FORMULA One head Bernie Ecclestone said he will try to make the 2014-season F1 machines sound “more like racing cars” after organizers of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix threatened to sue for breach of contract.
The sport is pushing the boundaries of hybrid technology this year with this season’s cars running races on 35-percent less fuel than last season. Turbocharged engines are back for the first time since 1988, with last year’s 2.4-liter V8s replaced by 1.6-liter V6s.
But Australian Grand Prix Chairman Ron Walker, while delighted with the overall success of the season-opening event won by Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes, said the lack of noise was not what he paid for or what the fans expected.
“I was absolutely delighted with the whole weekend, but I was not too happy with the sound,” he told Fairfax radio, adding that if you sat in the grandstand you could hardly hear the cars coming down the home straight.
“We are resolving that with Ecclestone. It’s clearly in breach of our contract. It will be an issue for all promoters all round the world,” Walker said.
Ecclestone, in comments carried by British media, said; “I was not horrified by the noise, I was horrified by the lack of it. And I was sorry to be proved right with what I’ve said all along. These cars don’t sound like racing cars.
“I’ve been speaking with Jean Todt and what I’ve said is that we need to see whether there is some way of making them sound like racing cars.”
Todt is president of the FIA, Formula One’s governing body.
“I don’t know whether it’s possible but we should investigate,” Ecclestone said.
The 83-year-old F1 chief added he has had “one or two promoters get in touch with me and they said how unhappy they are.”