The big bad F1 engine debate – 2013 vs 2014
This is the video that has caused a stir amongst F1 fans around the world. It features a direct comparison from a fans perspective between the 2013 and 2014 engine sounds at full speed. At the time of writing, it has nearly hit 1 million views as it does the rounds on twitter, facebook and Google+.
Is all the hysteria justified or are some F1 fans being a little narrow minded? Here’s my view…
Formula 1 runs through my veins but I’m also quite open-minded about future technologies and more importantly – change. This video doesn’t shock me one bit. We knew when they announced that F1 was moving from V8 2.4 litre to V6 1.6 litre turbo charged power units that it was going to mean much quieter engine notes. The 2014 part of the clip was actually far louder than I even expected.
Sports car fans flood to circuits around the World to cheer on the likes of the diesel powered Audis which literally just whistle round the race circuit in near silence. There are some incredible technologies in Sports Car racing and F1 had to follow suit at some point. The world is changing – fast and F1 can’t be a sport that is looked upon as standing still. It has to be the pinnacle of driver and team talent, as well as the technologies which power the cars themselves.
I think the V8 had had its day. Engine development had been over for years and the performance was so similar it was barely a talking point over the last few seasons. They were ridiculously reliable meaning very little surprise ever came from the engine department.
People are calling for the rule makers to “do something about the sound!” Are they talking about suggesting improvements to maybe the exhaust pipe, or actually creating rules to make them more noisy. It seems utterly bizarre thought that the FIA could even conceive of bringing in a rule to make racing cars louder. Where would this lead to?
“The race stewards deemed that the winning car of Nico Rosberg was running under the minimum 140 decibel limit stipulated in the Technical Regulations. The driver has been excluded from the result.”
People say F1 should be loud. Should it? Or is just that F1 has been loud in the past? Funnily enough, we are moving into the future and the future of F1 is – a more economical and road relevant sport.
There are numerous advantages to Formula 1’s new note. Here’s just a few:
- Tyre lock ups. Have you heard how awesome that now sounds on the TV coverage?
- Pit lane burn outs. Again, did you notice how violent the tyres get punished as the drivers drops the clutch out the box after a pit stop?
- The likes of Ted Kravitz and other reporters can now tell the story of what’s going on in the pit lane without seemingly having a nervous breakdown as they try to compete with the V8’s. Information is golden…
- Radio transmissions from driver to team are now much clearer and not such a panicky shouting match.
We were treated to a really interesting race at the weekend. Some big names fell out of contention very early on and some young rookies made outstanding debuts. The season is set up nicely and will not be the bore fest that so many people claimed the last few seasons have been. Is an engine sound really worth the arguments?