Ecclestone admits engines louder than he thought

Bernie Ecclestone admitted on Friday that F1's new-generation cars are actually louder than he first thought.

The F1 chief executive did not attend any of the pre-season tests or the season opening Australian grand prix, where a big controversy about the milder tones of the turbo V6 engines kicked off.

"It sounds terrible on the TV," Ecclestone told Britain's Sky Sports in the Sepang pitlane during the second practice session on Friday.

He was standing with Ong Beng Seng, the Singaporean magnate who is a leading figure in the city-state's highly-popular night race.

"Mr Ong was complaining about the noise," Ecclestone revealed, referring to the Singapore grand prix chief.

"We were just saying, I think it's a little louder than we thought. If we could get it up a little bit more than this, then it would be alright," he added.

In the wake of Australian promoter Ron Walker's harsh critique, Ecclestone said on Friday that "all the promoters" are also complaining to him.

"We will have to have a reduction in fees!" Mr Ong laughed.

More seriously, however, Ong revealed that Ecclestone met with a Singaporean government minister on Thursday, because "We are a city race, and we must have the 'buzz' with the noise."

83-year-old Ecclestone, however, suggested he was somewhat relieved to have actually heard the turbo V6s in action for the first time on Friday.

"People said you couldn't hear anything, (but) it's not true," he said.

(GMM)

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