To some, the recent changes in Formula 1 are a bag of good with the bad. The sport has delivered a more challenging car to drive, more torque and less aerodynamics and if fans were looking for overtaking, surely the black art and elephant in the room was the outlandish aerodynamic downforce so the change has to be in the right direction.
The new technology is something that fans have always said they favor in F1. It is the pinnacle of racing and technological advancement and these new regulation bolster that notion. Hybrid systems are deployed to lure more manufacturers to the sport and a return to driver impact and challenge with the increased torque and car control.
The sound is a sticking point but as Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, told AUTOSPORT its the whole package and one has to look at both good and not so good:
“Like every big change, there are always pros and cons,” he said. “It is true that we cannot dismiss the fans’ complaints, but we also see some positives.
“We need to not focus only on the noise. We are undergoing exciting change actually, with this new industry-relevant powertrain which is why we could attract some new engine manufacturers and keep the existing.
“We have less aero downforce, it’s a more driver formula, and you can see on the weekend there were a lot of small driver mistakes.
“It is true the engine sound is different, but not that different from the turbo engines we had in the 80’s. It takes a little bit of time to see what is going on and how it develops.”
If we’re weighing good with the not-so-good, can the sound be overlooked? If this is the narrative of F1’s leaders, then it will be interesting to see if the actual racing and on-track action will dissolve the fan rhetoric over the noise. Good racing can trump a lot of things…including cars that sound like leaf blowers.