Engine manufacturers convene to discuss noise
© The F1 Times
|18 April 2014 by Ryan Wood | M||Tweet
Representatives from all three engine manufacturers convened on Friday in the Chinese Grand Prix paddock to discuss ways of increasing the noise from the new V6 power units.
FIA president Jean Todt promised the issue of noise would be looked at after a backlash from some fans over the quietness of the new formula.
The first of several meetings to find a solution to the problem took place on Friday. It's expected the post-Spanish GP test will be used to trial some of the solutions.
Andy Cowell (Mercedes) says it's unlikely they'll increase the rev limit of 15,000rpm, as most teams won't go above the optimum of 10,500rpm during a race weekend.
If they were to rev to the 15,000rpm limit, it would require the FIA to drop or increase the maximum fuel flow limit of 100kg/h.
"I don’t see that changing, I don't see the need for the revs to change to change the noise of the power unit," said Cowell. "The principal reason why the engine is quieter is the turbine wheel and the muffling effect that you get from that."
He says the most likely course of action would be to change the exhaust layout and the way in which the exhaust gases exit the car.
"[The turbocharger] is 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."
Rob White of Renault says they're "extremely limited" by what they can do to change or increase the noise, but says they'll look at all possibilities.
"First thing to say is that the noise of the current engine is a consequence of the overall layout, the architecture and so forth," he explained.
"I think in terms of the possible adjustments to change the noise it makes, I think we're at the beginning of a consultative process that will kick off in about an hour's time.
"Andy's alluded to tail pipe changes – that's something that could be a way to go. I think the scope to fundamentally and profoundly alter the noise of the engines is extremely limited by the type of technology that we have deployed 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."
Note: Honda's head of motorsport Yasuhisa Arai was also present, as was the FIA's technical delegate Charlie Whiting.