Mercedes exhaust test, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

New louder exhaust “didn’t work” – Rosberg

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mercedes exhaust test, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Nico Rosberg says the new exhaust tried by Mercedes which was intended to amplify the volume of the V6 turbo engines “didn’t work”.

Mercedes ran a wider exhaust on their car during today’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya in an attempt to address criticism that the new engines are too quiet.

“We tried the new exhaust today, just as a team we want to do good for the sport,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t a great solution, it just didn’t work, it didn’t make it much louder.

“So we’ll just have to try for another solution, we’ll try pushing.”

Rosberg covered 102 laps of the track and ended the day with the second-fastest time.

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Image via Miquel Liso on Twitter

157 comments on “New louder exhaust “didn’t work” – Rosberg”

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  1. Watching the few videos on YouTube of this thing at work make it seem like, if anything, it makes it sound worse. People will stop whining about the sound once FOM put an amplifier on the broadcast feed and get it over with.

    1. And stop watching videos recorded from half a mile away on a smartphone :-P

      1. Those kind of videos gave us a pretty accurate measure of how the cars would sound back during testing. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work again.

  2. Quite frankly I did’nt think they were stupid enough to believe that it would. This was just a publicity stunt

  3. Having sat trackside at turn 2 on Saturday and Sunday, I foresaw F1 in 2020, where families had free trackside picnics, chatting and listening to local bands, while silent, electric powered F1 cars ambled past during a 2 hour long economy run.
    After loving the sound and fury of Spa and Monza in 2012, I flew half way across the world to listen to …. well not much really.
    Will be very suprised if fans dont vote with their feet in the next year or two, as the visceral thrill that was F1 has gone.
    IMHO, if you are planning a trip to a race later this year, consider Monaco, but otherwise try NASCAR.

  4. This must be a practical joke. Mercedes has got some spare time. By the way, such a trumpet won´t create nothing. It´s just ridiculous and shows which level the “sound debate” has reached!
    Mercedes better should change their firing order again, to Jerez level, their engine sounds like a muted Panoz car.

    By the way, the Lotus-Renault had a different tone today, due to new motormapping?
    Anyway, Ferrari and Renault engine sound OK to me. Loud enough.
    FOM still better should watch out for the quality of TV broadcast as the sound on many amateur videos still is much better tha on the official FOM coverage…on purpose???

    1. Maybe they should try adding a megatron to the exhaust.

    2. the sound on many amateur videos still is much better

      Because the microphones on amateur video devices tend to be lower quality than the broadcast equipment.
      As such you tend to get far more noise distortion recording on things like mobile phones & a lot of other handheld cameras used by fans & that tends to make things seem more raw & in many cases louder than they actually are.

      The sound you hear through the broadcast mic’s used by FOM tends to be a lot closer to how things actually sound than what you hear from fan made recordings unless the fan is recording the footage with a mid/high-end camera.

  5. They should put it on the front.

  6. F1 as a spectacle is no more. These hybrid engines are never going to make a proper racing sound and they are in no way comparable to the eighties turbo. There has been some good racing this year though which may save a mass TV audience from switching off.

  7. A lot of people have said noise doesn’t matter. It does to me. In fact, I’ve spoken to people who have regularly gone to Grands Prix as neutrals for years and said they wouldn’t go next year because the atmosphere just isn’t the same. And it isn’t. I was at the GP in Barcelona and when the GP2 cars were louder it was extremely disappointing and a little bit sad.

    As a long time fan, the noise won’t stop my passion for F1, but it’s another thing that isn’t enticing new people to watch or neutrals to keep watching.

    1. Exactly Jarnoo. I think for TV audiences it’s even worse…the lack of spectacle. It’s like watching formula three. I went to a few Grand Prix myself in the Eighties and those cars with wide tyres and wide chassis were awesome and turbos that certainly made a good sound.

    2. …and I`ve met many people up to now being in Melbourne or Malaysia who say the opposite, they like to hear tires squeal, crowds cheer and now they can take also their children near the racetrack. Newcomers wouldn´t mind as they never heard the V8. And the cars noise is still representative to F1, like it was in the eighties.

    3. I agree with @jarnooo. It matters to me & it mattered to pretty much everyone I spoke to in our favourite bar in Montmelo after each day’s practise/qualifying/racing. I have a greater appreciation of the technical changes that have led to much quieter engines, but my wife commented that the ‘wow’ factor has been diluted for her & remarked how much better the GP2 cars sounded. She still had a great weekend due to the great vibe at the track, strong supporting GP2/GP3 races (amazing how few people bother to turn up to see these series) and having Lewis, Jenson & Max give us & our Union Jack a wave on the parade lap, but I worry that she and others may be a bit less enthused to attend races in the future?

      The number of empty seats in Barcelona was worrying : Stand A on Turn 2 was no more than half full and there were no others in our row or the row behind until others seated further back moved forwards, and there did not seem to be that many people on the grass banks opposite. Some of the other stands were far from full & it would be interesting to know how the attendance compares to recent post-financial crisis years.

      1. Honestly, I’m surprised that anyone living in Spain can afford to go to a F1GP.

  8. If they pinch the exhaust rather than expanding it I’m sure the cars would make a really loud sound…once!

    1. @robbie LMAO!!! I almost missed this one, brilliant :)

  9. Why not just add a vuvuzela to the back end if you want it louder? This is a ridiculous farce and I hope this pathetic scene shocks or shames the noise-dissidents into silence.

  10. Just stop the silly regulations and lose the rev limit and fuel flow limits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It saddens me greatly to see my favorite sport ruined and I for one won’t spend a dime until the sport sorts itself out.

  11. Hands up, how many people decrying the attempts to improve the sound as ‘artificial’ also disagree with changing the aero regulations to make the finger noses go away? Both scenarios involve the ‘artificial’ modification of something that has emerged as a consequence of teams working within the rules.

    1. My hand is up and I think I’m in good company. I also wish today’s WEC cars all looked like the XJR-14 , but I know that people in hell want ice-water too.

      In any case, if you look at the results of the races, you will see that the finger-nose cars are not doing so hot anyway, a fact that has received little notice thus far. So I expect McLaren, F1, etc., to ditch that design next year.

      1. That’s hardly the point though. It’s merely coincidental that the less aesthetic engineering solutions don’t seem to be working as well and may soon phase themselves out. (A fact which the performance of Red Bull and recent resurgence of Lotus disputes to some extent).

        It’s okay if you prefer the new sound, but characterizing any attempt to change the sound as artificial while simultaneously asking for regulations that don’t make the cars look fugly is a monumental exercise in hypocrisy.

        1. Well, I’m not asking to change the look of the cars for aesthetics. I can’t speak for others, but I think many agree with me. And I’m not sure that hypocrisy is monumental. The sound of an F1 car now is a sound of a car engine. Just one some people don’t rate. The finger noses tend to shock the conscience and have no precedent or analogue. These are different things and you don’t have accept some kind of formalistic approach to aesthetics to have a valid point.

      2. @dmw A bit offtopic, but I think the nose solutions depend on balancing the downforce between the front and rear of the car. Using a high nose (with finger) provides more airflow to the cars floor and diffuser, giving higher rear downforce. But using a more ‘conventional’ nose such as Mercedes and Ferrari have gives more downforce at the front. So it could be that Merc and Ferrari have sufficient rear downforce from the floor, bodywork etc, that they need more on the front to balance, hence not adopting the finger nose solution. It would make sense to me that the cars with inherently high rear downforce would be amongst the fastest on the grid (power units aside) – therefore making it seem like the finger-nose concept is a weakness for other teams, where it could actually just be trying to compensate for lower rear downforce.

        The exception is Redbull, which despite clearly having high overall downforce uses a variation of the finger nose (or high-nose) solution. That doesn’t really fit with my theory, but as we know aero design depends on the overall aero concept so I doubt they would change to the low nose design without radically overhauling the whole car (probably not within this season).

        Ofc it was also mentioned (by a Caterham engineer in one of Ted Kravitz’s pre-season notebook sessions I think) that the nose is not the most performance sensitive area of the car which is why so many different concepts have been adopted by different teams to suit their particular aero profile.

        1. Williams also have what I’ll call a nacelle nose. It’s not trying to lift the nose and maximize airflow to the splitter, but it’s also not trying to create downforce on the nose. I’m not sure what it’s doing. But it makes sense that teams with this nose are confident in rear DF. This may also by why the Ferrari looks like it’s drifing in the corners—too much front DF and a failure to deliver rear DF.

  12. You guys can make all the fun of it you want, it is ridiculous of course, but the bigger issue is that the f1 series are in crisis, its feeder series even overlaps the lap times and races are utterly unexciting, the sound of engines being short shifted and coasted through corners does register with anyone with just a little bit of gasoline in the blood.

    The engines are to regulated to 15k RPM but the reality is that because of the fuel limits engines are shifted at below 12k even in qualification, and never see anything near 15k. In races they are kept even lower than that, like the sound or not, loud or not, its not the sound of mechanics being pushed to the limit.

    Because it isn’t pushed.

    You can do your “strategy is part of racing” and “road relevance” all day long, the bottom line is that F1 aren’t proper racing at present.

    1. You missed the Bahrain and Barcelone GP, didn´t you?

      1. I saw the Bahrain which was an exception, Barcelona was just another eco cruise fest apart from a few laps at then end.

        With all the talk about budget caps, drivers left and right complaining about not being able to race properly but instead having to drive delta’s, the fact that GP2 overlaps F1 track times, and the complains about noise, McLaren of all teams still not having a title sponsor….

        But you think all is fine and dandy?

      2. Note: I did see most of the Barcelona but literally dosed of in the middle part, re-seeing the recording revealed nothing but a few really really quick pit stops.

        Isn’t it really amazing that they can change tires in just 2 seconds… crazy I tell you.

      3. Barcelona was crap. 2 cars battling at the end would be great if it wasn’t such a 2 tier series it is now. rosberg would only have passed with fake racing drs anyway, wow how exciting

    2. Revs does not equal “pushing,” not with turbos. And if there was not a fuel limit, there would be a boost pressure limit (pop-off valves, whatever), because we cannot have 2000bhp F1 cars. We just can’t.

      And what was so cool about the high-revs of the older engine—it was a sign that they lacked torque. They had to be revved to massive speeds to make any power. How can F1 be the pinnacle of racing when the engines have the torque of a non-reflashed VW GTI? Because they are loud?

      There are road cars with 500bph built to run tens of thousands of miles without serious maintenance. That is not a technical challenge to make an engine do 750bph and last only a few hundred miles. F1 is now doing relevant, technically advanced drivetrains, finally. Let’s embrace it.

      1. Had two turbo cars and tweaked them real good including bigger turbos, not much you teach me about it; and pushing to the limit -always- means getting max revs, turbo or not, pushing 2 bars into and engine at 15k vs 10k will give you 50% more air going through it. Then just have a turbo that fits the revs and that will give you both torque and HP. Problem is it would suck too much fuel and the 100L/H kicks in, thats why manufactures kept the revs down.

        If you want road relevance your should wake up and smell the roses, road relevance today means E-Cars, thats where we are going with perhaps a small range extender non drive train connected ICE unit.

        I’m not embracing a racing series that call for short shifting and lift & coast -ever- be it for saving tires or for saving fuel, this is racing not eco-challenge, it can be road relevant all it want, be it a 3 cylinder, 1000ccm range extender ICS but i better well be pushed all the way to the limit or it ain’t racing.

        1. I’m not embracing a racing series that call for short shifting and lift & coast -ever- be it for saving tires or for saving fuel, this is racing not eco-challenge

          F1 has always called for short shifting and lift and coast. Teams never wanted to be carrying more fuel than needed, so would always put in less fuel than needed for flat out racing flag to flag.

          Also, 2 small points. Firstly, even flat out racing does not mean using max revs. It means finding the best performance point for the car and track you are driving. Of the car will rev to 20k but peak power is at 15k, and the fastest way to drive it is to change up at 16k, a reaching driver’s job is tto find that out and do it.

          Also, at a fixed boost (at the manifold), revving at 15k will never give you 50% more air than at 10k. There will always be losses before the air gets into the cylinder. It is unlikely to even be close, even in an F1 engine.

          1. @drmouse

            Your silly, arguing the small details, of course no race of a duration of 1.5 hours are ever going to be flat out 100%, it can get very very close though, with proper tires/fuel allocations.

            You comment on boost does not deserve a comment, you know perfectly well what is meant, if its 48 or 50% is totally meaningless.

            You guys can fool yourself all you want the drivers has spoken against their new driving style of lift and coast and the overwhelming proof of f1 not being proper racing has been served many times by drivers asking for permission over radio to defend/attack on track, not team mates mind you, but outright rivals.
            (Arguing that drivers has always used lift and coast, please address not with me but with the likes of Lewis Hamilton who among others have spoken about adapting to these new conditions)

        2. You comment on boost does not deserve a comment, you know perfectly well what is meant, if its 48 or 50% is totally meaningless.

          It’s likely to be a lot less than that. In most vehicles, the torque has dropped by more than 10% from peak by the red line, often by more than 20%. However, this was a minor side point tacked on to the end.

          You guys can fool yourself all you want the drivers has spoken against their new driving style of lift and coast

          There may be more of it now, but my point was that fuel and tyre conservation has always been an important part of racing. I suspect that the emphasis on it now has more to do with how damn good the cars are now.

          Also, we have seen less conservative driving so far this season than we did last season. Less lift and coast, less tyre conservation, more overtaking and more aggressive driving. So the new regulations and new cars are a step in the right direction, even by your own argument. Granted, last season is hardly a stand out example of F1 at it’s peak, but an improvement is still an improvement.

    3. I totally agree. Sad things happen these days in F1.

  13. It certainly seems as though Mercedes are trying their hardest to appeal to the fans of the sport this season, perhaps to make their domination more palatable to those who aren’t fans of the team. Clearly a solution like this was always going to look ridiculous, but by trying it they appease the section of fans crying out for louder engines, while not alienating those who support the current sound of f1, and it certainly stands out at the moment that they are the only team actively trying to find a solution to the noise issue.
    They also achieve this by allowing their drivers to race (for now), they’re trying to become the ‘good guys’ of f1, and in doing so I guess they’re hoping to prolong the period before the FIA choose to end their domination…

    1. I may be wrong, but in fairness I am not so sure this is a Mercedes initiative. I went back to Keith’s article on May 8th and it doesn’t really say whose idea this was, but it does imply Formula One team(s) are looking into this. ie. ‘Mercedes are testing…’ does not mean Mercedes are trying to appease anyone. I suspect they and other teams have been asked to just look into the issue a bit. Sure maybe F1 is trying to at least appear to appease some naysayers, but I don’t know that it was Merc themselves that went to F1 and said ‘we want to try this.’

      Merc I’m wondering, would likely have needed permission to do this as surely there is no provision for this add-on in the official 2014 regs, so to me it makes more sense if F1 went to teams and said ‘please try some things…show us what you have in mind…we’ll likely ok it for the post-Spain test’. Something in the quotes of NR comes off as light-hearted to me vs. if they were actually trying an official Mercedes upgrade where he wouldn’t just be saying in public ‘oh well, scrap that, we’ll try something different’.

      As to appealing to fans, they are already doing that by showing us racing. They are after all racers. We’ll see if the ‘for now’ comes. But they certainly will have no control over whether or not FIA will end their domination, but I’m sure that will only come if/when their domination hurts the ratings. And I’ll gladly take 4 seasons of Bahrain and Spain-like racing any day.

      1. Yeah so I see now within Keith’s new round-up regarding Vettel’s chassis, a link to verbiage about Renault backing the Strategy Groups’ efforts to solve the noise issue.

  14. It isn’t nice part…

  15. I suspect Merc gave their engineers a design brief to come up with something so ridiculous that any discussion on changing the exhaust be ended very quickly.

    I sense some engineers are getting a bonus this year.

    1. Or possibly a project for the new apprentice to demonstrate his fabrication and welding skills.

  16. As a dinosaur, I am entitled to point out that this is always the way with changes in F1 regulations regarding engine type. Way back at the beginning of the sixties the 1.5 litre formula was rubbished as being too Mickey Mouse to provide excitement. It was ironic, therefore, that it ushered in the golden age of F1 racing and provided some of the most innovative and interesting cars F1 has ever seen. If sound is the problem, I would remind you of the days when everyone swooned at the noise of a Ferrari V12 and the harsh crackle of the BRM H-16 (before it went bang, of course). So we’ve become used to the scream of engines that revved to 20,000 and beyond – what of it? I confess that I loved that sound as much as anyone but we will come to accept the deeper and more muted tones of these little V-6s with their bolt-on contraptions. Just give it time and the memory of the screamers will fade, we’ll be in ecstacy at the sound of a Mercedes turbo sucking in great dollops of air and Ferrari’s wee cut-in-half V-12 will induce rapture in the hearts of the tifosi. It’s a new era and, like all new eras, will take a while to be accepted.

    After all, this is probably the last F1 formula for the internal combustion engine and the future holds only the dreaded electric motor. Make hay while the sun shines is my advice. :)

    1. Nice to get the dinosaur perspective on this one @clive-allen . Pleasure to read and I totally agree, time to make hay indeed.

    2. After all, this is probably the last F1 formula for the internal combustion engine and the future holds only the dreaded electric motor. Make hay while the sun shines is my advice. :)

      This is frightnening. But unfortunately it could be true.

      The real big issue -in my opinion- is the fuel flow limit (100 kg per hour). This leads to engines taking 12,000 rpm instead of the 15,000 they are allowed to reach. So I say: get rid of fuel flow limit in 2015 (but keep the 100kg per race) in order to get the revs up, and we will see an improvement.

      1. Don’t worry. Formula E cars have 180hp and drivers have to switch cars in the race. (LOL.) Battery technology, without a Nobel Prize-worthy advance, is not going to completely evict the ICE from a car requiring serious performance or decent range for a good while.

        1. Unfortunately, the FIA is driven not by practicalities but by political expediencies. And it might appeal to them to “force” the development of battery technology by insisting on an electric formula. Think of Formula E as the thin end of the wedge… :D

          1. It won´t be Formula E, but I am absolutely sure the next formula will be inline 4 or V4-engine with an even more dominant hybrid power unit, like Porsche does it at Le Mans. Btw, would have liked to see I4 against V6 in current formula 1, couldn´t have been interesting.

  17. Good, i’m glad because it looked like something out of Wacky races. I don’t see anything can be done without a complete engine redesign. Face it, this was just an effort to appear to be trying something, the noise we have now, is the noise we’ll have for a good few years to come.

  18. Well, after all, Mercedes does NOT go up to 11, then.

  19. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th May 2014, 2:27

    It looks like an engineer just spent five minutes cobbling together a cone out of spare bits of metal at the factory and they stuck it on the car to take the P out of people who are complaining about the noise.

  20. I showed that pic to my girlfriend and she died laughing and said: it looks like a clown car!

    1. I’m sorry for your loss.

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