sanity. At least until the sport realizes it’s fans are the life blood, and it better respect fans and give them what they want. Or it will fade away gradually, with less and less people watching on TV and less and less people attending races every year.

    • Adam said on 28th March 2014, 19:36

      Absolute rubbish!
      F1 is about a combination of a multitude of things. Sound, spectacle, technology, glamour and racing. And probably in that order. There has to be a screaming, breathtaking, heart pounding sound that shakes your core.. It’s difficult to describe an f1 car of recent years at full speed thundering past you. The colour, glitz and the “oh my god how did that car take that corner that fast” moments are what makes f1 superb.
      If it was all about racing, then Pastor Maldonado would never be in a lotus and Hulk would easily be in a Ferrari!

    • Eric (@baron-2) said on 28th March 2014, 20:52

      +/- 500 euros for seats says the entertainment is VERY important.

      I can’t comprehend where this arrogance that whoever doesn’t like the new sound should just shut up is coming from.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2014, 2:31

        I certainly don’t object to you making your opinion known, just as long as you don’t claim to speak for the majority when it’s 2 to 1 against your viewpoint.

        • Eric (@baron-2) said on 6th April 2014, 11:34

          @hohum

          So, The minority should remain silent?!?

          Let the 33.333 % turn away from the sport then, that will be good for busines.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th April 2014, 19:53

            @baron-2, Eric, my post was less than 2 lines long yet you apparently did not read the 1st 10 words, and you are only part of 30% not 33.333333333333333.
            I suppose todays race was no good for you because it didn’t sound like last years.

  5. David not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 28th March 2014, 13:17

    So….That means bernie’s going to win his next trial, huh?:p

  6. 2TypesofCamel said on 28th March 2014, 13:41

    This “whole engine noise debate” has not gone on long enough maaaaannnnnn. In the mid 90′s we got 20,000rpm v12′s. Now we have v6′s limited to 15k but no team is shifting much past 11k (notice the deliberate lack of ALL telemetry data on the Australian Grand Prix feed, embarrassed about revs, embarrassed about lap times and probably also embarrassed that every car has a reproductive organ of one kind or another on the front of it…). Now I’m not a mathematician but if you look at the fundamental frequency of these two engines, the new v6′s are 4 octaves lower than than the v12′s (half the cylinders and half the revs). That’s the difference between the lowest note on a guitar and the highest note on a guitar, it’s the difference between a lullaby and a Van Halen solo, it’s significant. If you can just let that go you DON’T love this sport as you say.

    I’m sick of people declaring this debate isn’t worth having, just being positive to be positive is ignorant. Have a sense of your sport. Have a sense of the direction you want your sport to go in. Make sure these things are justifiable and appropriate, be a real person for God’s sake. We have these engines right now because old white people making money, not because of technology. A 600hp NA motor at full power burns less fuel than a 600hp turbo motor at full power;turbo motors burn ~.7lbs of fuel per hour per horsepower while NA motors are closer to .5lbs/hr/hp. In a racing car like F1 (not an endurance race car) You spend the majority of your on-throttle time at full throttle, NA is actually the better choice for economy. Going NA with direct injection would have made waaay more sense in the pursuit of trickle-down road-going tech, lean burn techniques (stratified burn etc…) would have been refined in the crucible that is an F1 combustion chamber over one season to the extent that could take OEM’s years.

    To reiterate, you’re all wrong. I’m right.

    Have a nice day and try not to fall asleep while watching the race this weekend. The old white men will collect their profit either way however…

    • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 28th March 2014, 16:50

      I doubt those cars a barely touching 9/10k rpm. They sound very low on the rpms. Has anyone seen any RPM graphics? They sound like they are in the 7-8k range to me, The turbo his masking the sound a lot, but you cant fake the change in pitch from low to high rpms that is occurring. Seems to me those motors are running pretty high compression/moderate to high boost. I am thinking because they are running extra conservative on the fuel combustion the motors are very strained to push past a certain rpm for fear of knocking and the efficiency envelope of the motor’s inherent design/spec. I would wager that because of this imposed spec, some engine manufacturers are very limited on performance past a certain rpm, and this is the principal reason for using a fuel flow regulator as it is to keep guys like Mercedes (factory) from leaving the other teams in the dust.

      Has anyone seen any RPM graphics during the broadcast?

      • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 28th March 2014, 17:03

        *is

        I would like F1 to get rid of the spec and let teams choose alternative strategies, I think that would make F1 more interesting so far as the technology goes. Perhaps letting teams use fuel cells, superchargers and even letting teams forgo the extra weight, in order to validate the existence of the ERS spec currently implemented. I think F1 needs to embrace choice, not so much the dictation of ‘change’.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 28th March 2014, 17:10

        Is it important?

        This conversation is boring. The new engines are fascinating and a delight to read and learn about.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th March 2014, 17:48

      If you can just let that go you DON’T love this sport as you say.

      I’d say that if you can’t look past that then you don’t love this sport as you say.

    • anon said on 28th March 2014, 18:59

      Actually, you are a long, long way out on the rev limits of the V12: as far as I can tell, no manufacturer ever claimed to have got anywhere near 20,000rpm with the V12′s.

      Ferrari, who persisted with their V12 for the longest – although one of their designers had admitted that they tried to scrap it at least three years before it was actually phased out – claimed to have hit 14,500rpm at most, as did Honda. Most of the other V12 designs (Porsche, Yamaha and Lamborghini) from the 1990′s had lower rev limits, revving to between 13,000-13,800rpm at most.

      Equally, you’re wrong about no telemetry data being presented during the Australian GP – telemetry data was available throughout the entire race weekend (it took me less than two minutes to find video footage with telemetry data). You’re utterly wrong about the data being hidden – on the contrary, onboard footage with telemetry is quite widely available if you look for it.

      Moreover, the telemetry data from Hulkenberg’s car showed that he was hitting at least 13,200rpm in qualifying trim whilst the onboard data from Bottas suggests he was pulling around 12,500rpm during the race. Therefore, the current V6 engines are revving almost as high, and in some cases higher, than the V12′s of the 1990′s did.

      • A lot of effort is being expended discrediting uninformed critique. The engines are hitting 12,500 revs. The 20,000 rpm barrier was exceeded with the V8s, when they first came out. Had we kept them, the sport would have become painfully irrelevant. And let’s be honest — the V8s sounded quite bland compared with the V10s — which sounded a bit less incredible than the V12s. The world has changed and this is going to be racing. If it’s noise you crave, NASCAR has massive pushrod V8s that sound pretty mean. Of course they’re about as relevant as the rest of the cars are to the real world.

    • James Keith (@fishinjim) said on 1st April 2014, 3:53

      I personally like the sound of the new cars. I can actually tell what is being said on the radios.
      Can actually hear the announcers as the cars go by.
      The deeper sound of the cars make them sound like a sports car, not a ticked off swarm of bees.

  7. sebsronnie (@sebsronnie) said on 28th March 2014, 14:19

    Looks like the concerted efforts of Bernie, Walker and company are working. During the first race, I was too engrossed following the race and reveling in the fact that F1 was properly back that I didn’t really pay too much attention to the sound (or lack of) of the new engines. Now today, during the portion of FP that I watched, I found myself consciously listening out for the ‘noise’ and thinking very hard about it. What a way to promote your sport! Incidentally, I have this sneaky feeling that FOM are probably playing tricks with the broadcast to make it seem even worse!

  8. This is hilarious. Anyone who made the mistake of believing BE wasn’t jumping the gun, despite the all too obvious fact (and the stated outright fact) that he hadn’t attended a race…egg on face, please keep your mouth shut and typo fingers still, you will only continue to embarrass yourself further. Thanks for the laughs all the same.

  9. Davide (@dac72) said on 28th March 2014, 15:06

    This guy is simply losing his mind. He should just gracefully bow out of the sport as so he doesn’t ruin his legacy for what he has accomplished till now. It’s truly time for him to retire.

  10. clem said on 28th March 2014, 15:20

    At the track today in Paddock Club cars are so quite unless you are watching the track you would not even know the cars were on the track
    Not saying the engines are bad but certainly effected the feeling of being at a “proper” motorsport event

    I saw Bernie having lunch with these gentlemen and they certainly didn’t have to wait to the cars stopped to have a conversation

  11. Lost in the ‘soundgate’ debate is the effect the electrical thrust is having. Here’s a V6 F1 turbo without any electrical motors attached and, well, it sounds bloody fantastic. A V6 turbo doesn’t struggle to sound good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcmKJ5MhDh8

    • Palle (@palle) said on 28th March 2014, 21:07

      Yes, bring it on;-) this sounds far better than the whining V8′s.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 28th March 2014, 21:43

      Tim, you should register so we can tag you for comments. But that is a totally different turbo technology. When the 2014 cars are at top speed going down a straight, the electric motor is not driving them, just the V6 turbo charged engine. And they simply don’t sound like the link you posted. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, just different. The new turbos are much more efficient so less wasted sound/heat. Those are both wasted energy that could be driving the car and with the fuel limits, they were going for maximum power, not sound effects.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2014, 2:41

      Sounds very similar to me, I expect the sound recording gear was better than the FOM stuff.

  12. Royal-Spark (@royal-spark) said on 28th March 2014, 19:44

    The turbo charger itself has a knock on effect of acting as a muffler for both the intake and exhaust systems. So really there’s not much that can be done to make the internal combustion engine sound any louder by natural means.

  13. HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th March 2014, 19:53

    Formula 1 is losing followers, we can argue about whether it’s because it no longer pushes technical boundaries in powertrain development or whether it is the impost of artificial gimmicks to make “the show” more entertaining (both in my view) but Bernie has seen the trend and has decided that “the sound” will make a convenient scapegoat. It’s not the sound Bernie, it’s years of money grabbing mismanagement, ie it’s you Bernie.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 28th March 2014, 20:24

      The best and worst irony here is that Bernie has left himself (and FOM) wide open to having every single F1 race promoter trying to renegotiate their contracts. All based on Bernie’s own words with his uninformed scapegoating opinion connected to megaphonic mouth giving leverage to every promoter with a contract.

    • Palle (@palle) said on 28th March 2014, 21:29

      @hohum and @bullmello: +1
      The high prices for any TV package with an F1 content cut out the previous “casual” viewers. FOM’s stupid policy of preventing us hardcore fans from showing high quality snippets of F1 to friends and family after an exiting race is a further disgrace.
      But despite al this, F1 interest and media coverage has reached an unprecedented high here in Denmark;-) I enjoy it for as long at it will last, hopefully a handful of years or more.

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 28th March 2014, 21:47

        @palle @hohum and @bullmello I completely agree and think that palle’s point may be the most important…casual fans are being cut out by expensive TV packages. If F1 deems it more important to make the most money off each fan, and have less fans…well then, more power to them. But then they can’t complain in the next breath about having less fans when they optimize their business model towards milking the fans they DO have.
        I think they’re on the wrong path as sponsors always want more eyeballs. They simply like large, raw numbers, not an “explanation” that “hey, the fans we do have spend more money…I think”.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2014, 2:52

          @daved, exactly, look at McLaren trying to get a decent sponsorship deal. The whole reasoning behind selling TV rights to the highest bidder is that FOM got to keep half the money, if Bernie could have figured out how to get the teams to give him half of their sponsorship income he might have kept it free to air, but as is evident from 2 articles in the roundup today (Sat) F1 is being asset stripped not managed.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2014, 3:00

        OK @palle, you Danes love your renewable energy systems.

  14. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 28th March 2014, 23:04

    So the “magic” that makes F1 what it is to the different fans of the biggest spectator sports series on the globe happens to be a bit different to some people. Big surprise. Seems people just really like to argue.

    I am in the group that would watch every race and every qualifying session on TV even if my speaker didn’t work and I had no audio. But you know what helped get me to this point? Probably watching that first practice session at the track when I was a kid. Trust me – I know all about feeling the rumble of the ground and your entire body vibrate with the buzz of a high revving V12!

    I really liked the sound of the old V6 turbos but those had wastegates, and that’s the big difference. Could we have a solution with much higher rev’s (maybe 17,000?) along with allowing “some” of the exhaust to escape to the atmosphere? Just enough to give it more of that “throaty” grumble. Maybe if the FIA had the foresight to bring some audio engineers and marketing professionals together 5 years ago, this whole thing could have been avoided – but I suppose that’s a little optimistic.

    Anyway its here now and there’s no easy solution……so I will keep watching (but put on some 1995 YouTube clips a bit after the race!)

  15. Guelph said on 28th March 2014, 23:51

    Oh Bernie, promoters aren’t asking for a discount because of the (lack of) noise, they’re asking for a discount because they’re hosting half-point races.

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