Mercedes plans to conduct the first Formula 1 track running of the exhaust tweaks aimed at making engines noisier in next week’s post-Spanish Grand Prix test.
Following a meeting between the engine manufacturers and the FIA this week to discuss the engine sound issue, it has been agreed that one of the ideas put forward should be evaluated during the two-day Barcelona test. The FIA has been working with the car-makers to come up with a solution that will increase the noise of the engines, following complaints from fans about how quiet the new turbo units are.
Mercedes has already conducted detailed research in to the noise issue, and has faith that an attachment to the exhaust to amplify the sound will be enough to solve the problem. The attachment, which will act like a megaphone, has already produced encouraging results during engine dyno tests at Mercedes’ headquarters, which is why it has been given the green light to test.
The promised improvements to the noise will be evaluated by the FIA as work continues on trying to introduce the changes later on this season. Changes to the exhaust design to boost the noise will be easier for teams to accept than more extensive changes to the engine that could affect competitiveness.
Renault’s head of track operations, Remi Taffin, said in China that F1’s current engines could not be fundamentally altered because they were designed to be so energy efficient.
“If you look at rally cars, their turbos make a good noise because they use fuel through the exhaust, which is not something we are looking at because we have a fuel limitation,” he said. “Everything is possible but when you settle the energy regulations, you more or less settle what is going to happen.”