Lotus in need of power boost – Grosjean

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says Lotus’s biggest shortcoming at the moment is a lack of power.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

‘What we need is power’ – Grosjean (ESPN)

“I think what we need is power and that’s not something that I will feel easily. If you give me 20 horsepower more I will just go quicker on a lap time and I won’t see the difference.”

Ron Walker says F1 must get noisier, sooner (The Sydney Morning Herald)

“Everybody agreed. We’re all in the entertainment business. The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest.”

Ecclestone Says He Expected Half Of F1’s Teams Not To Finish This Year (Forbes)

“I thought everything was going to be worse. I thought the cars were going to be unreliable and I thought half the field would be stopping.”

The Destination Is Domination (McLaren)

“Make no mistake: 2014 is unlikely to be a vintage season, but there’s big-picture thinking going on down at Woking, and, as Ron so persuasively says, the destination is domination.”

Fire and Ice (Ferrari via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Among the best suggestions for yesterday’s Caption Competition were those from FlyingLobster27, OmarR-Pepper,Todfod, Maxthecat, 17th May 2014, 18:49 and Alex McFarlane.

But my favourite was this one from @Robbie:

Luca and a co-conspirator initiate Marco Mattiacci with the old shaving-cream-in-the-headphones gag.


Ferrari have opened a new showroom in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, where F1 is tipped to be racing from 2016.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

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

On this day 45 years ago Graham Hill scored his final grand prix victory at the circuit where he’d eanred the nickname ‘Mr Monaco’.

It was his fifth win in the principality, a feat only bettered by Ayrton Senna.

The other two places on the podium were taken by privateers: Piers Courage was second in a Brabham entered by Frank Williams and Jo Siffert was third in a Rob Walker-run Lotus.

Images © Lotus/LAT, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Ferrari/Rustem Farmen

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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123 comments on “Lotus in need of power boost – Grosjean”

  1. 134 decibels is above the threshold of pain (130dB).

    F1 is plenty loud enough.

    1. If that’s the threshold of pain then my ears are shot because I wasn’t clouds close to being in pain in Barcelona.

      1. Volume drops with distance quite rapidly; the figure quoted is a peak measurement.

        1. There you are… nobody has the head welded to the exhaust

    2. I believe sound level will be roughly inversely proportional to the distance squared.

      1. Exactly proportional in fact ;-)

        1. I wasn’t sure if there was some difference between light and sound due to the differing scales on which they are set @raceprouk, so thanks for that ;)

          1. It’s the inverse square law; it applies to all waves ;-)

          2. From a point source – key element in higher physics questions :P

          3. From a point source with no interfering objects. Like a paved surface, for example.

          4. I’m pretty sure that it’s not that exact for sound. There’s atmospheric pressure, air humidity and things like that. I live below the approach path of an airport, and the noise gets appreciably louder when there’s high humidity, say, on a foggy day.

          5. Can we get a bit more technical please..:-)

          6. I just love a nerd off! My slide-rule is bigger than yours!

    3. @raceprouk – Totally agree. It is highly likely that at some point in the not too distant future, sporting and entertainment venues may come under the purview of regulatory and enforcement bodies governing such things as allowable decibel levels. Since such regulations have been in force for industry for a long time in most countries it only makes sense. I say this as one formerly in the safety industry (including hearing protection) for over 20 years. Various local race tracks have offered free ear plugs at times to any patrons who wanted them.

      The utterly deafening blather spewing from the megaphone mouth of one Mr. Walker is entirely a different matter. No doubt he and others involved are serving their own purposes and don’t really care one whit what the fans think.

      1. @bullmello Maybe we can put a Turbo on Walker’s mouth and some good can come of the recycled hot air?

        1. Just put an exhaust trumpet over his head. At least there’ll be a use for it, and it should work in reverse and make his voice quieter (assuming that’s where he talks out of).

    4. paul sainsbury
      18th May 2014, 9:27

      I was at Barcelona. The only painful thing was being able to hear people laugh at the pathetic sound of the cars.

      1. So be it. What’s the future then, going back to V12s? The whole thing boils down to what F1 should be about, and if we all agree that it shouldn’t be a spec series, then it needs to be pushing the limits of modern day technology.

        If that means efficient engines that don’t waste their energy as sound then so be it. F1 needs to be about the future, not the past.

        1. @john-h
          Whether they push technology with a V12, a V6 or a V2 doesn’t really matter.
          A twin turbo V12 could easily be as “futuristic” (if you can call a combustion engine that), as the current V6 units.

          1. But it would have to be a tiny displacement or the power would be ridiculous. And the turbos will still drain the noise.

        2. The V10’s pushing 2100rpm, or the 80’s turbos were pushing the technology, no is just a bunch of engines running low boost, and not going that much fast. The V10’s were much faster, with much more drag, and don’t need to comment about the sound…

          F1 is a entertainment sport, screw fuel economy, they are going with trailers and jets around the world, they don’t care about fuel economy.

          F1 forgets that what holds the sport together is the fans and people that watch F1, not the constructors, and I’ve never heard a racing fan asking for more fuel efficient cars… Manufacturers can go away, in the early F1 days it was all about small garage building cars, and it was GREAT!

    5. forget the numbers, the ear says it all, it is quieter then touring cars. in Melbourne it was quieter then the v8 supercars, and not just the volume, it sounded less racy then the v8 supercars too. the visual element is not enough. F1 should not be called F1 anymore, rather Ffast or something like that, it is loosing what made it sensational – for years it has not had the best racing of the top 10 racing series in the world, but it had the visual and audible sensations which made it great. now the cars are ugly, and they sound crap. with only 1 team winning, there is only so long that f1 can retain its moniker as the pinnacle of motorsport – they can fool only so many people with their high ticket prices, and not deliver the product on race day.

      1. paul sainsbury
        18th May 2014, 14:10


        Totally agree.

        I was at Barcelona, and went to to all three days at the Grand Prix. I certainly enjoyed the sight of Grand Prix cars/drivers having to deal with more power than the chassis is happy with. However, the sound was even worse than I had been fearing. I was at the British Superbikes the previous bank holiday Monday, at Oulton Park, and these were certainly both nosier and more exciting to listen to than 2014 Formula 1 cars. I’ve been attending Formula 1 races since 1987 and the Spanish GP ‘live’ weekend’s experience has left me feeling completely deflated.

        This is the first time I have ever regretted going to a Grand Prix and wishing I hadn’t given my money to support such a ‘spectacle’. There is no thrill in the air, the butterflies I used to get whilst hearing the roar of a V12, V10, and V8 engine are completely gone, and for me, that is a deal breaker. I am sorry to say I won’t be attending another race until somehow we get the ‘magic’ back. Until then, it is a TV sport for me, and ‘Grand Prix’ racing only something that resides in my memory.

        If anyone can please answer a question for me, I would be very interested in the answer……How many of those who have no problem with the new sound have actually been to a race?

        1. @paul sainsbury I have been to Montreal and my eardrums crackled, even with earbuds in. That’s not a complaint, just a fact, and I had a blast.

          I don’t know that anyone is now pushing for quieter cars like we now have…many are indifferent, and many of course want them louder, so I think making them louder would be fine. But I’m not convinced it is crucial. The attending audience who seem to be the most vocal on this, since the TV audience never really heard the full impact of screaming engines anyway, are such a small minority compared to the global audience, that they could probably use microphones better within the cars and around the track to appease people watching on TV and not get too worried about those attending…it was never just about the noise I’m sure.

          There are newer venues brought into the schedule prior to this season that hardly have a large attending audience, and F1 seems fine with that as long as they are getting paid by the hosting country anyway…they just don’t show the empty grandstands on TV.

          So I’m not convinced that attendance at races will suffer if the Pauls of the world stop going. They will be replaced by other fans who don’t mind the quietness or are even happier that they are now quieter.

          F1 was already having viewership issues prior to this season, and if the two gladiators at Merc give us a season of excitement such as we had at Bahrain, and somewhat in Spain too, then I think word of mouth from that will speak volumes for promoting next year’s season.

          1. I think you are wrong, on the TV – the difference is MASSIVE this year, in previous years you could hear the cars wailing from 1km away from the camera or more, now you here them only a couple hundred kms away, and then on downshift they are nearly inaudible. this year on the tv, you mainly hear the commentators, and a bad low pitch murmer in the background, and wow lol and behold a tyre squeal or two from onboard camera – wow how lame, this is not go karting so who cares about that….

          2. So your problem isn’t the engine sound, it’s actually the TV audio. And that’s fairly easily fixed.

          3. But they can do a better job placing mics within the cars and around the tracks, if in fact there is nothing they can do to enhance the sound within the exhaust or whatever. Certainly scrapping the engines now is not an option. Come to think of it, perhaps Monaco will be different as the sound reverberates within a much more enclosed area. Could be a good test to see if all they have to do is better ‘sound management’ from the TV crews. But anyway, I know it is also about the quality of the sound, not just the quantity.

        2. I disagree. I routinely attend Barcelona and this year decided to take my youngest son to his first live race. I’ve got to say I actually liked not only the new sound but also the fact I didn’t need to wear ear plugs/defenders, whilst I did make my son wear them it was reassuring to know his hearing was far safer. Being able to hear the engines and cars work so hard round turns 1 and 2 added to the spectacle rather than just pure noise of recent years. We regular attend motorsport events and my 7 year old was more than blown away with the loudness of F1. I still got the butterflies as I rocked up to the circuit and heard cars out on track, not just because of the noise, but because I’m there at the circuit and its F1 race weekend – the pinnacle of motorsport imo. The lack of decibels combined with the sound detail was a plus rather than a negative, and my son who is a future fan (although already one) was more than impressed
          The biggest issue in building upon the sports fan base is cost. Be it payperview for TV audiences or the cost of admission to circuits. I know a number of friends who would love to attend the British GP, however due to ticket prices won’t attend as their not fanatical enough. This partially lies behind taking my son to Barcelona – where it was free entry for him. I didn’t mind taking him with him then not enjoying the weekend compared to paying far more to take him to Silverstone for the weekend to be wasted

  2. Ron Walker: Please stop telling me what I want. I am an adult and able to make my own decisions. What I want has nothing to do with the sound. You might be in the entertainment business, but F1 is a sport.

    Finally, I understand the new regulations just fine thank you: I’d hope that I’m not an utter moron like yourself.

    Now, if only Ron would read these comments.

  3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th May 2014, 0:15

    Ron Walker needs to stop talking.

    The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest.”

    I mean really? How stupid does he think the fans are? We do understand the new regulations, and how can he imply there hasn’t been aggression in the racing? He’s just sounding like a spoilt child.

    He’s trying to be an Australian Bernie. Stop talking you ignorant old man.

    1. Yes we understand the new regulations, as you would expect as we are F1 Fanatics. However, as I know a lot of people who are casual fans at best, I’m getting frustrated at the amount of times that I’ve had to explain the new regulations for this year, and to try to explain why knee-jerk reactions to the domination like bringing back refuelling or the V8s is a stupid idea.

      1. @craig-o you’ve been talking to my friends too then? :P

      2. What is difficult? The engine has an electric engine that gets energy from brakaing and heat. The last race is worth double points. The specifics of nose regulations dictate some of the fastest are also the ugliest. Drivers can now take penalty points; at 12 they are banned for a race.

        Did I forget something?

        1. Alex McFarlane
          18th May 2014, 9:14

          You missed fuel flow rate restrictions ;-)

          Not hard to understand per se but I don’t think the rationale behind them has been justified to those with doubts about why they exist.

          Here’s a great article for anyone who has their doubts:


        2. And the revisions to aero. And brake by wire. ;)

          1. I have a new proposal. Double points for the louderst car.
            How’s that for an easily understood regulation?

      3. How many of those people would have been at a race, compared the number of people who aren’t as ignorant as Ron?

    2. Right, instead of telling anyone who will listen how bad F1 is this year he should be touting the amazing technology on display and the advantages of less, not more, noise pollution.

      1. Well yes. If you watch NASCAR you very quickly see why it’s so popular, the commentators talk about most things in a positive way.

        That and the technology IS amazing.

    3. @tophercheese21 I don’t know man, some people really do seem to have an aberration for anything too technical, in my line of work sometimes I find myself having to explain the inner workings of some machinery to operators or clients and their attention span in some cases is no more than 10 seconds.

      They’re not dumb, they just have a different way of thinking and they don’t care about every detail of how things work they’re more interested in the end results.

      The same could be said of the “average” fan, he still is an F1 fan but pays more attention to the racing, the drivers and who wins, not the cars and the technology behind them.

    4. I have absolutely no problem with quiter the cars, the shriek of the V8 and V10 was wrecking my nervous system. If you just attend something because of a certain sound then you should watch pornographic movies.
      Btw the Melbourne promotor revelaed that about 40 (!) fans complained about the sound at the GP via email, wow 40 out of 100.000, not bad! I hope you all understnd the purpose of the sound debate now!

  4. Every now and then my wife likes to watch F1 with me, but doesn’t know anything about cars or racing. So I explain it to her.

    You know what is hard to explain – DRS and the ridiculous tyre rules.

    It’s been what 3 or 4 years now with Pirrelli and DRS and I still have to regularly explain the different coloured tyres (which change every race) and why which driver is on which (new or old, hard or soft) tyre at the start, and why the driver can’t just choose to run the faster tyre all race, as well as why suddenly one car gets an advantage at a specific point in the race for no apparent reason.

    You know what was easy to explain: The new engines.

    The conversation went something like this: “Why do the cars sound different this year?”

    “They introduced a new, more powerful, more fuel efficient engine”

    “Oh, o.k.”

    She hasn’t mentioned them since.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      18th May 2014, 0:48


    2. while I agree with everything you’ve said, I hang around with people who are mechanics and know quite a great deal about cars and they don’t like the new engines, and I’ve had to do research to find out some of the answers that they want, but the crux of their issue is, how can an engine that produces so much horsepower and torque, sound so quiet.
      It seems that no other combustion engine with a turbo is as quiet as our current F1 cars… But they are slowly coming around, it will take time but they’re starting to see the wisdom behind it, smaller CC’s and more electronic powered components.

      1. Because the exhaust loses all its energy. The reason the engines are so quiet is because they are efficient. I think.

      2. The MGU-H I imagine is a major factor in that, as is the single exiting exhaust. More energy will be recovered by these cars than in normal turbo engines, and their capacity is probably lower than most road car turbos a mechanic would be working on!

      3. Sound is just energy. The reason you are not hearing it is because the energy has been converted into something else. The heat taken away by the MGU-H = less expansion at the exhaust. The kinetic energy of the moving air taken to run the turbo = slower air. Are you sure the people you hang out with are mechanics? Why can’t they figure it out?

    3. Pirellis: There are two tyres, one is faster than the other, but wears quicker; each car has two use one of each during the race.

      DRS: if you’re 1s away from a car in the DRS zone (in rough terms), you can open the rear wing.

      1. @austus – Sample quotes from my wife:

        So why did driver A who qualified 10th have to start on old tyres, while Driver B gets to use the new tyres? Also why were the softer tyres Yellow last race and silver this race?

        So if the car behind gets DRS why did Hamilton also have his wing open down the straight…I thought he was winning.
        Why are they all allowed to use it during qualifying, but only sometimes during the race?

        My point is even a casual fan can understand why a car racing series would want to implement more powerful, more efficient engines. It makes sense. They are racing cars. The engines make them go, so better engines make everything better.

        Artificial gimmicks like DRS and manufactured tyre strategies just don’t make sense to the casual fan.

        I just hope to god the championships are both decided by the final race. God help me trying to explain how someone won a championship in the last race through double points.

  5. The Forbes article illustrates what we have suspected for some time, Bernie is totally out of touch with the 21st. century and the ability of the F1 teams to respond to a challenge, not only that he has no concept of logic or costs, for a man constantly haranguing the teams to spend less to then suggest they should build prototype engines before the specification has been adopted is totally bizarre. Bernies worst mistake though is to have trumpeted more loudly than a current F1 engine that F1 this year was going to be a total failure lacking any entertainment value, not what we expect from the man whose business it is to promote F1.

  6. I’m not Australian, but I can assure Mr Howard I fully understand the new regulations, and in fact I’m a huge fan of them. What I want is the best teams, drivers and engineers using cutting edge technology to produce the kind of cars we have at the moment. It’s not ideal that one team have managed to establish such a huge advantage over the rest, but I’m certainly not going to stop watching just because it’s a bit quieter, and I’m getting bored of the sound being mentioned so much.
    I don’t know which races he’s been watching either, because there has been plenty of great racing and aggression this season, and those of us that count that as the most important part of this sport couldn’t give two ticks what he and Bernie’s other cronies think.

    1. *Walker

      1. @bleeps_and_tweaks I took a double take on your comment, John Howard was our Prime Minister about 10 years ago and while he’s a keen Cricketing enthusiast, had no idea he was an F1 enthusiast ;)

      2. Ron Howard would appreciate the new engines I hope. :-D

        1. And make a new movie about them.

  7. I think the ship has long since sailed in terms of making the engines louder. As much as it disappoints me, the reality is that we are stuck with them for at least the next few years. But hey, quieter doesn’t mean they sound bad. The engines do have a nice grunt to them.

    I guess people like me just have to hope that one day in the future we will once again hear a screaming V10 in Formula 1.

    1. Part of why the old V8s and V10s sound louder is, yes, they have a higher decibel measurement, but it’s also because of how the human ear reacts to sound pressure. Given two sounds at 100dB, one at 1kHz the other at 10kHz, the 10kHz sound is interpreted as ‘louder’, despite being exactly the same measured volume.

      Anyway, that’s enough science for now :-)

      1. It’s called the Fletcher Munson Curve. Todd over at F1B blogged about it in length the other day. Definitely worth a read if you’re interested in the science of sound.


      2. Given two sounds at 100dB, one at 1kHz the other at 10kHz, the 10kHz sound is interpreted as ‘louder’, despite being exactly the same measured volume

        Quite. People are complaining about volume, when what they actually dislike is the change in pitch when comparing the new engines to the previous V8s.

        The V6 turbos sound ok live, but terrible on the TV.

        They don’t sound as good as the V8s, but 6 cylinders firing at a maximum of 12,500 rpm will never sound the same as 8 cylinders at 18,000 rpm. I do think though that FOM can do a better job with their coverage – it’s interesting that some of the amateur videos that have been posted this year seem to better replicate the on-track sound, to my ear at least, than the TV seems to manage.

    2. I guess people like me just have to hope that one day in the future we will once again hear a screaming V10 in Formula 1.

      Yes, we’ll hear them when F1 cars will be powered by electricity and V10 recordings from old times will be introduced as another gimmick.

  8. Rather than the promoters responding to complaints from the fans it seems to me that some fans are complaining because of comments from Bernie and Walker.

  9. Watched some starts from this year in private video recordings. It truly sounds like the Diesel-truck Championship. It not only about sound levels, it’s the high pitch sound that is easier to associate with high speed.

    1. @melthom, A lot depends on what you first perceived as the sound of power, for some of us that was the the deep-seated roar of a 5 or 7 litre V8 while the high pitched scream of recent F1 cars was more familiar to us as the sound of Joe Donor on his 600cc RiceRocket.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    18th May 2014, 1:26

    The sound difference is just a nostalgic feeling on F1fans… it’s like a grumpy old man saying “in my days the world was a better place”

    1. It was!

    2. nostalgia would be wanting the turbo sound from the 80s, no one wants that either, they want high revving, screaming, loud F1 cars like we have had for the past 25 years. people are grumpy because the world of f1 was a better place, much more radiant and atmospheric then this crap.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        18th May 2014, 16:45

        Wait! There’s me :-)

        I’m mostly get nostalgic over the sound of the old V6 turbos, the old cosworth DFVs, the Matra V12 and the V10s.

        Of all of formula one’s engine sounds, my least favourites were the modern V12s (shock horror!) and the modern V8s. To me, both of those sounded shrill and one dimensional, whereas the others gave you a nice, throaty roar as the engines accelerated through the rev/power range, particularly in the days of the manual gearbox where gear changes weren’t so seamless and sterile sounding.

        All that being said, I’m not hugely fussed abut the sound of F1 today. It doesn’t inspire awe or nostalgia, but I can get my sound fix through the likes of Youtube. What concerns me more are the more fundamental racing, competition and cost issues. If the powers that be sort those out then the sound becomes mostly a non-issue, as it is, it just one of a litany of complaints about all that is wrong with F1 today.

      2. Not me. I like this new growl and roar than the old scream.

  11. I could put my money on having comprehensively better understanding of everything related to F1 than that old fart Walker, except of course backroom politics, backstabbing, lobbying (nice word for bribery) and similar weekend recreations that these kind of people are into.

  12. Walker, will you please shut up and go away!

  13. Neil (@neilosjames)
    18th May 2014, 2:38

    Just glue clones of Ron Walker’s head onto the back of the cars, earplug sales at circuits would be back up to V10 levels.

  14. maybe instead of making the engines louder they should give Bernie and Mr. Walker some hearing aids.

    1. Now that’s a great idea!

    2. maybe they should just make them louder, it is not just Bernie and Mr. Walker saying it, ofcourse they are an easy target to bash for people who do not care what race cars sound like, and are happy to watch f1 cars even if they make no sound.

      1. 134dB is louder than a rock concert.

        How about, instead of fixating on the noise (which is irrelevant), you could direct your energies to the real issues with F1: DRS, political games, and unsustainability. Once those are solved, then we can worry about ‘Max Power’ing the cars.

        1. you are in another world if you think they are louder then a rock concert. you have neither been to a rock concert or to an f1 race. If you so loud this new f1 sound, good for you, you are a minority – I hope you get your rocks off to the beat of a v6 turbo lol.
          the other issues need fixing too but. the whole sport is a sham. Indy qualifying is more exciting this weekend then the f1 race at Monaco will be next weekend.

          1. Do you watch rock concerts from over 100m away? Thought not.

          2. Also, do you have any evidence to back you up?

          3. Rock concerts are around 110-115 dB. F1 engines are around 134 dB. you can’t argue with those numbers…

          4. Then go. No one’s making you stay. Sheesh. Stop complaining.

  15. Loud hurts my ears. What’s the problem?

  16. When I go to Petite Le Mans, the Jags in the GT class are the “loudest” things on the grid. (See the comment by Dave, @raceprouk , above regarding the perception of sound to the human ear and higher frequencies).

    Anyway, those Jags sounded like someone in hell torturing a cat and every time they came screaching by I was wishing to God that someone would shoot them and put them out of their misery. Or at least out of MY misery.

    In contrast, the Audi diesels in LMP1 were freaking awesome! And they were the quietest cars on the grid. But you could see them kicking everyone’s butt.

    Yes, I’m really happy about the new engines and their sound and looking forward to going to the US Grand Prix, and possibly the Canadian Grand Prix if time permits for both on my schedule. I’m even trying to line up a trip to our HQ in London so I can time it for the Silverstone round this year! I’d love to hit three of the races in one year. For an American, that’s not easy.

    1. your really happy with them, but surely you would accept a better sounding option if it was given. if enough people complain, maybe they will get rid of these dreadful sounding v6 turbos. people power has so far at least made the FIA investigate ways to improve the sound.

      1. Trumpets attached to the existing exhaust are a smidge cheaper than scrapping the V6 turbos.

        Enough people have complained about double points too, and where’s that at? Likely heading to 3 races of it instead of one. And haven’t enough inside and outside of F1 complained about DRS? And?

        F1 may or may not be serious about the sound. It will come down to them deciding, not the fans, and it will be based on the bottom line, as indicated by their desperation to see the season decider go to the last race. Their desperation to bring in more passing at the expense of the integrity of the passes and even F1 in general. Some such as Walker obviously already think more noise is desperately needed. Todt thinks it will slowly go away on it’s own as an issue. Some such as Williams think F1 is already in crisis mode when it comes to capping costs. Yet F1 can’t/won’t go there yet. So obviously not everyone is desperate nor feels the sense of urgency if any, at the same level. But it generally all comes down to money and the bottom line. That is what will be the deciding factor. Whether they’ve made some good decisions or not to get to a healthier bottom line remains to be seen.

        For all of the negativity, my goodness those in charge must be eternally grateful to Merc for going racing right now. And for hopefully it being a see-saw battle to the end. The quality of the end is still up in the air. If it gets to it we may easily have one guy robbed, and one guy the victor, only because of double points. But F1 will have had it’s audience until the end…just one left with an empty feeling, just as we get from DRS passes, just as some get from silence.

      2. Detractors, such as yourself, are the loudest. Doesn’t mean they are the majority. What’s ‘better’ to you isn’t necessarily better for others. Don’t impose yourself on others.

  17. So basically F1 fans are smarter than Ron Walker, and F1 designers and mechanics are smarter than Bernie Ecclestone.

  18. “Everybody agreed. We’re all in the entertainment business. The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest.”

    The promoters really don’t have a very high opinion of us fans do they. Do the promoters think F1 fans are all just Neanderthal types, who sit in the stands or in front of our TV’s scratching ourselves shouting “Oooh, cars loud, me like loud cars. Electricity bad, like evil witchcraft, me no like evil witchcraft.” Just because Ron Walker, Bernie and their ilk don’t understand the 2014 rules doesn’t mean we don’t. Do I understand the ins and outs of thermal efficiency and brake-by-wire 100%, no, but they do interest me enough for me to do a bit of reading to understand them. This is what fans of sports do, whether it be football or rugby (the latter of which is constantly tinkering with scrum and breakdown rules).

    If the promoters, FOM and the FIA spent as much time actually engaging us fans as they do leaping to conclusions about our intelligence they would find that our major issues are with things like DRS, bubblegum tyres and double points, not the noise or the complexity of new powertrains.

    1. @geemac, to be absolutely fair to Ron Walker, we do want aggression, we do want a gladatorial contest, but it’s not the sound that has spoiled those aspects of F1, it is the tyres that have turned F1 into a time-trial rather than an automotive dog-fight.

      1. @hohum Were Bahrain and Spain not gladiatorial contests? I mentioned the noise because he did, even though I fail to see exactly how he can make a serious link between the “reduced” noise and the lack of a “show”? Has he not been watching the action on track? I’d take the new powertrains and Bahrain/Spain 2014 over V8’s and any of the races in the second half of 2013 any day.

        1. I’d take it over any of the races in 2013 full stop @geemac. There were no stand-out races (except the British GP, but for all the wrong reasons) the entire season – it was not a very entertaining by recent standards at all.

          1. Have to say I agree with that @vettel1. This season has been good so far and there is a genuinely tight and intriguing title battle going on, it is going to be great to watch.

          2. @geemac I of course say this with the significant point of note that the team I like were winning last year and now a driver I don’t like is winning, with the driver I like being faced with adversity.

        2. Bahrain, after the safety car most definitely, Spain less so due again to the tyres, but as you @geemac and @vettel1 point out the racing this year has been vastly better than last year, however it could be even better were it not for the tyres.

  19. Let’s get away from this storm in a teacup.

    45 years ago Piers Courage (RIP) came second at Monaco driving a Brabham entered by some guy called Frank Williams, thank goodness we don’t have customer cars anymore, it would totally stifle innovation.

  20. Kimoni Nakamoto (@)
    18th May 2014, 6:50

    All this harping on about engine noise serves only to distract attention from the real issue. Unnoticed by many, over the last few years drivers’ hair has become more and more bland and uninteresting. Where once we had the individuality and flamboyance of James Hunt and Alain Prost’s unruly visages, we now see only the number 1 buzzcuts and short back and sides sported by the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Vatteri Bottas.

    Inexplicable hairstyles are an important part of the spectacle of F1. They make it more visually appealing and are what the fans want. I mean for God’s sake some of them even have beards! How can it claim to be the pinnacle of motorsport when WEC and NASCAR have more eye-catching coiffures? It’s a disgrace, F1 has lost its way.

    1. Throw in the lack of magnificent mustaches (Keke Rosberg, Graham Hill) and manly beards (John Watson, Harald Ertl) and the loss of way is complete…

    2. Alex McFarlane
      18th May 2014, 16:52

      COTD! :-)

    3. Hair is excess weight, Hulkenberg should shave his head.

  21. Did Kimi really just say “Hip-Hop” to that “Rock or Hip-Hop”-question? I think I have to drop him as a favourite driver. Such a shame, I liked him so far, but that is just unbearable.

  22. if only f1 sounded like this – this is jos verstappen on public roads:

  23. Ron Walker speak for yourself! In 2010 I attended the Australian GP (my first ever GP). I got the 4 day/ 4 corners package, at first it was loud and great but by the end of the event I couldn’t stand all that noise nor the nuisance of having to wear earplugs for hours. I missed this year’s race but I am looking forward to going again next year and being able to go back home without a massive headache.

  24. First of all…thanks @keithcollantine for the caption win.

    As to engine sound/noise. Personally I am not bothered by the sound but I can respect that some are. So if they change it and make it better/louder based on whoever’s opinion of what better/loud enough might be I’ll be fine with that too.

    But I have to agree that Walker comes off very condescending here. F1 fans do know what is going on…that is why they are F1 fans. The ones in the stands particularly, paid money and went to the race for a reason…they weren’t just out for a Sunday drive and decided on a whim to pop into the race, like it’s a roadside foodstand. It is non-F1 fans that they need to try to draw into the sport, and viewership was already suffering before these engines came along, so they need to address the issue from that angle, not just blame it on sound.

    And then the gladiatorial comment…personally I have been more enthralled in the Merc rivalry than I ever was with SV/MW, and I was even less impressed with MS/Ferrari. So I think Walker is grasping at straws and saying anything that sounds good to him to support louder engines.

    If they want to make the cars louder, fine, but don’t try to tell us that is the problem with F1, when at the same time they put in double points for fear of further viewership dropoff which has been decried in a far greater way and yet will be jammed down our throats and will potential create such an anti-climactic finish that one wonders how many may be turned off from F1 completely. And double points can be removed with the snap of the fingers compared to making the cars louder.

    If fans, or not enough fans understand the regs, or what F1 is about, that’s on F1, and promoters like Walker. He is a promoter, and seems to only want to promote one negative (to some) aspect of a multi-faceted entity.

  25. With regards to the sound, I’ll just re-post what I said a week or so ago.

    I still don’t really see the volume as been too big of an issue.

    Yeah the new V6 Turbos are quieter but that hasn’t put me off, I’ve already gotten used to it (And the finger noses) & Im enjoying F1 just as much this year as I have in the past.

    In fact if anything I am enjoying 2014 so far more than I have the past few seasons in part because I love how the new cars are moving around more & how the new power units are adding to that coming off the corners when all the torque kicks in.

    F1 of the past decade may well have been louder but the spectacle of watching the cars was lacking because they had so much grip from the aero & so little torque from the engines that they didn’t move around & often looked like they were on rails.
    This year it may be quieter but its great to see the drivers actually having to drive the cars again, Watching them moving around through the corners & on the exit is a joy to watch & its made the spectacle of watching the cars so much more exciting.

    The racing has been better as well, We had good levels of overtaking at every race as well as some good close, hard fought racing through the field. Bahrain is obviously the standout but there was plenty of good racing & overtaking at the other race.

    Overtaking stats so far:
    Melbourne – 20
    Sepang – 31
    Bahrain – 67
    China – 40
    Spain – 42

    I also like how DRS has been less of an issue as well, I still hate the stupid thing but its not been as big a factor so far this year as it has in the past with regards to providing the easy so called highway passes & the tyres have also been less of a factor when compared to how they were in 2012/2013 at least.

    There is nothing really wrong with F1 2014, There still fast, The racing has been great & the engines while quieter still sound very nice & are still plenty loud enough in my view. Just leave things as they are & lets see how things develop naturally over the next few years. I see no reason to start changing everything after 5 races just because some seem to think sound is the only thing that matters.

    1. you are a diehard f1 fan, in the top percentile. your opinion is misguided by your love for the category “f1”. i have watched f1 since 1994, and for me this season so far has been dreadful. predictable tyres, drs, one team infront – DREADFUL. engine homologation before even one race run and then no development allowed = UNNACEPTABLE. the sound of the cars = DISGUSTING AND DISTURBINGLY QUIET – worse then a low tier tin top series. Fuel flue rate limit, when there is already a limit on fuel to be use – WHY?? with the engine homologation, we have a locked in adavantage for one engine manufacturer/team for the next few years which makes it even worse to contemplate unless you are a Hamilton/rosberg fan. DRS has been less of an issue this year for one reason – Ferrari and Renault engine cars cant make any use of it because of their deficit. Peoples conception of the cars “moving around” is also overrated, the cars are still very much on rails, the engine mapping acts almost like traction control the way it is programmed these days, you will never see a driver lose a place down a short straight from over revving or missing a gear in this f1, it is not like they are driving massively torqued v8 supercars or nascars. go watch some Indycar to realise this modern f1 is not that great – yes the Bahrain race was great, but that was not a result of the formula of the sport, it is just how it was on the day – it can happen in any motorsport, it was probably a fluke for this formula.

      1. Kimoni Nakamoto (@)
        18th May 2014, 19:42

        “My opinion is more relevant and valid than yours because I’m a casual fan who’s never known anything outside the recent sprint racing era.”

        Congratulations, you just did more to discredit your position than your opponents ever will.

      2. Dude seriously…. than and then are two completely different words

      3. you are a diehard f1 fan, in the top percentile. your opinion is misguided by your love for the category “f1″.

        Hear that noise? It’s your credibility flushing down the toilet.

        1. you lost it first time you opened your mouth, you are the chief protagonist on this website trying to make people agree with your opinion that the current cars sound great and that the sound is a non issue – if it is a non issue for you then don’t comment. what I have noticed on this website is the diehard fans on f1 who are every hour forum commentators on f1 subjects are pretty much the most vocal ones that are sprouting tolerance to the new sound of f1, and go as far as belittling others opinions (the majority) so they can feel right in their head. they want nothing bad said of their sport – well it is our sport too, millions of people who are not happy.

          1. Kimoni Nakamoto (@)
            19th May 2014, 18:30

            Why do you keep claiming to be in the majority after a poll on this very website demonstrated the opposite?


            If you can’t make your point without resorting to dishonesty, it’s time to give up and accept defeat.

            If deafening high-pitched screeching is so important to you, maybe you’d be more at home at a Justin Bieber concert than a Grand Prix.

          2. you are the chief protagonist on this website trying to make people agree with your opinion

            I love you too :-P

          3. The true majority has no problem with the new sound as the link posted above. The more you speak, the more discredit you do to yourself. Stop it. You’re changing nothing and are only making yourself look silly.

  26. Here is the best example I have found comparing the sound of last years cars with this years:
    it is recorded by a fan in the stands on the front straight in Melbourne. this video gives the true picture, last years cars sounded like real race cars, this year they sound really bland in comparison. the noise of the car pushing through the air is nearly louder then the actual sound coming from the car.

    1. You don’t miss the atmosphere Dave?

    2. Because we all know that cellphones have the best cameras and microphones ever made. Except of course the professional-grade equipment they use for the world feed, and every sound stage, film set and recording studio in existence.

      Hell, karaoke mics often work better than smartphone mics.

    3. *facepalm*

  27. So I comment for my first time in this blog not only it is not chosen but there is no reply. whatever!

    1. Not sure if this is sarcasm or not.

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