MARCH 20, 2014
F1 cannot just turn up the volume says Lauda
It is "absurd" to suggest formula one should urgently turn up the volume of the new turbo V6 engines.
That is the view of Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, who days ago in Melbourne admitted the sound of the 22 cars charging to the first corner left him underwhelmed.
Williams technical boss Pat Symonds agrees: "For me the start is the most exciting part of the race, and I loved it when the 22 drivers revved up their engines.
"I don't generally complain about the sound, but at the start (in Melbourne) it did seem a bit quiet," he told Auto Motor und Sport.
Lauda, however, said: "The debate about the engine noise is absurd -- you can't change that now.
"It was decided by all parties five years ago that they wanted turbo engines, and so we put in a turbocharger before the exhaust.
"It has a different sound, any child knows that," the great Austrian told Osterreich newspaper. "If you take the turbo away, you don't have hybrid engines anymore."
As for the duller sound, "We have to get used to it," Lauda insisted.
With a slightly more open attitude, however, is Lauda's Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff.
"I'm not much of an engineer," he told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper. "These things will be looked at.
"If it is decided that something must be done, then we would have to think about it carefully.
"I would think that it is possible, but whether it is right, I don't know.
"The V8 engines sounded fantastic, but I saw this race (Melbourne) up close and I can assure you that F1 is still the top of motor sports, it's not GP2.
"This (move to V6) was the right step," Wolff insisted.