Formula 1

Mercedes motorsport boss: teams should listen to fans over noise concerns

Wolff has a background in racing
Wolff has a background in racing.

Formula 1 teams should address the noise concerns expressed by fans if there is a widespread dislike of F1 2014, according to Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff.

After the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, criticism came from a number of quarters over the lack of noise generated by the new 1.6 litre turbo-charged engines.

Bernie Ecclestone was said to be “horrified” by the new-sounding engines, and there was even talk of legal action being taken by Melbourne GP organisers over a breach of contract at the event.

Speaking on Autosport, Wolff addressed suggestions that the acoustics of the cars may be changed to boost noise if necessary, “I am not too much of a technician but we need to look into things,” he said.

"If we agree that there should be something done on sound, then one should look into it. But assuming that it is possible or the right step to do, I am not sure."

Indeed, many within the teams themselves have been positive over the ground-breaking new technology, especially given the increased links with the road car industry and the potential for new engine suppliers wanting to join the sport in the future.

"For me personally I would judge it [the new technology] as a success," Wolff continued.

"The cars are mind blowing technology. You hear criticisms about the engines and the noise of the engines, and I was out there at an event in Melbourne and David Coulthard drove the old V8 and it was a mega sound. There is nothing you can say against it.”

"But F1 is still the pinnacle of motorsport. This is not GP2, and therefore it was the right step."

Indeed, many within the teams themselves have been positive over the ground-breaking new technology, especially given the increased links with the road car industry and the potential for new engine suppliers wanting to join the sport in the future.

With the additional pressure of reducing carbon emissions in the motor industry as a whole, Formula One is regarded by some as a first ‘prototype’ step in introducing technology that will later be seen in road cars, as has happened with new technology in the past.

A good example would be the KERS system introduced in F1 in 2009; a number of road car manufacturers have since used the technology, with Audi, Ferrari and Volvo being prime examples.

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Formula 1

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