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Mercedes to try noise solution during test

NEWS STORY
08/05/2014

In an effort to address the outcry over the sound of F1 2014, Mercedes will trial a prototype solution during next week's two day test at Barcelona.

After years of warnings from Bernie Ecclestone, it was the new sound of F1 that dominated the headlines as the season got underway in Melbourne rather than the raft of new rules, the biggest season-on-season change in the history of the sport.

Whilst the initial outcry has given way to mutterings of discontent in recent weeks, faced with the prospect of a fan backlash as the European season gets underway, the engine manufacturers are attempting to come up with acceptable solutions.

Speaking last month, Mercedes Andy Cowell ruled out the possibility of improving the sound by increasing the rev limit.

"I don't see the need for the revs to change to change the noise of the power unit," he said. "The principal reason why the engine is quieter is the turbine wheel and the muffling effect that you get from that. 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."

Renault's Rob White agreed, suggesting that adapting the tailpipe is the way to go.

"The scope to fundamentally and profoundly alter the noise of the engines is extremely limited by the type of technology that we have deployed," he said, "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."

Mercedes has now revealed that it will trial a possible solution during the tw-day test that gets underway on Tuesday, tweeting earlier today: "Mercedes will evaluate a prototype solution during next week's test to assess its impact on the tailpipe noise.

"It's a first step in a development process to address the feedback from our sport's #MegaFans about these mega new hybrid Power Units," the German manufacturer added in a subsequent tweet.

Check out our Thursday gallery, here.

Chris Balfe

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1. Posted by Glen73, 09/05/2014 18:46

"As an acoustics engineer, I find it interesting that a 15,000 RPM V-6 can sound so.... slow. The only way that I can think to do this is to play with the crank design so that the individual cylinders fire in a cluster or together (think when 500 GP 4 cylinder 2 strokes were converted to "big bank" configuration to help traction). Otherwise, you should hear 3 firings per crank revolution, turbo or no. I don't hear that- I hear a lower frequency tone, more like a CB160 twin with open pipes. Indy cars, with very similar configuration except for all the electro-garbage, sound like you would expect.

I'd sure like to see a spectrum of sustained top speed... Chris, do you have a better explanation? Are they "different" cranks? "

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2. Posted by RivieraKid, 09/05/2014 13:41

"Am I the only one (obviously not as my friends think the same) that the reduction in engine noise is amazing??! Yeah, it doesn't sound like a fighter jet anymore (go to an airshow...) but for the first time I can ever remember watching f1 (20 years) I get the feeling that the drivers are actually on the limit of grip. Hearing the tyre squeal is really surreal - it's turned these beast of f1 cars into looking and sounding like karts. Seeing the cars wriggle and wrythe under breaking with the sound of the those tyres squeal as the drivers desperately break these cars down from massive speeds in tiny distances on the limit of adhesion corner after corner lap after lap is amazing!!! F1 just got amazing."

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3. Posted by Paul C, 09/05/2014 4:30

"Install tuner mufflers!"

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4. Posted by TheBucketOfTruth, 09/05/2014 1:07

"It is my understanding that the cars aren't even pushing to their allowed rev limit even now, so allowing them a higher ceiling may not change much. I find it interesting the regulations had them going to a single turbo and single exhaust outlet. I know they wanted to mess with the exhaust related aero gains, but I wonder if given the choice if the teams would have gone with twin turbo engines and dual exhaust outlets."

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