New louder exhaust “didn’t work” – Rosberg

2014 F1 season

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.

2014 F1 season

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Image via Miquel Liso on Twitter

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

  1. Prateek727 (@prateek727) said on 14th May 2014, 21:26

    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.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 14th May 2014, 21:49

      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.

      • Prateek727 (@prateek727) said on 15th May 2014, 5:45

        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.

        • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2014, 18:24

          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.

      • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 15th May 2014, 9:32

        @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.

        • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2014, 18:33

          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.

  2. tvm (@) said on 14th May 2014, 21:34

    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.

    • megatron said on 14th May 2014, 22:01

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

      • tvm (@) said on 14th May 2014, 22:06

        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?

      • tvm (@) said on 14th May 2014, 22:08

        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.

      • kpcart said on 15th May 2014, 12:22

        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

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 14th May 2014, 22:24

      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.

      • tvm (@) said on 15th May 2014, 1:48

        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.

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 15th May 2014, 6:30

          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.

          • tvm (@) said on 15th May 2014, 7:32


            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)

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 15th May 2014, 8:28

          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.

    • faulpelz said on 15th May 2014, 12:49

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

  3. G Breese (@breesegp) said on 14th May 2014, 21:39

    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…

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th May 2014, 1:27

      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.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th May 2014, 1:42

        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.

  4. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 14th May 2014, 22:46

    It isn’t nice part…

  5. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 14th May 2014, 22:48

    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.

  6. Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 15th May 2014, 0:15

    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. :)

    • John H (@john-h) said on 15th May 2014, 8:46

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

    • Schlawiner (@bebilou) said on 15th May 2014, 12:22

      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.

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 15th May 2014, 18:40

        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.

        • Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 15th May 2014, 20:35

          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

          • megatron said on 16th May 2014, 20:22

            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.

  7. maxthecat said on 15th May 2014, 0:15

    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.

  8. AldoH said on 15th May 2014, 1:04

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

  9. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 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.

  10. DaveD (@daved) said on 15th May 2014, 5:49

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

  11. Ibrahim (@ibrahim) said on 15th May 2014, 7:31

    There should be a new poll taken of people that have actually been at races this year and their opinion on the noise. And off topic, but what the heck is with all the rave reviews of the Spanish GP? The most boring race I have seen in ages, yes, Rosberg began to catch up at the end, but it isn’t like he was able to even make a single move on Ham, he just caught up. In no way resembles Bahrain race and I was sickened to hear Crofty keep lamenting on the fact that “he we are, just like in Bahrain”.

  12. TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 15th May 2014, 8:18

    Is Mercedes pulling a fast one? Maybe they are “testing” something for a different reason and the “improved sound effects” story is a smokescreen. Maybe a useful story if other more important parts were being tested?

    Can anyone think of a reason for making the narrow part of the end of the exhaust shorter? Does this give any possible performance gain? Could they be trying to tune the resonant frequency of the tail pipe (as in 2-stroke motorcycle engines)?

    I don’t know – but as many above have said, it seems like a ridiculous waste of resources. F1 teams don’t do that, as a rule.

    The only other idea that seemed reasonable was from @hohum – it could be the work of an apprentice.

    Maybe I’m just paranoid.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th May 2014, 12:26

      Yes you are being paranoid. This is a Strategy Group initiative not a Mercedes one. Renault has said they are on board too in working toward possible solutions to appease those who are bothered by the current sound.

      Also keep in mind it is imho highly unlikely a team could just add such a thing as Merc have without breaking the regs, so I think it likely the teams have been asked to look into this issue and they have the green flag to, I envision quite passively, try a few things just to see.

      • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 15th May 2014, 12:45

        @robbie Having read a bit more about it, I think you’re right. Shame though.
        What astonishes me is how seriously some people take the sound issue. Having spent quite a bit of time at drag racing, F1 has always sounded tame to me. And these days I only watch on tv, so sound volume is irrelevant. Indeed I haven’t been to a live race since the nineties, don’t miss it. For me, F1 is about skill, intelligence, management, information, design, bravery – not sound.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th May 2014, 12:58

          @tribaltalker I’m with you on the sound too. It hasn’t bothered me in the least and I’ve been a fan since Gilles entry into F1 brought television coverage of F1 to Canada in 78/79.

          I always found too that half the time the director hasn’t coordinated the sound we are hearing with the car that has just come into view on our TVs anyway, so I’m convinced that they could do a lot better at micking the cars’ engine compartments as well as coordinating things in the television trucks.

  13. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 15th May 2014, 8:19

    LOLOL! they can’t be serious. C’mon those who have complained big time like myself have accepted the sound and am looking at racing by now. I think a person by the name of JT just wants to jerk the fans. Maybe getting rid of JT is a much better solution than altering the sound? There are more serious issues to take care of JT! unless fans are turning off their TVs and trackside fans have dropped drastically? Spain seems like full house I thought.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th May 2014, 13:01

      In fairness to JT you will see in Keith’s next round-up that JT opines this issue will go away on it’s own. The initiative to try to change the sound or amplify it is coming from the Strategy Group.

  14. gzegzolek (@gzegzolek) said on 15th May 2014, 8:35
    Listen to this video and this is a shame that Gp2 makes some nice nose while F1 cars sound like crying dogs!!!

    • Ibrahim (@ibrahim) said on 15th May 2014, 8:58

      Ha, yes! Exactly. How can anyone defend this? Would you rather see a souped up prius race or a aston vantage v12? Yes, the prius is more advanced, yes, the prius is relevant to our modern society. Come on!! I can accept the new sound because I HAVE to, but I am not going to say it is better or any such nonsense or be happy with it. And for the same person who keeps posting about “now I can safely take my young children to F1, but not if they make it loud again”, well boo-hoo, ever heard of ear protectors mate?

      • JackJ said on 15th May 2014, 16:05

        Easy. We don’t care about the sound. The racing is what matters.

      • megatron said on 16th May 2014, 20:28

        You should also give ear protectors to kids in the current season or didn´t you attend a live race this year and kepp talking about F1 noise of this years cars like the blind talking of the colour?

  15. gzegzolek (@gzegzolek) said on 15th May 2014, 8:55

    This is so wrong about this fuel saving and this low rmp because fuel saving.
    Instead of 100kg fuel per race, teams could use mixer of 100kg normal fuel and for example some alcohols methanol ethalon or gases like proban butane methan. This is ecology not this Lition-ion batteries which maybe are change for every race and go to trash and pollute the environment.
    When methan or ethanol is burned the only trash is CO2 which isnot BED gas because every tree likes it needs it. They (trees and every plant) dont need for live old lition-ion battteries. And alcohol can be obtain from a lot of plants.

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