Australian Grand Prix Boss Wants More Formula 1 Engine Noise

Apologies for the short entry but I’m restricted to typing on my iPad and it’s a pain in the rear end.

That’s an appropriate place to start, actually, because my wife would gladly wager that my rear end is noisier than the rear end of a 2014 Formula 1 car, the quietness of which has got Australia’s F1 promoter threatening legal action today.

”I was absolutely delighted with the whole weekend, but I was not too happy with the sound,” Walker said on Monday. “We are resolving that with Bernie. It’s clearly in breach of our contract. I was talking to him last night [Sunday] and it’s not what we paid for. It’s going to change.

I watched qualifying on Saturday and I didn’t mind the sound when I first heard it. But over the course of a full race on Sunday, it did take away from the excitement, somewhat. In fact, I nipped out to buy a bag of dog food and didn’t feel like I was missing that much (knowing I’d be back in time for Ricciardo’s big moment).

It’s not a bad sound, but I think the point is that it’s not an F1 sound and anything that takes away from the raw sensation of the pinnacle of Motorsport is a bad thing.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts, and in other countries, too.

Here’s some video. Note first, the sound. Note second, the lack of enduring sound and the fact that you can hear announcements over the loudspeaker. I’d suggest that is a new phenomenon.

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  1. Boy….That’s pretty underwhelming! Anyone who grew up on the sound of 3 liter Cosworths and Ferrari V-12s would be severely disappointed! Just another step in F1’s boring modern formula, and now you can even hear the fans yawning as the cars go by!

  2. “It’s clearly in breach of our contract.” Seriously? They have SOUND written into their contract? What’s next? The size of the wheels? Color of the cars? Number of aero devices on the cars?

    Yes, the sound IS underwhelming, but considering suing over it? Get a grip.


    “But Lauda, who is dominant Mercedes’ F1 chairman, said it would be wrong to tinker with the engine rules just because the sport is now quieter.

    “Everyone wants to do something about it, but you can’t just change the exhaust pipe, you’d have to redevelop the whole engine and the mapping,” he said. “That’s just way too expensive. Please do not change the engines just to make a bit more noise.””

    Good luck Mr. Westacott in suing over the LACK of noise. Any Judge will probably laugh you right out of the courtroom if you try.

  3. F1 tip: the start/finish line is the worse place to watch a GP. It’s fun for the half hour before the start, but after that you just see cars go by at high speed in a straight line. Pit stops are interesting, but you’re pretty far away, and they last less than 3 seconds.

    I’ve only been to the Montreal F1 circuit, but the public address seems normal. You can hear the announcements, except when there’s a car going by.

    What bugged me more about the season opener is that it was really hard to tell who was doing what. Drivers are spending more time managing fuel and performance targets than racing, kind of like train conductors who have to get to the next stop exactly on time. At least they didn’t hand-out penalties for every racing manoeuvre like they did last year.

    1. I reckon the best place to watch a GP is on the telly. I went to the Oz GP back when it was in Adelaide. I sat on the Hutt St corner for hours just watching cars go round a corner. They were doing it really fast, but it wasn’t that much fun.

      Good to be in a GP town for the events, but not for ‘the event’. If that makes sense.

      1. I was standing next to you I bet, all those years ago. Remember the truck racing? Now that was amazing! Might be worth re-introducing it to Melbourne to spice things up.
        The TV coverage was very good this year I thought, and the behind the scenes stuff was brilliant. Even watched the breakfast show. Leo….put it to bed now..please.

  4. Wow, I was going to pay to get the F1 races on tv this year because of a Swede driving for the first time in 20 something years but I didn’t since the races all go when I’m in the car on sundays anyway. But that sound…..geesh, it sounds like a hotted up scooter going past…..

    1. That sound was recorded by a smartphone (probably) at a location where the cars are under steady throttle. It’s also during free practice, so the teams weren’t using full power.
      The cars sound very different when braking or accelerating.