Friday, April 5, 2013

Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula 1 engine sounds

Bernie and Ron Walker
The move to the more fuel efficient V6 turbo engines from 2014 have not impressed everyone. There is still a school of thought that believes that the move could be disastrous for the sport since the sound of the engines are a huge draw for the crowds. Unless you have seen a Formula 1 car live and felt the ear shattering sound of these cars whizzing past you, smelt the burning clutch, brakes and tyres, it is tough to do justice to what your senses go through.

Bernie Ecclestone along with the Grand Prix circuit promoters are very worried and have been the most vocal of their dissatisfaction, on where the sport is headed with the engine noises in particular. They fear that the sport will lose some of its appeal to fans when next year's engines fail to live up to the dramatic noise of the current V8's. They have been at loggerheads with the FIA president Jean Todt and don't see eye to eye with the Frenchman on how the sport needs to move forward.

Ron Walker who leads the Grand Prix Circuit Promorters, told Formula 1 business journalist Christian Sylt, “As Bernie will attest it (the V6) sounds like a lawnmower engine, and we will be fighting this tooth and nail.”

Although the engine makers seem less worried, and they see the new regulations as a welcome step into the automobile’s modern era, Ecclestone thinks the radical change of regulations is actually a risk for the suppliers. “The danger is that what will happen is what always happens with the manufacturers, which is that if it doesn’t work they will stop,” he told Autoweek.

With Honda almost certainly getting back into the sport, the rumour mills are churning with talks of Volkswagen and Toyota also being interested in the new V6 rules.

Referring to the 'lawnmower engines' the Formula 1 boss said, “What Ron (Walker) is saying is that you have to make sure that the engines will make it to 16,000 revs. That was agreed and now we know they won’t rev to anything like that. The fuel flow has been agreed so even if you have big tanks it still can’t rev (to 16,000).”,said Ecclestone.

Ecclestone in revealing his alternate option, suggested that artificially enhancing the V6 engine sound is a possibility. “Maybe we can make them sound like the current engines,” he said.

Walker added that in 2011, “(FIA president Jean) Todt told me in Australia that the next thing is they are going to have a hybrid. “I said ‘what about the noise’ and he said they will put a squeak box on the back of the car. God almighty!”

No comments:

Post a Comment