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McLaren race director Eric Boullier has put to bed the whole issue of engine noise.He’s added clarity to the fact that the series has changed to the new power unit to make itself more appealing and compliant to where the industry is going. Eric told the BBC’s Andrew Benson:

“This new power-unit we have developed is a completely industry-relevant engine formula and this is why we could attract some new engine manufacturers and keep some of them on board actually,” Boullier said.

We certainly knew Formula 1 was moving toward a new engine in order to lure manufacturers into the sport and at first blush, Honda is coming back. So did it work? Maybe.

Boullier also says that it was born from self preservation too because Renault Sport F1 had threatened to leave the sport if they didn’t change. He says that fan outcries over the sound is one thing but there a lot of good that’s come from it so there is our trump card. It’s  driver’s era once he again, he reckons, and that’s good because we all wanted to see torquey…there’s a red line under this word, is this a real word?

“This new formula has a very torquey engine, less aerodynamic downforce. It is more of a driver formula and you could see that this weekend; there were a lot of small mistakes.

“And even if there is a need to manage and save fuel and energy, it was still interesting to see some overtaking and it was really a challenge for the drivers.”

So there you have it, the hell with the sound, look at the drivers turning the wheels a lot more and sliding around more…isn’t that fun!!??  Well, yes…as long as there is more overtaking because we all know that 85,000 respondents on the FOTA survey said they want more overtaking and less aero would beget that right?

We may very well see more overtaking and twitchy cars and that’s not a bad thing for the “show”. It may sound funny but the on-track spectacle is what’s important right? Although I do think Cosworth might have stayed in the series even if Renault got poopy and left and who can forget Craig Pollack’s P.U.R.E engine project? Surely he would have come in to the sport.

It all depends on what the final product is but with all deference to F1, it does have to survive and being held hostage by one or more of the three engine makers is not good although I’ll be damned if I can understand why Mercedes would be dying for a 1.6 liter engine or Ferrari for that matter.

Time will most likely start to adjust the things we find odd about this season. Software, fuel-flow sensors, engine noise etc. Will anyone be around to see the ironed-out and sorted F1?

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • I must say that I appreciate Eric even addressing the issue. not sure I would touch it right now if I were a race director. I like him even if I don’ always agree with him. Good guy.

  • Tom

    I’m not sure what to make with the subtext of this Op-Ed. I think you’re way too negative. First of all, for once the FIA got it right with their approach of less aero and more torque. DRS and crappy tires were stop gap measures, this on the other hand might be the real deal…though I think they need to go even further into that direction. It’s not just about the show, although that is a side benefit, it’s about driving skills becoming more important again, which in return could give us great racing…if DRS is finally put up against the wall that is…
    Not everything that is good for the show is automatically bad for the sport, even though that’s the impression one could get over the last couple of years.

    Also, you ask why Mercedes or Ferrari would want to build tiny engines. Well, at least Mercedes is firmly on a path towards smaller, turbo-charged hybrid engines. Maybe that takes longer in the displacement-crazy US of A, but it is the future. Ferrari isn’t under the same kind of pressure, but I’m sure it’ll also move in that direction in the long run. Even Porsche has committed itself to that path, albeit I guess you could make the argument that Porsche was traditionally more about nimble cars with small but intelligently designed engines.

    Be that as it may, while the rule changes don’t go far enough (no ground effect as a means to replace even more aero) and while the rules are way too tight for my taste, this is still the most psyched I have been about a new F1 season since…1998 I guess, although back then ist wasn’t because of the rules. I’m totally looking forward to it and I can’t wait for the next race.

    Which leaves the sound. Yeah, I guess this really is a negative. It’s not so much the sound itself, I like that, it’s the noise level that has gone down significantly. But at the end of the day, I’m a firm believer of “form-follows-function”, sound being just another aspect of form. If the best technology provides less noise, then so be it. I mean I get the disappointment, I do, I also love it when the sound of an engine causes an existential angst. But by the same token, modern F1 cars are ugly compared to those of the 1950s and 1960s, not to mention those of the 1920s and 1930s. Still nobody would want to go back to the front engined tube design, because today we simply know better. The pinnacle of motor racing has moved on. The fans who want to see these beautiful race cars have to watch old-timer events…that’s the nature of things.

    • Agreed that it is in the interest of Mercedes to develop something that can be used in a hybrid system. The functionality of ERS can be used on an engine of any size, really.

      The sound is not bad, but it simply isn’t loud enough for me.

      I couldn’t agree more in that the regulations are too tight. There should be some parameters but at this point is is stifling innovation. F1 should get back to the era of creativity, implementation, and radical advancement. The direction the sport is going, it will never return. This same argument is brought up with “Garage 34.” Many people, self included, would rather have a creative entry qualify on merit. If the result is the team walking away with a victory, so be it. The sport and events will still be interesting because teams would scramble to catch up, and eventually do so. They can improve on the work of other teams and develop their own thing.

      Having cars that require better car control skills is amazing. More passing and better fights is getting back to the sport of racing. DRS having an effect on passing is one thing, but having to throttle and fight a car that has the ability to completely bite the drive with the introduction of instant torque is thrilling. Tracks are safe enough to handle cars that snap around with this sudden torque curve.

    • Do you think Ferrari have a strong interest in a V6 turbo for their road cars? I wasn’t aware that Mercedes did. Are they using that for their hatchback? I’ll admit I am woefully out of touch with Mercedes cars.

      • jeff

        I’d wager Ferrari itself isn’t interested V6T; too downmarket. But, they have to increase the CAFE/consumption figures, whilst upping power to meet current competition, hence the California T/La Ferrari hybrid.

        Fiat company is, though; with it’s ties to Chrysler; most the Alfa/Fiat road cars sharing platforms w/ Chrysler are using smaller displacement FI engines.

        Mercedes, they have a new sub C class; CLA. Next-gen C class next year upsized. Like BMW 3 getting bigger to make way for the 1/2 series. Don’t consider buying CLA. Horrible interior, gritty ride, weird throttle tuning.

      • Tom

        Mercedes now offer smaller (yet powerful) engines throughout their lineup, like the S400 Hybrid with a 3.5l V6.
        Even smaller is the S300 BlueTec Hybrid with a 2.1l inline 4 Diesel engine. And that is the S-Class, their top of the line model!

        • jeff

          I assume you’re in Europe. We here in the States have limited access to Diesels; I believe that specific oil burner is only in the GLK (small crossover) here. Unfortunate, because the general public drives low end torque; Diesel territory.

          If I could have gotten my wagon in Diesel w/ RWD instead of the crappy AWD/8speed auto/turbo 4 banger they offer, I’d have been all over it. Oh, and make it Brown and a manual to complete the journalist-special!

      • Tom Firth

        I think Ferrari has some interest in the V6, It’s being highly rumored that the initial idea to have I4’s was to lure VAG into F1 through one of it’s many brands, if not the parent VW brand.

        When that seemingly didn’t work, although apparently it came quite close from Porsche. F1 settled on the V6 concept, supposedly at Ferrari’s political influence. What the truth is in that I don’t know.

        Rumors exist that Ferrari will swap a number of its road cars to V6 Turbo’s soon and that isn’t completely unexpected as Ferrari like to display the concept of F1 technology in it’s road cars.

        I would also imagine that even if Ferrari aren’t too interested in V6 Turbo’s right now, Fiat group’s other assets might be and I would hazard a guess that was taken into consideration.

  • jeff

    I love how Todd’s ridiculing twitchy car behavior, the challenge for the drivers and engineers to manage cars as showmanship, whilst the noise is somehow real F1.

    You mention in your podcast what an impression hearing a classic Ferrari V12 years ago had moulded your F1 experience; good for you, and I agree, the old Ferrari V12 (and the Matra V12) are breathtakingly awesome sounding. But jeez, please stop w/ the elitist attitude. Putting down other aspects of the sport because you don’t understand or like them? Doesn’t sound very civil or decorous, Todd.

    “So there you have it, the hell with the sound, look at the drivers turning the wheels a lot more and sliding around more…isn’t that fun!!?? Well, yes…as long as there is more overtaking because we all know that 85,000 respondents on the FOTA survey said they want more overtaking and less aero would beget that right?”

    Interesting; that’s not why I like the wider power band and less aero; it’s because it’s what I remember from watching F1 years past. I like the car movement, seeing cars changing lines because the driver’s tentative on turn-in/unsure of traction, etc. Whatever, I’ve made my preferences clear in several posts of late, and that’s not the point of a response. On point, why mention that large respondents want more overtaking? What’s your point there? Because it reads to put down fans, whether they like the new regulations, are NASCAR savants use to 400 lead changes, or don’t understand the sport.

    Analyzing YOU based upon your comments, Todd, I’d say you understand less about F1 than many other “Old Timers,” little about the intricacies of strategy, car dynamics, or driving techniques, and more importantly, don’t seem interested in learning, which to me is anathema to F1, a sport ostensibly about looking into the future. BUT, I don’t harbor ill will, don’t care what you enjoy or not about F1, because it’s an individualistic thing, your opinion being valid as mine.

    Please stop being so disparaging about other fan’s likes; perhaps you are the stalwart of the Old Guard, but that doesn’t mean others can’t enjoy “the show.”

    And yes, Mercedes and Ferrari are downsizing the hybridizing their cars. I just took my brother to test drive the new CLA; horrible car, but 2.0 Liter Turbo 4 cylinder. They’re also facing out the (wonderful) 6.2L naturally aspirated port injected V8 for a, yup, smaller (relatively) 5.5L Turbocharged V8. Ferrari just introduced their first Turbo road car since the F40. Porsche’s next rumored Carrera and S replacement is supposed to lower displacement and add turbo’s, as they’ve done in the Macan lineup. We don’t have to like it (I myself like throttle response of a NA engine), nor do we have to believe road relevancy is a legitimate reason for F1 rule making, but facts are facts.

    Deal, try to change it, or as you say, vote with your remote.

    • Mansell’s_Stache

      Opinions cannot be valid…

      Thanks logic 101.

      Go Kimi!

      • jeff

        Fair enough; I should have said I respect his right to his opinion, whether I agree with it or not.

        Now, do you have a stance or opinion regarding my complaint, or simply asserting your intellect?

        I’m being sincere about your input, internet one-upmanship isn’t my thing; you commented, so I assume you have a substantive viewpoint. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have expressed my view on the F1 sound situation, nor pointed Todd’s IMO lack of insight into F1; my problem isn’t with his opinion, but with the way he debases a portion of the fan base in its assertion. My mistake.

      • offcamberm3

        “. . . valid as mine”.

        If neither opinion is valid then they are equally valid.

    • That’s fine Jeff, I don’t anything about F1 mate. It’s hard to avoid getting personal when you don’t agree isn’t it? :)

      • jeff

        My point as well; I specifically wrote in a critique of what I perceive as your viewing preferences so that you’d feel as I’d imagine those who like “the show” or whatever in your post must have felt reading it; marginalized.

        As mentioned, in hindsight that took away from the point I was trying to make; that whatever our view/viewing habit/preferences, we all have a right to being heard. Those more meek than you or I might want to share, but shy away upon reading the post, failing to realize your apparent tongue-in-cheek tone (alluded to in your response below).

        You’ve created such a great community of sharing and healthy debate, I hate seeing something that potentially belittles a segment. I didn’t personally feel attacked at all, and didn’t intend on attacking you. Rather, I’d hoped you’d consider the words you post; they carry weight.

        • I understand your point, I am not trying to belittle so much as share some opinion and have fun doing it. No harm mate. It’s all good.

          • jeff

            Understood. And it is appreciated, all the work you guys put in. The site really is a breath of fresh air, where many insightful points are shared w/o a the belittlement seen elsewhere. It is a credit to you; why I’m so surprised when I see something I think contrasts that.

            As you can tell from the numerous rambling posts I’ve made, I like sharing and learning from you and fellow contributors. Thanks.

  • Michael in Seattle

    Maybe he is Honda’s way of saying, “Hey! We’ve already got this thing 2/3 baked in the oven. Don’t go changing the recipe on us now.”

    I get it, though. It’s hard to see the teams / manufacturers agreeing to a huge uptick in cost to right this cluster. Team principles and media departments are already getting in line with the FIA group think on this.

    Your comment, “Will anyone be around to see the ironed-out and sorted F1?”, is about right. Am reminded of the letter-from-a-customer sales training tool that went viral several years ago – Do you know me? I am the customer who doesn’t complain, I just never come back. – ( Here’s one version of it: http://gintai.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/i-wont-complain-im-a-nice-customer/ )

    The fans, journalists, promoters, etc. who are voicing concern about this issue are not the enemy, FIA. They are Formula 1’s customers.

    • That’s a great point. The silent customer. I have had several emails from F1 fans who are not going to Austin because of it. I think that’s a valid point of discussion.

  • Rapierman

    I’m sure that there are many ways that one can find the speed to pass a car (i.e., aerodynamics, torque, thrust, etc.) Per some research on the Wiki it would seem to me that one could provide more torque either by rotating the crankshaft faster (RPM) or by driving the pistons a shorter distance from input to spark to exhaust. Thing is, you can only do so much.

  • F1derbar

    Being a relative newcomer I was never taken in by the V10 or 12 sound and I’m not a fan of the V8 sound either, too shrill – most of the Historic cars on the other hand have a wide, deep midrange-y growl that is way more enjoyable that the harsh treble sound of the last formula. I guess I’ll reserve judgement on the new sound until I witness it in person but I’m really more fascinated by the fact that they’re achieving upwards of 700 hp with a motor smaller than my Camry’s. This is still the pinnacle of racing, they’re still hauling absolute a**, who goes faster on the same tracks?

    • jeff

      Well said. No matter how long we’ve been interested in F1, our reasons for interest, our level of involvement, we all have an opinion. It’s great there’s a site such as this, where people share their wonderment/consternation about a sport he/she enjoys, without the down talk/superiority complex posts that some many sites’ posts seem to devolve into. It’s unfortunate when some place their opinions above those of another/a group’s, devaluing input and making some new fans hesitant to share.

      Me, I loved the 10 and 12’s, less so the 8’s, and like the new units (with more volume please). It’s fun hearing others’ perspectives. Have you attended a race yet? It’s marveling, watching the extremely fast Cup cars in the support races, then contrasting them w/ the F1 cars that just blow them out of the water. I still wonder that they brake so late, looking like they’re going to run off the road, or grip through the corners w/o flying away, like in Austin’s Esses. Cool stuff.

      Michael and Rapierman, I’ll be interested in seeing what if anything FIA contemplates changing. One thing about these power units is the cost-saving farce; they’ll supposedly costing teams tons, and the development fees are furthering the costs. I wonder if FIA would even consider exacerbating the situation by modifying the formula they’ve just put in effect. I welcome looser and changing regulations, but feel there’s too much invested and too much lobbying by various factions for a change to be ratified.

  • As a F1 fan for over 50 years I never thought I’d complain about anything F1 but these 2014 cars have put me on the tipping point of either watching with the sound off or not watching at all. I’ve already made a decision NOT to attend the Austin race again and my overall interest is waning quickly. When I first heard these pathetic, anemic sounding excuses for F1 cars my fears became a reality. These fire breathing, screaming machines I’ve loved for so many years, especially in recent times have transformed into a Prius with a fart-can muffler and electric cord hanging out the back. Next I’m expecting rails for them to run on, zero db noise levels, mechanics there just to change fuses when they blow, and each pit armed with recycle bins with “Save the Environment” stickers all over them. These are supposed to be angry sounding, snarling, big horsepower, racing machines. I want to hear it coming and going, not have to ask someone “let me know when it’s coming by, please”. These were the most efficient, gasoline racing engines on the planet and not something making a giant hole in the ozone layer. C’mon…do something about it…I know you can hear me because the noise from the cars certainly isn’t drowning me out. Have a nice day :-)

    • anunnak

      Mike you can skip the mechanics with auto reset circuit breakers now so that will further “cut costs” :-)

  • mini696

    Personally I think the whole caper is completely overblown. I am loving the new regs.

  • We all have reasons for liking F1 and I love the fact that many don’t mind the sound and are excited about twitchy cars and torque and the new regs. I think that’s great. I too like drivers who are challenged and the hope of a new season. I also have reasons for writing a tongue-in-cheek Op Ed just to have a little fun with the establishment too. Where’s the fun in agreeing with F1 on everything they do? :) Need to keep them frosty and working to keep their customers.

    I am very hopeful that the new regs and season will be the best yet…I’m also realistic in saying that I tend not to eat a crap sandwich when its given and tell everyone its great. I also don’t like abusing customer loyalty for pragmatism and tropes and would prefer to be treated as a valued customer instead of a compliant fan who will eat most anything from F1’s plate. I think its ok to ask critical questions and share our concerns. 70% of F1 fans who don’t like the sound have a point and it’s ok to talk about that. It’s also ok to talk about the 25% who don’t or the 5% who don’t care.

    • Tom

      I think you’re making the same mistake regarding your poll the FIA did regarding overtaking.

      Of course when you ask people whether or not they’d like to see more overtaking, they will answer yes, but that doesn’t mean that they’re in favor of DRS.

      Similarly, when you ask whether or not people like the new sound of the engine, that in itself doesn’t tell you whether or not people like the new formula. I don’t like the lack of noise, and yet I’m all in favor of the new formula.

      • anunnaki

        Tom makes a great point. Grace mentioned it sometime back on one of the podcasts about asking the right questions. Sure most F1 fans like overtaking, but not when it is “created” or is contrived. If the FIA really wants to know how to cater to the audience, they need to ask the right questions and then put together a plan based upon the results.

  • MIE

    My opinion is that as soon as the current generation of cars are faster than the last, the complaints about noise and their noses will be forgotten. Currently they are early in their development (yet already in pre season testing they were within a second of last year’s pole time), so some timoe this year we will see a pole time faster than last year. At that point complaints about the new generation of cars being anemic or not being as good as last years start to lose justification.

    • jeff

      Rapierman alluded to a generation-gap as explanation for preferences; I think he’s right. I view F1 as a holy grail, objets d’art rather than cars, on the technical frontier rather than glories of the past. The newest, hungriest drivers, fitter, smarter.

      Others might appreciate the romanticism of the pre-aero, all-mechanical fire hazards of speed and the brave fighter-pilots/drivers that donned goggles and leather gloves, more.

      Some like the noise, or the twitchy cars, or rapid position changes.

      Point being, F1 can’t cater to all, or really cater to all of us, in my view; it needs to find out what it is or wants to be, figure out how to monetize that vision, and stick to it, no matter what we all whine about. I believe it’s merely trying to survive in a rapidly-evolving global market, reacting to other industry trends; it it continues that, well, jack of all trades, masters of none rings a bell.

  • Ryan

    I agree with Mie. I remember how ugly I thought the cars looked when they moved to a narrower wheel base (1998?), but I got over it after a few races. I also loathed the switch to the V8s.. they sounded tinny and harsh compared the stunning V10s running at a stratospheric 20,000 rpm, but again after a few races, I got over it. In 2009 I was horrified by the horrible looking large front wings, and narrow rear wings… again.. I’m over it. To be honest, I actually enjoyed Sunday’s race on television. It’s great being able to hear the tires squealing under braking or coming out of a tight corner, and the driver/race control communications are much more audible. Given the incredible torque curve of these new engines and the designers abilities to consistently find downforce, I’m sure it won’t be too long before lap times are back to where they used to be. I also respect the use of new technology. F1 should always be pushing the envelope on the mechanical side, otherwise it just turns into an aero formula, like the last 10 years or so were. What incentive is there for engine manufacturers to be in the sport if the entire focus is on clever interpretation of aero rules? Heck, the F1 V8 engines were closer to NASCAR engines than to what most modern cars are using. It is telling that the latest generation of super cars (McLaren P1 etc..) are using hybrid tech and all have more power than the last generation of F1 cars. I’m a little saddened that the new engine category is somewhat restricted in terms of engine layout, but this also reflects the economic reality and will likely improve the show due to an increase in reliability. We all remember the days of 1000HP V10s fondly, but we also conveniently forget how utterly unreliable some of these cars were. We also forget how many great engine manufacturers F1 has lost over that years. Lambo, Porsche, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Ford… This new formula is ultimately about getting some of these manufacturers back. Honda will likely be the tip of the iceberg. Lets give the new formula a chance, because as long as the racing is good (and I thought Sunday was quite good), I’m not too concerned about anachronisms… If you want anachronistic racing… there’s NASCAR and NHRA…

  • Completely overblown, will be forgotten, lose justification, anarchronisms, whatever you want to call it or describe it, the matter of fact is when 70% of the fans are saying they don’t like it, you have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Let’s be realistic here. If something is 10% or 15% it’s likely that’s a reasonably expected number of people that do not like it no matter what. When it’s 70%, it’s a wakeup call you can’t pretend is not there and hope it goes away.

  • Brian

    I knew I’d heard that engine sound before….Ah, yes, it was Formula Vee!

    Seriously, we look for Formula 1 to be the pinnacle of racing. Memories of the shrieking 12 cylinders (and even the 16) bring goose bumps. Was there even a rev limit back then? Then we dropped to 3 liter V-10’s with a 20,000 rpm limit. This watered down to 2.4 liter V-8’s and 19,000 rpm, which then dropped to 18,000 rpm. Now it’s down to 1.6 liter V-6’s and a 15,000 rpm limit. You see where this is going…yes, engines will be more available when we can use any street tuner’s motors. Perhaps we should economize by simply using World Rally Car engines (does 1.6 liter turbo sound familiar?).

    The mantra of reducing costs is the slippery slope NASCAR has already fallen off…..And gimmicks like twice the points for the last race sound suspiciously like the desperation of NASCAR. (Is Abu Dhabi really twice as important as Monaco, Spa, or Monza?).

  • Schmorbraten

    Engine noise is, first of all, an unavoidable consequence and not a primary goal. I know, we’ve become very used to the jumbo-jet decibel levels of low-tech ways of producing lots of horsepower, and we therefore associate it so inseperably with the amazing performance of top-level racing cars that, somehow, our brain is tricked into perceiving quieter cars as slower and less of a spectacle. Originally, the main spectacle was “who’s quickest?” – even way before cars were around to race in. The sound of racing was always whatever sound the thing made you raced in or on. A horse-drawn cart, or just a horse, or several horses drawing a bigger cart … and then came internal combustion engines. And in the old days, fast racing cars weren’t possible without being really revoltingly loud. Today, that’s not necessarily the case any more. Technology has long since moved on, F1 is one of the last to catch the train, and now this is supposed to be a problem?

    To me, that only shows that the damage to F1 by decades of these wailing 18000 revs dinosaurs is a lot bigger than I feared. Next, trackside fans will complain that the toxic emissions of the new engines are way too low and that F1 isn’t F1 anymore without that sweet sting in your lungs after the field rushes off the grid. Maybe FOM should hand out sets of hearing aids set to max and some cigars in the grandstands as a counteracting measure?

  • Tom

    BTW, have you guys seen the Mercedes 360°-Video?
    They have done a nice job capturing the engine noise. If the TV feed could do a similar job, I doubt we’d hear much about it anymore:

    http://www.mercedesamgf1.com/de/fahrzeug/f1-w05-360-video/

    It’s still not as terrifying as the old V12 or V10, but it’s nice enough.

  • “And in the old days, fast racing cars weren’t possible without being really revoltingly loud.”,

    “To me, that only shows that the damage to F1 by decades of these wailing 18000 revs dinosaurs… ”

    Those two statements right there say volumes & is the crux of your entire post, you have an issue with noise. No need to hand out the hearing aids…we love the noise and have no desire to mute it with some kind of ear worn gadgets. Handing out the cigars sounds like a very nice touch Schmorbraten, you obviously have some great ideas…may I suggest some good Scotch, even in a plastic cup, to accompany the cigars, now we’re talking. I always thought F1 was considered at the forefront and pinnacle example of auto racing and you say…”Technology has long since moved on, F1 is one of the last to catch the train”? I attend a large variety of racing venues and personally participate in one and can assure you none are remotely close to the technology levels that F1 is, and has been for many years. Help us understand the basis of that comment.

    • Schmorbraten

      Yes, I have an issue with the debate about the noise, and I also wrote what issue I have with it: it’s a by-product, not the main attraction.

      Yes, F1 is very high-tech, and especially for that reason it didn’t make any sense to me that the old V8s used outdated technology, albeit on a very sophisticated level.

      Fuel direct injection was invented over 100 years ago, the 1955 Mercedes SL 300 had it, and it’s become common in road cars since the late 1990s (maybe not in the US, of course) – yet F1 used port-injection until 2013.

      You can buy a Prius since 1997, and F1 introduced hybrid power in 2009.

      Turbocharging and downsizing has been spreading in road cars since the early 2000s, now it has been introduced in F1 quite some time later.

  • Ryan

    Like many fans I loved the noise (V10s being my fav) but I also recognize how utterly silly and inefficient it is to generate power using maximum revs. The valve train losses alone due to ultra stiff pneumatic valves are huge. Think about this for a second…. if turbo’s hadn’t been banned in the 80s, would manufacturers have stopped using them… not likely – hence the ban. Racers don’t race for the sound, they race for the speed. If you want great sounds, go to a loud rock concert. Here’s an even better idea.. lets ask the drivers if they prefer a peaky, difficult to drive screaming N/A engine, or a turbocharged/hybrid torque monster. Just imagine if fighter pilots in the 1950’s had said, I really don’t fancy the sound of these new jet engines, lets all go back to our P-51 Mustangs and Spitfires. Embrace the future… turbo’s have been around for a long, long time…. F1’s decision to ban turbos in the 80s was a mistake, and more likely related to an effort to rein in Honda. Direct Injection and hybrid tech have also been around for a long, long time. Like I said above, F1 is amazing because of the new tech they use. The fan’s in the 80’s didn’t seem to mind the turbo’s… why should it matter now? Are you saying that you’d rather have mediocre racing with loud wailing V8s (which weren’t particularly inspired), or great racing with modern, but quite engines?

  • anunnaki

    I always felt that F1 was about achieving the maximum in performance with the best minds in the business. If I wanted to see and (not) hear formula based cars with a green approach I would watch Formula E.

    I can’t wait to see the sales numbers when Ferrari, Macca, or Mercedes release a 2.0L Turbo 6 with ERS vs their existing V8 & V12 models. Hopefully the market will correct this trend of our sport…

  • Mike

    Ryan you are absolutely right, at this point I would rather attend a rock concert and by the feedback from a huge majority of F1 fans, they are feeling the same. Yes turbos have been around a long time…I’ve had them and still don’t like them for several reasons. Fighter planes aren’t for our entertainment so it’s hard for me to equate those to F1. As far as banning turbo’s in the 80’s was a mistake, that’s your personal opinion, I’ve never heard that one before. I can’t agree with anyone who says the high revving V8, V10, & V12 aren’t high tech engines. You can’t spin an engine at 18,000 RPM through a myriad of gear changes and loads and say it’s not high tech…it’s a music machine. Oh how I wish we could spin the 850 cubic inch, 3,000hp engine in our race car that high!

    • anunnaki

      Funny you bring up fighter planes…

      Are they not the primary reason most people go to airshows? Do more people turnout to see a person doing a skywalk on a bi-plane, a 757 doing a low altitude pass OR a F-18E/F Super Hornet with 52,800 lbs of thrust do a full demo of it’s capabilities?

      Don’t get me wrong all of them have their place but if you are into attracting new fans and retaining old ones, power & sound do seem to work to a large degree…

  • anunnaki

    To Ryan’s point I don’t think anyone is against Turbos here, what I don’t care for is the fact that they are so limited. Leave the cylinder count open, Leave the revs open, Set the max fuel allowed, set the displacement. Then after testing allow the teams a final adjustment to their formula and they have to lock in their design for the next 3 years or agreed upon term of time. This then allows for unique innovation and interpretation of rules. If it is quiet, well, at least we know that we are getting the maximum from the formula rather than some preset near spec regulation.

  • Mike

    I didn’t think of air shows but yes absolutely, the noise in air shows is a part of it, especially when the jets kick in the afterburners! As far as rules, there always has to be rules or it’s the death of the class. History has proven that in many forms of racing. It’s like an out of control, runaway train that you know is going to crash, just not exactly when.

  • Tony Drake

    having been to races since 1987 – Adelaide / Melbourne – loved the sound – I could TALK to my friends, hear the on-site commentary, hear the mechanical-ness of the turbo/engine, hear the tires, and the growl was a nice mean sound. I always found the old sound too much like a motorcycle without a muffler – and hated the ear plugs!! Oh and the torque…