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Walker calls for noise fix

NEWS STORY
17/05/2014

Australian Grand Prix boss Ron Walker has called on the sport's powers that be to find an immediate solution to the sound of the 2014 engines.

After several years of warning, and despite the assurances of the manufacturers, many fans were less than impressed when the cars took to the streets of Melbourne for the opening round of the 2014 season.

While fans of a certain age still lament the days when different cars could be identified by the sound of the engines in the back, be it V8, V12, Flat-12 or whatever, even the recent era of V10s and then V8s allowed for a certain sound.

However, in the eyes (and ears) of many, the sport's shift to greener values and the consequent move to hybrid V6 turbos has been a step too far and race promoters fear that the lack of oomph will hit ticket sales.

Ron Walker, who along with his duties as Australian Grand Prix boss, fearing the impact of the new rules, formed the Formula One Promoters Association, which long before the engines had even been fired up warned that if the sound of 2014 impacted ticket sales promoters would look at their contracts to see if they were being short changed.

Having met with fellow race promoters at Barcelona, Walker, a close friend of Bernie Ecclestone, another long-time critic of the new sound, has called on the FIA and engine manufacturers to find a fix... and soon.

"We can’t wait until next year," he told Fairfax Media. "Something has to be done soon.

"We’re all concerned about the noise level," he continued. "It’s being handled by Mercedes and others to restore the excitement to the sound of the cars.

"Everybody agreed. We’re all in the entertainment business. The people in the stands don’t understand the new regulations. They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest. My customers don’t care about only using 100 kilograms of fuel in a race. Ticket sales are hard to get these days because the sports market is so competitive."

With solutions limited technically, Mercedes trialled its own during the Barcelona test but according to Nico Rosberg it was a failure, though he didn't explain precisely how.

Following the furore in Melbourne criticism has calmed, however with the sport now back in its European heartland it is likely to be back in the news and on the message boards and fora especially if fans of rival teams are left frustrated by Mercedes continuing dominance.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stepperman, 20/05/2014 0:55

"The engine sound is a minor issue compared to the fact that the wings and flat floor downforce crap has made the races too boring to watch. Now the morons force all this "green" nonsense that makes it even more boring. Nowdays I just wait till the race is over and check to see who won."

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2. Posted by Essexv6, 19/05/2014 23:42

"Doesn't matter who says it or what the motives are the bottom line is the noise issue needs addressing. It seems that most people outside this forum agree it's not loud enough so why do we Keep getting all the do gooders and green lovers lecturing us on why we should look beyond the noise because it doesn't matter!! Well unfortunately for them it will be addressed and the sound will come back. End of subject move on it will be done!!! "

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by NTSteve, 19/05/2014 18:35

"So the story here is "promoter uses cheap trick to try to renegotiate hosting contract".

I'd rather hear the views of genuine race fans, rather than quotes from someone with a clear alternative agenda."

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4. Posted by testa rossa, 19/05/2014 15:09

"I would say back to the H 16 or L 16 and leaking carburetors .
Not all this avant-garde stuff ..this is F1 just big circus for ......."

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5. Posted by karel, 19/05/2014 8:16

"yes something has to be done, but a good V10 or V12 in the car and let's go back to F1"

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6. Posted by TokyoAussie, 19/05/2014 4:30

"The noise may well be underwhelming. There is only one noise I like even less, and that is Walker. I wish he was "fixed.""

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7. Posted by Red Baron, 19/05/2014 0:41

""They want aggression, they want a gladiatorial contest"

Exactly! The sound set F1 apart from all other categories... I want to hear Stuka dive-bombers at an F1 race, not Indycars.

F1 should take the same approach and install Stuka sirens on the cars... the faster they go, the louder and more aggressive they become :)"

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8. Posted by bfairey, 18/05/2014 21:47

"Right on Walker, this is entertainment, bums in seats and all that."

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9. Posted by gturner38, 18/05/2014 3:03

"Walker and Ecclestone are either the worst promoters in the world or have an ulterior motive for their complaining. In what universe do business people harp on and on about a potential weakness in their own product, particularly when that weakness won't be easily fixed. The old sound was cool, but it was far from the be all and end all of F1, especially since people at home never got the true sound and half the people in the grandstands were wearing earplugs because they couldn't tolerate the noise. Promoters would be better served promoting the positives of the sport rather than focusing on a perceived negative. "

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10. Posted by stackvideo, 17/05/2014 23:56

"Install a couple of Bose speakers either side of the car linked to a amplifier, volume contol connected to the fly by wire throttle, record engines sounds of any past era and away you go, Problem solved at very little cost. Totally agree with F One and ape. "

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11. Posted by F One, 17/05/2014 21:40

"These morons needs to shut up about the noise already!
I like the new noise. Far better than the god awful screech of the V8s."

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12. Posted by ape, 17/05/2014 14:09

"Some promoters think fans are idiots who do not understand the rules? Pathetic !
We don't want a Flavio or Wrestlemania F1. "

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