How do the new engines sound at the track?

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    Robert Raponi

    We were at the Canadian GP, at the entrance tot he hair pin. As my brother has attended every race held there since 1997, we have first row seats, literally no more than 2 m from the edge of the track. The sound of the new engines is disappointing. The new engines and energy recovery systems take the rawness out of the experience; it is too sterile. The old V-8’s were not just loud (painful in these seats without hearing protection) but you could feel the sound in your body and you could smell the exhaust and the brakes. I did not use any hearing protection this year which would not have been possible with the V-8 engines. We have attended the ALMS events at Mosport since 2008. The HPD cars running the Honda turbocharged engines sounded much better than the current F1 engines. I was expecting this type of sound but was disappointed. The Mercedes engine was the best of them. I am sure if they actually revved up to 15 000 rpm, the sound would be much better.

    My brother and his friends who have been attending since 1997 are considering not coming back next year although there main beef I believe is the lack of competitiveness from Ferrari. There is a much different buzz in the crowd when Ferrari is winning. I will be back for at least one more year.


    Was at Sepang for my first race in person. Been following since mid 80’s. I am not at a F1 race to hear tires squeal, I can do that in a honda civic. I am at a F1 race to get that raw emotional gut feeling. Since it was my first race in person, I loved every minute of it, but wish I could have experienced it prior. If you want to hear the trackside PA system, buy a cheap radio with headphones, voila. I also don’t go to F1 to have lengthy conversations with people sitting next to me. If I hear one more delusional parent on here praising the new F1 “for the childrens ears sake” LOL, you could have brought them prior and got them some ear muffs yes? So for my experience, the cars sound OK, but not great was my feeling. I have a friend who had a 07 Audi RS4 with Magnaflow catback exhaust, and I got more of a raw feeling hearing that thing. Yes, if you compare these v-6 to the ear shattering drone of the v-8’s, these may be better, but better than what we have had in the past? There are some pretty comical arguments on here praising the benefits of this new f1. Yes, the world will eventually run out of petrol, and when will that be exactly? 100 years from now? More? So F1 is THAT ahead of the game, hahaha. F1, 100 years before the rest of the world! Yes, there was fuel saving techniques in days gone by, but coasting through corners lap after lap like I saw Hamilton doing in Malaysia at the final turn? I don’t think so. I would still be willing to guess that if F1F did another survey and based it on age and years following F1, the majority of the yah yah love the new F1 would be youngsters. Nothing wrong with that of course, but if the numbers are to be believed, F1 is in decline, so just how is this new F1 working out for you??

    Michael Moran

    I was in Canada also. While it was nice to not have to wear earplugs and I enjoyed what sound there was, it was still missing something. I guess the easiest comparison would be the difference you experience driving your car to get the best fuel economy & when your accelerating to pass someone. In person, just when the revs are starting to get to the point where the sound is getting exciting, they shift. It is very frustrating to know what the engines are capable of & have them restricted due to fuel flow limits.


    It is true that the new F1 engines have become less loud, that you do not need earplugs anymore and that GP2 is now louder than F1. However, they are still louder than the person next to you, the crowd and the commentators. I do not think the new sound (at Hockenheimring) was particularly “interesting” but I do not think that F1 has lost much either. I think you get pretty much the same effect as earlier, only without earplugs.

    Maybe the critics of the new engines have a point but there are also positives as some people, who avoided F1 earlier because of the unbearable noise (e.g. parents with kids) might now come to races.

    I respect every opinion but claims that people now do not come to races because F1 is too silent or that this is a more important issue than high ticket prices, financial difficulties faced by most teams or even smoking in the grandstands seem to be a bit too far-fetched.


    Myself, as well as many other people I spoke too won’t return to any races next year because of the lack of excitement/atmosphere with the new engines. On top of that I won’t pay 500$ Canadian for grandstand tickets, when I have lost all my excitement at the track. Hearing touring car sounding engines is not my idea of aural excitement.

    I have said it before, sometimes technological advances are not always good for F1! Maybe we should bring back TC,ABS etc because it’s the most advanced technologies for racing/faster lap times.

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