There has been a lot of talk recently regarding the lack of noise at the Australian GP. It’s a shame really, because it’s overshadowed what was in my opinion an exciting race and the fact that these cars are a lot better for racing than their predecessors. The power units themselves I think are quite an interesting idea. They make the cars more difficult to drive, which in theory should mean that drivers will really be tested and have to show their skills more, and they allow higher top speed. They even sound nice. I do think they are too quiet, but the noise itself I like a lot more than the ear splitting V8 screamers. I like the lower, more growly tone. I like the whistling of the turbo under braking and the whirring of the electrical power.
The issue I have with people complaining about the noise levels isn’t so much about the noise. It’s more because people are acting like it’s the only thing that makes F1. I think if the racing is tight and more of the grid has a chance to win consistently, then it can only be a good thing. I’m sure they can increase the sound of the engines to some extent if they wanted to, but don’t you want racing cars to be loud because they are inherently loud? Rather than because they are tuned to be, like annoying kids tuning their first car to sound fast when they aren’t.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I really want to be able to crank the TV volume up and enjoy the revs and shifts with the nice new sounding V6 turbo engines. Without being deafened by the commentators who aren’t drowned out like they used to be that is. Overall though, even without considering the engine change, the aerodynamic and tyre changes make F1 better anyway.
Maybe they should just leave the engines alone and just turn the sound from the onboard camera microphones up.