So F1’s new turbo-hybrid cars are too quiet. Despite the new powertrains delivering what was requested the end result has, seemingly, left fans crying over their ear defenders.
Yes, the cars are quieter but is that necessarily a bad thing? How much do we really miss the shrill, ear-shattering, bone-rumbling, screaming V8s?
The ‘shock and awe’ as F1 cars blast past you for the first time is definitely gone but in its place is a more engaging sound. Tyres now tell us who is on the edge of adhesion. Each driver’s throttle control is more apparent, and the low growl followed by the turbo whizz is a welcome, albeit quieter, echo of the original turbo era.
F1 worries it will turn fans away with Mercedes’ failed ‘trumpet’ exhaust the first of the knee-jerk reactions. But F1 should recall the reaction when wings first made an appearance and when the trend for high noses emerged. And remember how the original turbo cars were ridiculed by the establishment? At least now another generation of F1 fans can tell their grandkids ‘F1 was better in my day’ – thanks mostly to the fact those kids won’t now be deafened on race day.