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Engine men unconvinced engine noise can be improved

NEWS STORY
18/04/2014

No matter what else is happening on track or in the paddock, the row over engine noise - or lack of it - refuses to go away.

Following today's practice sessions talks were due to begin surrounding a number of current issues, engine noise being one of them. However, talking at the official FIA press conference two of the leading engine gurus were unsure exactly what can be done.

Asked if a change to the limit on the number of revs used might help, Mercedes Andy Cowell admitted. "I don't see the need for the revs to change to change the noise of the power unit.

"The principal reason why the engine is quieter is the turbine wheel and the muffling effect that you get from that," he continued. "That's one of the key technologies for recycling the waste energy that would normally go down the tailpipe so it's a key aspect of the technology that we've got. There are other things we can do though with the tailpipe, perhaps, to change the noise."

"Andy's alluded to tail pipe changes, that's something that could be a way to go," added Renault's Rob White. "I think the scope to fundamentally and profoundly alter the noise of the engines is extremely limited by the type of technology that we have deployed and therefore I think we need to be realistic about the scope of any action that we might take but of course we're sensitive to the subject and we'll certainly participate in any of the studies that might lead to actions being taken."

"I think the engine people in the room know the problem a lot more than I do," admitted Ferrari's Pat Fry. "I think what Andy said about... you've got the turbo there to try and take all the energy that we can out, so it's always going to be quieter. There's a round of meetings starting today, in fact, that will discuss and try and work out how to improve the situation.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Red Baron, 19/04/2014 13:56

"They could install sound systems in the cars and hook up my app ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbEaGV4eygw"

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2. Posted by GoodPublicity, 19/04/2014 5:50

" Obviously those engineers weren't around - or maybe they weren't even born - during F1's previous turbo era. Those engines were as loud as all get-out!

The fact that the 1980s turbo engines pumped 1000+kW in qualifying trim might give a clue to why the current engines, with about half that much power, are whisper-quiet.

But no matter how much fuel and/or revs today's engines are given, they'll still sound monotonous because they all have the same basic configuration.

Top level motorsport has become a 'one-size-fits-all' exercise, thanks to the FIA's pointless and futile pursuit of parity and cost control, with intricate and convoluted technical regulations that rival the Tax Act.

F1 designers and engineers should be allowed to throw their FIA straitjackets into the dustbin, and show the world how brilliantly innovative they can be within the parameters of a dynamic energy consumption limit and a ban on wings of any kind."

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3. Posted by scf1fan, 19/04/2014 5:09

"Generally speaking, hitting a rev limiter in not that easy on an engine either . . . It would be better that an engine naturally peaks at the rev-power-load point then by being artificially restricted. Besides, the argument here is for "excitement" is it not? Part of the problem is that all the engines can be ran to their maximum specs most of the time; since that makes them all nearly the same as far as output goes, a parade often ensues. Even if the drivers/teams wanted to risk the consequences, they are stifled by the various rules! Engine failure is now a statistical aberration caused by faulty QA . . . Like with brakes and tires, some drives would be naturally easier on their engines, thus adding some additional variables. (This would be a plus I would think.)

All the engine rules mostly do now is to prevent David Hobbs from using the most exciting three syllables in his vocabulary; "Ka-blam-oo!!""

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4. Posted by gturner38, 19/04/2014 0:55

"What do people expect them to do? They were told to design turbo engines to run at a max of 15,000 rpm and a 100kg/h fuel flow. Just adding 3000 rpm means running the engines outside of their design specifications. It would be grossly unfair to any manufacturer who found their engines weren't sufficiently designed with excessive durability. They've spent three years on these engines. They aren't going to be able to change them this year."

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5. Posted by Paul C, 18/04/2014 23:45

"Install tuner car mufflers on all new F1 cars."

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6. Posted by scott, 18/04/2014 23:30

"Add 4 cylinders"

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7. Posted by Chris Roper, 18/04/2014 21:17

"I personally don't mind the new sound, (admittedly I have only watched on TV, the last one I watched track side was the last race at Kyalami and iirc that was still the V12 era), but I do like the technical challenge that the engineers are facing. If the cars were 100% efficient they would be silent as noise is wasted energy.

"

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8. Posted by scf1fan, 18/04/2014 20:03

"Easier solution . . . Up the rev limits, a bit higher fuel flow to support that, add one more engine to the allocation for durability - the noise will go up, the lap times will go down. Awesome will follow! "

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9. Posted by Ro, 18/04/2014 19:35

"I can only recommend on e way to get our "noise" back, or actually something that resembles what F1 was all about, VOTE WITH YOUR FEET, don't watch the races, stop buying Autosport, Don't go to the meetings. It wont take them long to realise that its a sport for SPECTATORS, without whom, they wont have anything to show to anyone..... "

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10. Posted by Spartacus, 18/04/2014 18:46

"This is such a disappointing knee jerk reaction. F1 is full of engineers and project managers and skilled people that are focused on achieving the highest performance possible from an established set of specifications. Ooops! People don't like the sound of our power unit formula that was designed and voted on a few years ago, now what? It now sounds like typical corporate red tape where they are going to waste a huge amount of time on meetings, analysis and impact studies of the fan base."

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