Mercedes to test louder exhaust solution after race

2014 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Mercedes will test a new exhaust next week designed to increase the noise produced by the current engines.

Formula One teams are investigating means of boosting the volume of the V6 turbo engines amid concerns the quieter sound has diminished the spectacle of the sport.

“Mercedes will evaluate a prototype solution during next week’s test to assess its impact on the tailpipe noise,” the team confirmed on Twitter.

“It’s a first step in a development process to address the feedback about these mega new hybrid power units.”

Contrary to reports, Mercedes say the revised exhaust will not be used during tomorrow’s practice session.

Bernie Ecclestone sharply criticised the sound produced by the new cars after opening race in Australia, then partially retracted his complaints after hearing them for the first time himself in Malaysia.

Teams are testing for two days at the Circuit de Catalunya next week following the Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes intend for Lewis Hamilton to drive on Tuesday and Nico Rosberg on Wednesday.

2014 F1 season

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55 comments on Mercedes to test louder exhaust solution after race

  1. DaveFLO said on 8th May 2014, 18:37

    they should just leave them as they are.

    i attended the malaysian gp & the new cars are loud enough & have a very nice sound to them.

    i see no reason to start fiddling with the noise/volume 4 races into a new season, lets for once just let things develop naturally without bowing to the fake media built hysteria which has got everyone whipped up into a silly frenzy when most of them don’t even know how loud these new cars really are having never actually heard them in person.

    they sound fine & as i say are plenty loud enough.

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th May 2014, 18:39

    Wow, so much facepalm. Unbelievable that they are seriously considering this, with the whole world watching.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th May 2014, 8:14

      Talk about “gimmicks” yeah. Another thing where F1’s solution to a “problem” is going DRS and making it an entertainment show more than a sport.

      I for one hope they just ditch this fancy idea to make the sound louder. Just let FOM ask the broadcasters to turn up the volume. Its not going to bring back the rumble, shaking ground and earsplitting noice the cars were making before this year so its no solution even for the people watching on track either.
      Instead it will just make talking about noise allowances (see Austrian GP, Australian GP, Spa and probably the German GP as well, not sure about others although Austin might have issues there too) a complete joke, because authorities should (rightly) ask them to turn down the volume to not cause completely unnecessary, avoidable, noise.

  3. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 8th May 2014, 18:47

    Formula 1 won’t find a solution to ensure the survival of half its teams, but it will do this. Ludicrous.

  4. DaveD (@daved) said on 8th May 2014, 19:01

    Oh for God’s sake, just stop already! The engines sound fine and the sport has serious issues to deal with, not these silly noise makers. The engines sound as they do and putting artificial noise makers on them to satisfy a very vocal minority is absurd.
    This is like kids putting noise makers in the spokes of their bicycles. I can’t believe with all the real problems they have they are rushing to change this in an artificial way. What about double points? What aboit the financial issues? What about Bernie and company sucking the sport dry of all profit?
    Geez, frow up already.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 8th May 2014, 19:14

      OK, I shouldn’t type these things from my phone LOL Stupid typeahead comes up with the strangest things.

    • Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 8th May 2014, 19:29

      Wow once people are complaining about the noise, then when teams try to do something about it, they are told to stop it already

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 8th May 2014, 19:47

        Plenty of people have been saying for ages that the sound doesn’t bother them.

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 8th May 2014, 21:20

        No, a FEW very vocal people are complaining about the cars being quiet. The rest of us don’t care. I was looking forward to taking my daughters to the Austin race this year, but now I’m not. One of them already has mild conductive hearing loss and won’t take a chance. I had convinced her that with the new, quieter engines it wasn’t risky especially if she wore hearing protection. And I was looking forward to enjoying the race without headphones for once.
        I know plenty of parents who don’t want to take their kids to something that could damage their hearing and those are young fans that F1 needs.
        Now they’re going to put in artificial noise makers? No way! It’s FAKE noise! Why bother if it’s not even how the engines sound so you might as well be playing loud MP3 recordings over the loud speakers at the grand stand. What is the point???

        • Mads (@mads) said on 8th May 2014, 22:32


          No, a FEW very vocal people are complaining about the cars being quiet. The rest of us don’t care.

          On the F1 fanatic poll around 47% liked the new engine noises, and around 30% disliked it. so while the majority seems to like it, I don’t think you can call 30% “just a few noisy people”.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 8th May 2014, 22:34

            Just to avoid any confusion: the quotation marks in the end, meant what I think that you are implying. Not an actual quote of cause…

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 8th May 2014, 23:10

            @mads I’d like to see them take that poll again now that people are getting used to it. And I’d LOVE to see them take that poll from a random sample of people actually at the track.

            And however you define a “few”, even by that poll, they’re changing the racing to satisfy a minority of the people? This is like politics in the US where a few extremely loud Christian fundamentalists on the right and a few extreme liberals on the left scream so loud and so hard that they drive our country. They do NOT represent the majority of us yet they end up ruling the rest of our lives. I’m sick of it in our politics and I sure don’t want to deal with it in F1.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 8th May 2014, 23:22

            I don’t think you can compare it to that. 30% is still a VERY large proportion considering that there are 400-odd million viewers world wide.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 9th May 2014, 0:15

            Actually, the proportion doesn’t change…it’s still 30% LOL But I know what you mean, that’s a large raw number.
            But I’m saying I don’t actually believe that number for three reasons: 1) It was an early knee jerk reaction and people are getting used to it and don’t mind as much now. and 2) These are polls where people self select. That means anyone with a negative view is more likely to participate, a very well known bias of these types of polls. 3) These are not people who have all been to races, they’re commenting on whether or not FOM is giving them a good feed on TV.

            If you really want a true sample, you’d have to do a real, random sample at a race. And you’d have to have someone do a professional job of it. You can’t walk up and ask “would you like to take a survey about engine noise in F1″. Then people still self select.

            All these polls are done the best they can so I’m not criticising their intent. But you can’t draw realistic conclusions from them. And in this case, you have to realistically apply a “filter” knowing that negative people choose to participate more often than positive people on a poll.

  5. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 8th May 2014, 19:03

    They dominate so much they even have time for that …

  6. Roald (@roald) said on 8th May 2014, 19:08

    Don’t see the problem. It’s not like they want to play mp3’s from their cars with louder engine sounds. Just changing the exhaust might increase the sound and make a lot of casual fans happier. I don’t really care about the engine sound, but it’s a given fact a lot of fans miss the louder engines.

  7. MtlRacer (@mtlracer) said on 8th May 2014, 19:13

    Most people who have heard the new engines in person seem to say the sound is acceptable at the very least. But 20 races at 150000 people per race (at best) is nothing compared to the world wide television audience.
    Since everyone gets the main feed from FOM, I blame the FOM audio technicians (and each broadcaster’s audio techs) for failing to adjust the levels properly. Obviously, this new to them as they’ve always had the opposite problem, trying to limit the audio.

  8. DaveW (@dmw) said on 8th May 2014, 19:14

    This is idiotic. Why don’t they just do what BMW is doing in the M5, where a turbo replaced a V-10, by playing engine noise through speakers? Have some FIA mandated speakers attached to the car. You can get any sound you want! You could have each team get a different sound as well. How is putting a horn on the exhaust pipe more “authentic” than a speaker?

  9. Alan Torres (@alan1oo1) said on 8th May 2014, 19:25

    ive never been in a GP and im dying to be in one of them believe no matter the sound i love this sport. the people have to get used to it. In my opinion is just complain for complain. If they dont want to be in a GP with low sound there is a lot people like me dying to be in one no matter what.
    As far a TV they can level up the track sound i dont know why they did it yet.

    • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 8th May 2014, 19:55

      Alan, en méxico no pasan las transmisiones de FoxSports? Son HORRIBLES! y con el tema del sonido están todo el tiempo quejándose, pero no se dan cuenta que es el Tío Bernie el que no quiere que se escuche bien por TV :)

  10. Tiomkin said on 8th May 2014, 19:43

    F1, in a race with the WWE. Anything to improve the show. This is not a sport. It’s a joke.
    Bring on the clown shoes!

  11. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 8th May 2014, 20:37

    Is it pointed down at the track to disperse the sound, like an ice cream van?

  12. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 8th May 2014, 21:27

    To me, this is a new low. I can’t believe it, really. The sound is just bloody fine.

  13. Martin (@aardvark) said on 8th May 2014, 21:28

    They should award double points for noisy cars ;o)

  14. Liaz said on 8th May 2014, 22:05

    next step should be ghettoblasters

  15. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 8th May 2014, 22:17

    The “fake” is really starting to pile up.

  16. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 8th May 2014, 22:48

    i have no problem with this, people think the engines are too quiet, make them louder, i’m fine with all this.
    Seems like f1 fans hate everything the f1 powers at be are doing right now, they can’t do right for doing wrong.
    This is a potential fix, maybe just a temporary one, but who really wouldnt like it if the cars sounded louder?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th May 2014, 23:22

      @scuderia29, “who wouldn’t like louder”? All those people who live near a racetrack, all those people with sensitive hearing, new people in the sport who don’t want to end up as deaf as Bernie, and probably more than half the people paying to be close to the action.

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 8th May 2014, 23:29

        @hohum haha what so youre telling me these new quiet engines are actually better for f1? im not doubting the racing, i’ve enjoyed the racing so far this year, but youre the first person ive heard argue the case for quiet engines in f1

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th May 2014, 0:11

          Read @daved, i’m not the 1st.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 9th May 2014, 1:06

            @scuderia29 yes, @hohum is right…there are plenty of us who actually prefer the quieter engines. I’m hoping they’ll give up on this pretend noise solution so I can take my daughters to the US Grand Prix in Austin this year!
            And yes, it was neat to hear the roar of the cars…then I realized I didn’t want to be deaf and I was getting a headache myself even with ear protection. YES…I like the quieter cars and all the nuances you can hear in the racing now!
            I had no idea that these tires/tyres actually squeeled! I always had this “picture” in my head that they were so soft they just didn’t make noise like normal tires. Wrong! They actually have sound and character too. I can tell what the drivers are doing by the sounds of their car now, not just that screaming V8 making me deaf.

        • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 9th May 2014, 0:29

          OH no, he not the only one. I am all for quiet engines…
          This year I’ve been able to hear the radio better, the tyres… People nearby don’t need earplugs.
          If i want noise, I go to a kindergarten: that’s insane noise.

        • DaveW (@dmw) said on 9th May 2014, 14:47

          The entire idea of make it louder must come from people who have not been to a GP, or those who must have worked on an aircraft carrier or an offshore oil rig, i.e., nerve damage victims. Even with the new engines, the volume is more than enough to cause temporary hearing damage.

          In any case people are confusing the quality of the sound with the volume. People don’t like the turbo noises, so how is making a louder turbo noise going to help? It’s like saying if you hate your neighbor playing terrible American dubstep all night you should tell him to turn it up.

  17. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 8th May 2014, 23:02

    Reads headline… *long SIGH* followed by *facepalm*

  18. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 9th May 2014, 1:37

    So people complain about the engines being too quiet, then complain even louder when they try to fix it. Good god.

  19. Robert said on 9th May 2014, 3:56

    it’s as fake as DRS but it’s best thing i’ve heard since…. well I guess since the last time I was at a race – which would have been last year – obviously! Thank you so much Merc for being so far ahead in the standings that you can pay it forward!!

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