Vettel and Button at odds over engine noise

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button have differing views on the changed sound of Formula One in 2014:


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Sebastian Vettel sounds off about quieter F1 engine noise (The Guardian)

“It is shit. I was on the pitwall during the race, and it is quieter than in a bar! I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular – and the sound is one of the most important things.”

Button dismisses criticism of F1 (Autosport)

“‘Go and race something else if you are not happy,’ said Button in the wake of strong criticism from Sebastian Vettel on the noise of the new engines.”

Mercedes director Paddy Lowe tells F1 fans to get used to the sound of silent engines (The Mirror)

“People will become used to it and like it – it will be the new sound of Formula One.”

McLaren confident of more podium places in Malaysia (Reuters)

Button: “This is a high-speed circuit compared to Melbourne. That’s an area where we’re not at our strongest so that does hurt us a little bit.”

Sebastian Vettel: Ricciardo disqualification affair is “bad for the sport” (James Allen on F1)

“We need to see where the appeal goes, but if you look at the sport itself it’s always bad when these kinds of things happen.”

Sergio Perez Q&A: No repeats of Melbourne qualifying (F1)

“There were some irritations. And there were issues with the radio, which nowadays almost comes close to a death sentence.”

Alonso still has faith in team (Sky)

“If we approach this weekend thinking we will win the race like we did in 2012 this would certainly be optimistic – but why not, this is Formula One, but I think what we say in 2012 we will see one time in life.”

MH370 Disaster may ‘distract’ fans from Buying Tickets says Malaysian GP Organisers (Isportconnect)

“The organisers of the Malaysian GP are targeting 90,000 tickets for Sundays race but they have sold just over 60% so far.”

Red Bull’s fuel flow appeal (MotorSport)

“What if that fuel flow limit were abolished but the requirement of using no more than 100kg in the race retained? Potentially it would allow you to run maps that could take full advantage of the 15,000rpm limit in qualifying, with appropriately mega boost. We would probably be looking at genuinely 1000bhp combined engine/ERS in qualifying.”

F1 noise row: The reasons why sound is so important in sport (Metro)

Professor David Hendy: “During some of the swimming events at [the] London 2012 [Olympic Games], many of the competitors walked into the arena with personal stereos and earphones on. They used music to become focused, to cut out the sound of everyone else around them. Some people in the crowd reacted badly to this, complaining that these competitors were being rude, ignoring them. The swimmers had made the error of thinking the event was for them, instead of for the crowd.”

Malaysian Grand Prix Betting: Technical Issues Threaten Mercedes (Unibet)

My Malaysian Grand Prix preview for Unibet.



Toyota say the TS040 Hybrid, their LMP1 World Endurance Championship contender revealed yesterday, will have up to 1,000PS (984bhp). More pictures and video of it here:

Comment of the day

@Swindle94 hopes Lotus’s loss of form is temporary.

I really hope Lotus can become competitive this season for Grosjean’s sake. He’s had his ups and downs, but he proved what he can do during the second half of last season.

I just want to see him be able to show his raw pace some time this year, because watching Grosjean on the the limit is a joy.

From the forum

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If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Tony Brise was born on this day in 1952.

Brise looked set for a bright future in F1 when Graham Hill took his under his wing at his own team. Brise showed a good turn of speed and claime a point at the Swedish Grand Prix in 1975.

Tragically, he and his mentor were killed along with four other members of the team in November that year when Hill’s plane went down.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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97 comments on “Vettel and Button at odds over engine noise”

  1. Just add weight to the car minimum, require speakers, and amplify the noise. Problem solved! I also think underbody lights should be required, along with rim spinners. Why is there so much controversy when the solution is staring us in the face whenever a POS honda civic drives past?

    1. Haha, fix F1 with back boxes. Best idea yet.
      Or how about we just concentrate on the racing, I thought that’s what Formula 1 was really about.

      1. Or how about we just concentrate on the racing, I thought that’s what Formula 1 was really about.

        And the technology of course.

        For me, if they could produce a pure electric F1 car with the range and power output, why not? Push the limits, guys, and be glad you have less chance of hearing damage in the future. You may even be able to race without earplugs, soon, and have conversations with the guy you are passing on the track.

    2. I remember a house party where my metal band used to practice that someone drove his Harley into the living room and we put it though an octaver box through the PA. It was pure evil! :-D

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th March 2014, 0:17

    The Endurance cars are a combination between a F1 in the center and a modern bus on the sides. Weird shape, but good to see how powerful they are!!

    And about the noise in F1… well it seems this wrangle will never end.

  3. Alonso’s optimism baffles me; although in all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave up on Ferrari altogether and moved to McLaren or something.

    1. mclaren already has its superstar :D

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        28th March 2014, 11:58

        @gunusugeh – So you don’t reckon Alonso will be an improvement on Button?

        1. He wasn’t talking about Button….

  4. I’m in 2 minds- I like that Vettel spoke so plainly and actually spoke his mind. I like hearing a driver use non-PR speak, and swearing is about as non-PR as it gets. But at the same time I agree with Button- criticising the engines does no good and makes no difference. They sound how they’re going to sound. It won’t change, and although I appreciate that there is an emotional link that people have with the engine sound, the racing and continuation of the series is more important. There are some things where heaping on the criticism, especially so strongly, is good. But those are things which can and should be changed, like DRS and more importantly super-mega-bonus-round. The engine noise can’t realistically be changed for the sake of it- and if it could be, should it? Isn’t that just incredibly artificial? Vettel joining in the decrying of engine noises makes him sound as petulant as Ecclestone to me.

    1. It just feels like Vettel wouldn’t be making such criticism if he had just won in Melbourne by 30 seconds.

      1. I think you’re doing him a bit of an injustice there. He’s had plenty to say on other aspects of the cars / racing / sport (a lot of it negative) when he was utterly crushing the opposition… so don’t be overly surprised if it’s how he really feels about the cars.

        1. Criticizing Vettel is the official sport ’round these comments.

      2. maarten.f1 (@)
        28th March 2014, 5:32

        True, because he wouldn’t have been sitting on the pit wall listening to the cars coming by.

    2. Button was having a go at Vettel, and sounds like bitterness to me. He had a similar opinion to Vettel in Melbourne, and honestly said the cars sound “a bit horrible”.
      I don’t think they need to be loud, those days are gone, but they could certainly sound better.
      What would be awesome as a support event, is a historic F1 race lol.

      1. I don’t think they need to be loud, those days are gone

        That sounds reasonable. If Button indeed admitted that they sound “a bit horrible”, that seems like a reasonable observation.

        I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular – and the sound is one of the most important things

        That sounds like hyperbole though, and too strongly reinforces some of the more overly outrageous criticism we’ve heard .

        1. I think Vettel is absolutely right. And I am one of the people for whom the sound IS one of the most important things. I think Button may be trying to score some bonus points by saying that.

    3. Button has just earned one more supporter here.

      1. Magnussen is faster than Button

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          28th March 2014, 5:16

          It’s only been 1 race. I’d reserve my judgement at least up until Spa.

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      28th March 2014, 1:27

      Couldn’t have said it better myself @matt90

    5. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      28th March 2014, 1:34


    6. I always saw Button as a gentleman. But lately the a5s licking to Denis its looking desperate. He should worry less about where Vettel races and focus on himself. Where is he racing next year. Jensen doesn’t have a contract for next year. And of course first half of the season he will better than Kevin. But if Kevin is better on second half Jensen will be looking for a ride. And i dont see where in the grid will he be. Maybe will join Weber in LeMans. Maybe Toyota will give a ride to Botton and his Girlfriend.

      1. Button is 2 faced, likes to play the dubious pretentious PR game in the cameras but is a toss behind them.
        This guy is bitter and envious of Vettel and seems like he is taking out some of his frustration on Vettel, cheap shot.
        Button’s old dog legs are slowing.

        1. Have you met and spoken to Jenson? No i doubt it, well i have and he is an absolute gent. You obviously don’t like the guy from your comments. The guy is also a WC and if that’s his opinion so be it. Like anything in life if you don’t like it go watch/do /work somewhere else

          1. Yes your right like everything in life if you don’t agree with other people’s free right to their own opinion than as you say go watch and do something else.
            Bye Bye from F1.

            Vettel was just exercising his free right to express what he felt.
            Oh and Vettel is 4 X WORLD CHAMPION !!
            Something which really gets Button jealous and frustrated, he lashed out at Vettel which is a sign of failure. Poor Button.

        2. @howard Please shut up. Three years I’ve been reading comments on this site and this is by far the biggest load of drivel I’ve ever seen.

          1. Please don’t tell others to shut up it’s rude and poor manners.

    7. What, so Vettel has to agree with absolutely everything F1 says/does/sounds like in order to qualifiy to drive one of the cars? Bit of a long bow there Jense. I don’t like how they sound either but I’m not going to turn off for good & watch something else instead just because of that. Vettel is entitled to his opinion (and a refreshingly honest one at that) and frankly the critcism coming from someone who does little other than whinge over the radio to his team is a bit much.

    8. Is Jenson also telling the fans/viewers to go watch some other race if they don’t like the new formula?

    9. I’m starting to like Vettel as a person, but still don’t care much for him as a driver (in a fan-sense, I’m very much convinced of his ability) and despite not agreeing with his opinion, I’m glad he’s more upfront about it than most.

      Meanwhile, while it’s Button’s opinion I agree with, the ‘IF YOU DON’T LIKE AMERICA F1 YOU CAN GIIIIT OOOOUT’ reasoning isn’t exactly a wonder of an argument..

      1. It’s less Vettel not liking it, it’s more stirring up something so strongly which the drivers should be making sound more inconsequential. F1 is getting enough flak for the noise, and saying that the fans are being let down is only going to generate more negative opinion about something which can’t be changed. Saying the fans should be disappointed about something they should actually be disappointed about would be more constructive.

    10. “The engine noise can’t realistically be changed for the sake of it”

      Letting them rev to the max would be a start, but then neither fuel limit nor crap tires will allow that.

      1. There is no max (except tossing cylinders) and the engines were not designed and tested for higher revs. In my opinion the rev limit should not have been decreased along with the introduction of turbos but it is too late now.

      2. The rev limit is there for a reason.

        1. @matt90

          Its not the rev limit at 15k, its the fact that the cars are short shifted all the time not even using those 15k. partly to save fuel, but also because the engines are tuned in for high low end torque due to the strict fuel limit rules.

          With less strict fuel limits team would shift the revs up again, so the engine noise can actually be changed somewhat with fairly little effort.

          1. That certainly can’t be changed this season though. It’s so fundamental to the design of the engines that it would be hugely unfair to whichever engine best deals with balancing performance and economy.

        2. Please clarify what “reason”. It is widely reported that teams either can’t or don’t get anywhere near 15,000 rpm — fuel flow and reliability seem to be quoted most often, and apparently there’s more than enough torque at 12-12.5k.
          I personally believe that the fuel flow limit should be abolished (not total consumption over the race.) It would lead to more advanced development, spice up qualifying times and give more opportunities for overtaking — maybe even allow DRS to be eliminated. And when you look at the numbers from Ricciardo’s appeal (0.25% “excess”, while the manufacturer says that they’re only accurate to that degree in 92% of the FIA approved sensors) it makes the politics of F1 look like something out of Kim Jong-un’s rule book.

  5. Have to agree with JB on this one. Whilst the sound is partially important, I’d much rather see close and/or exciting racing than hear it. It still amazes me that this is the issue that continues to come out, when there are more pressing matters.

    F1 needs to be relevant to motoring, and this will help it to continue that pursuit. Sure it’s not perfect at the moment, but I can’t think of a time when it ever really was for whatever reason. I’m sure things like the sound of the engines, DRS and double points won’t last, but then there will probably be something else instead!

    1. Have to agree with JB on this one.

      No. It’s the other way around, Mr JB: “You Go and race something else if you WANT quieter engines”. This is F1 , and not trolley racing. For all those why love quiet racing: Go try cycling, doesnt make much noise, …go and watch or race that! Go away!

      1. I never really understood the fascination with noise. It was not just loud, it was ear damaging. I bet 90% of the people wore ear protection during the events, and unless you have pretty good ear plugs, that totally changes what you hear. In fact, TV wise, I prefer the new sound; the low frequencies are not drowned so much by the annoying commentators, who usually speak in higher frequencies, competing with the old engine screams for space (though the best was watching f1 from Vietnam – no commentary; only engine and radio sounds throughout the whole race!).

      2. Erm, @maksutov, we already have quieter engines, do why would JB leave if we already have what he wants?

        1. just leave, go away.. go watch cycling! lol You can hear the wheels turn there and people puffing and falling and talking all you like there.

      3. So there’s the 2 extremes and that’s it? Maybe you should only watch drag racing then if you want loud engines.

        1. if you are referring to me, I already do. Amongst many others.

    2. Thing is, there was nothing in the first race of the year that was any more exciting than what we saw last year. Couple of crashes, sure, a few reliability issues… but aside from that it was one car romping away at the front and everyone else racing in a processional manner (Bottas aside, but that was more down to the wet qualifying putting him out of position).

      Hopefully the second race will be better.

      1. Between the commercials and the full screen placards the little bit of the race I actually saw seemed different to your version,we knew Ros was out front but hardly saw him, saw quite a bit of side by side around bends and the usual DRS stuff, but if you were there you probably had a better view than me.

    3. Paul Sainsbury
      28th March 2014, 11:34

      Why does F1 need to be relevant to road cars? To e is should be irrelevant. We have touring cars after all………

      1. You’re aware a lot of the tech and engineering in touring cars started out in F1 right?

        1. Paul Sainsbury
          28th March 2014, 14:24

          But what’s your point?

      2. If it isn’t then companies won’t be interested in making the engines. I agree that endurance racing (although not especially touring cars) is far more road relevant. But that doesn’t mean that F1 should completely forgo road relevancy- if it does the series will die.

  6. JB earned a fan today.
    And Vettel is doing the Red Bull PR: complain about everything until they get their way.
    If he had won in Melbourne i doubt his words would be that harsh.

  7. FUNNY !
    regading the whole sound issue, if you go to the OFFICIAL F1 site they have an intro with a loud sound lol, maybe they should updated to the new whizzing/moaning sound lol

  8. This is the best article on the noise issue thus far:

    Subscription required unfortunately.

    Pretty much what I said before (got COTD thanks to that).

  9. If you weren’t trackside in Melbourne (I was) you can’t complain about the noise of the cars. Up close they sound amazing. Not as loud overall, but far more complex and interesting. I think the frequency filtering of broadcast tv makes it sound more different than it really is than it did for the v8s.

    On the fuel flow issue, if the flow rate limit is removed, expect grands prix to be like cycling, with a pack circulating slowly for most of the race until someone turns it up and makes a break late in the race. It would ruin the races.

    1. Sensible and thought-through comment on both the sound and especially fuel flow meter. A breath of fresh air (thinking) around here.

    2. I was at the track, in the stands and in the pits, the cars lack do have a nice note, but lack balls. As I have stated in my previous posts you shouldn’t have to look for the cars coming, you should be able to her them. Don’t hate it, but not a fan.

    3. “On the fuel flow issue, if the flow rate limit is removed, expect grands prix to be like cycling, with a pack circulating slowly for most of the race until someone turns it up and makes a break late in the race. It would ruin the races.”

      On the contrary, there would actually be pedal to the metal for those brief moments instead of 1.5 hours of eco cruise.

      1. On the contrary, there would actually be pedal to the metal for those brief moments instead of 1.5 hours of eco cruise.


  10. Well I disagree with JB.

    “You” go and race something else if you like quieter engines. This is F1 , and not trolley racing. For all those who love quiet racing: Go try cycling, doesnt make much noise. Go and watch or race that.

    1. He doesn’t have to go somewhere else. He’s contracted to F1, and F1 is now on a new chapter. Him leaving is not going to change F1. SV et al can complain all they want…do they think they are going to whine louder than the new power units to the point where the FIA is going to say ‘ok back to last year’s format then?’

      1. Ever heard of sarcasm?

        Of course no one’s gona leave… but if anyone were to leave, it should be the softies. Yes, …you know what I mean.

        1. Turning around somebody’s comment on themselves isn’t really sarcasm.

          1. You lost the plot dude. Too much narcissism is not good for your health.

  11. I have no doubt that I will get used to the new sound of the engines, but at the same time, they don’t sound as impressive as in years past.
    To be honest, there are so many things to complain about in F1, and any other sport for that matter. No matter what sport we watch, we will want something to be different.
    For every one thing that we hate this season, there will be one thing that we love. I guess what I am saying is that as long as we are entertained, that is all that matters really.

  12. Vettel sure didn’t pull any punches with his assessment of the new sound of F1. Nor did Button, for that matter. I’ve read many of the comments and arguments concerning the weak exhaust noise, and I have to say that it surprised me that the survey on this site showed that most were ok with it. Fair enough. For me though, sound is a significant part of the visceral appeal of my favorite sport, and that aspect has been muted big time. Whispering F1 machines just don’t seem right somehow. That said, any attempt to boost the exhaust note artificially would be silly. As has been pointed out by many, I’ll just have to get used to it. My hope for next year is that the FIA and the teams will have another look at the fuel economy runs that have been regulated in for this season. These are supposed to be sprint races after all, and allowing the new engines to actually use their 15000 rpm potential could make for a more robust sound, and probably even some better racing. Meanwhile, of course, there are 18 events left to run this year, and I’m not going to quit watching.

    1. Exactly my thoughts. +1.

  13. I think it is prudent to say
    “With great power (Mercedes) comes great responsibility . ;-)”

  14. Button is WRONG! Vettel is RIGHT!!! The sound of the F1 cars is C%@P!! I was at the Melbourne GP. People were walking out mid way through the race. All you F1 fans out there will be outraged when you attend the GP in your own country and hear the sound ‘live’ at the trackside!!!

    1. What a joke.

    2. Joke’s on you, my county hasn’t has a GP since 1985. Fun fact, in videos, the cars from back then sound more like they do now, than they sounded last year, so I doubt the return of the Dutch GP would come with any critique of the engine sound.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      28th March 2014, 8:16

      Walking out? So people paid for tickets purely to hear loud noises? Why don’t the just go and stand by an airport? You could do that for free whenever you like!

    4. I went to the Melbourne GP on Friday and Sunday, and yes it was a talking point, but I didn’t see anyone leave the track mid-way through the race, let alone anyone I was with was interested in leaving because of the noise.

  15. Go and race something else if you are not happy

    So, Jenson, he cannot give his opinion? why respect only the good words about the engine noises?

    TBH, I didn’t like the whine of the V8s either. It’s impossible to compete with the V10s. But, as I wrote here yesterday, if we’re going to criticise something, better start with more important issues. Like double points or DRS. Engine noises are just the icing on the cup if the rest of the sport is well set up.

    But if there are major problems with it, give it the sound you want, F1 is still ridiculous most of the time.

    1. It’s another case of drivers getting asked about the same thing over and over again by the media. It’s not like Vettel is going around telling anybody how he hates the new engines.
      I agree, I wish they would adress more pressing issues… But when has the media around F1 ever done anything good except for overcomplicating matters for their own agenda?

      1. Sure they are asked about the same topics over and over again, but after having answered this question 5 times, in the same way you may as well as answer it with “whatever, we’ve gotta get used to it” the 6th time… Just like Button and others did……

        Do they love the new sound? Nope. But heck they realize that they are gonna have to get over it….. Vettel on the other hand fails to do this.(as usual)

    2. important issues… and then double points???

      I hate the double points, but its nothing but a regulatory detail that does not affect the races itself, the importance in it lies only in its ridiculousness (and its great with double points) rather than is actual impact.

      Compare that to engines being short shifted for entire races to preserve fuel and tires, the sound is what it is, but when any petrol head can tell the engines are not pushed remotely close to the limit in the “races” in this, the pinnacle of motorsports, then you got a serious issue.

      1. Abu Double is less of a problem than noise?

        1. Yes, it could jeopardize the entire thing.

          F1 is nothing without awesomeness.

          Once I was able to explain to people why F1 was awesome, the screaming of th 20k rpm, the 1000 hp, the ability for a f1 one racer to go upside down and stick to a ceiling at 100 km/h, the pulling of 4 G’s in the corners.

          Most of that is gone.

          1. Half (not most) of that is gone, and has been for 8 years.

          2. @matt90
            You following me around or ? :)

            I cant help that you wont see the painting on the wall and instead choose to take things literal and defend everything, fact is that every item on my list has been down regulated steadily over the last years resulting in the current cruise fest.
            I’m fine that you don’t agree with me, I will just stick with agreeing with such names as Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Button etc.

  16. johnny stick
    28th March 2014, 4:33

    What a great idea: Get rid of the fuel flow restrictions. This will bring back the racing part of F1. Can you imagine 1000 bHp in qualifying trim. What a great sport that would be. Or late in the race, they are all sliding thru the turns with their foot in it! What great fun to watch. One can only dream.

  17. We need to see where the appeal goes, but if you look at the sport itself it’s always bad when these kinds of things happen.

    Vettel sure fits nicely into Red Bull with his flawless logic and hypocrisy. Maybe his team should do something about avoiding making these things happen. I can tell that he is very worried about the sport through everything he did and said in the last few years, especially the way he likes to degrade it in public when something doesn’t suit his team.

  18. Geez, I thought we were past this.

    What the hell are people expecting to do about it? The new engines were the way to go and this is how they sound. Get over it already.

  19. Sebastian’s a dad? wow.

  20. What would be bad for the sport would be if Red Bull’s appeal were successful and Ricciardo reinstated. They, like all other teams, need to follow the rules as they are, not as they would like them to be.

  21. I thought that interview with Perez shows quite a mature race driver, read like he did indeed learn quite a lot from his time at McLaren (with a snipe about a smaller, leaner team being quicker to adapt too). Hope he does indeed gets his car closer to his team mate this time, will be good to be able to compare them more directly.

  22. “Go and race something else”?? Is that Jenson just being immature or is it Jenson trying (yet again) to suck up to FIA? It’s not like Seb invented the idea of “these engines don’t sound exiting at all”, they really don’t and this is a legitimate concern. The drama of a car charging past the podium on the straight is simply gone. Maybe this is how it is has to be in the future but that doesn’t change it from a legitimate concern. To state anything else is just not serious.

    1. Just as you have your opinion, why are the only options for JB’s opinion that he must be either immature, or sucking up?

      Sure the sound is obviously a legitimate concern…to some. But only to some. Your opinion is the drama is gone. Not everyone agrees with you.

      The horse has left the barn. F1 has made it’s decision, the process toward this format started 2 or 3 years ago, and this is now the product, so based on F1’s conscious effort toward this direction the viewership will be what it will be. If for some the new sound is not acceptable they will stop watching. I’d bet my house they aren’t about to go backwards to V-8’s, 10’s, or 12’s.

  23. I’m fairly sure that Seb Vettel would like the engine noise more if he could hear it for more than a handful of laps at a time.

  24. Seb did go even further in more recent comments, he said he’d rather have V12 engines and no batteries, because batteries are for cell phones :P

    1. And you know what i remember interview Button did a few years back, he said he would choose V12 engines if he could for F1.

      Just LOL @ Button.

      He is having a cheap shot at Vettel.

      When you are 4X WC than obviously you are a target.

Comments are closed.