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Do F1 cars need to be louder?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by stop, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Current volume (around 100db)

    8 vote(s)
  2. GP3 volume

    1 vote(s)
  3. GP2 volume

    1 vote(s)
  4. V8 volume

    14 vote(s)
  5. Quieter than now

    1 vote(s)
  1. This is a question I have been asking since I went to the 2014 British Grand Prix, and has been raised a bit further after I went to the British GP last weekend.

    The previous year was the first time I ever went to see a race. The cars were just so loud that ear defenders were basically mandatory.

    Now I am a little different in this situation, as my ears are fairly sensitive (I have perfect pitch) and unlike others, they don't get used to loud noise even if its continuous, unlike with others, instead it just develops into a headache. Even EARPLUGS didn't do the job with GP2 cars in the morning, so for the F1 cars with V8 engines, ear defenders were mandatory for me. I was sitting at Luffield, probably the loudest stand on the track.

    In 2014 however, the first year of the V6 Turbo Hybrid engines, where I sat at Luffield once again. The cars were a lot quieter and I didn't need to wear anything on my ears. And because of that, not only was I able to appreciate the atmosphere properly as well, but I actually heard the cars louder than I did in 2013 where I needed to wear ear defenders, and was able to get a thrill from them without them doing my ears in, in fairness, they are still very loud, just not too loud.

    Earplugs or ear defenders can really suck the life out of the experience at times. When I was at Woodcote for the GP2 race on Saturday, I couldn't get as much of a thrill from the cars as I had to wear those fricken cups over my ears. It made me hear the cars so damn quiet. However for the F1 when the cars weren't too loud on Sunday at Stowe, I didn't need to wear anything on my ears, and I was able to get a thrill.

    So whats the point of making the cars louder than they are? People are going to be putting earplugs or in my case ear defenders in, which can completely suck the life out of the experience for people who can't cope without them. And having quieter engines enables people to have their dream of going to an F1 race earlier, as since the introduction of the new engines, I've seen more kids at the British Grand Prix, I was 15 when I went to see my first grand prix, my parents didn't want to take me earlier because they were worried about how I'd cope with the noise (I'd been wanting to go since I was like 7).

    So why do it? I'd like people to put their opinions on whether the cars should be louder or stay as they are and why in reply to this. I've also put a poll on this matter, but still I'd like replies to this to see your in depth opinions.
  2. I went to my first GP in 2012 at Austin when they still had the V8's. During practice and qualifying I didn't use any ear protection at all, and while it was loud, it wasn't any louder than some rock concerts I have attended without the benefit of ear protection (in fact a few of those were louder IMO). I didn't even have the temporary hearing loss I have experience after a loud rock concert. I did wear ear protection during the race (just ear plugs) as a precaution since instead of a couple of cars going by it would be about 20 cars coming through turn 1 for the first few laps.
    I went again in 2013 and did the same thing, but after FP2 I had a headache. I was standing at turn 4 where they were running full throttle through the esses. It was pretty loud, but I loved every minute of hearing those V8's at full song!
    I next attended in 2015 with the V6 turbos, and it was MUCH quieter. I didn't even need any ear plugs at all, and I could carry on a conversation with my brother-in-law during the race without even shouting. But I don't really care for the pitch of the engine note. I wish they ran higher revs. That was something unique to F1 that is now lost.
    For me its not about the volume, but the pitch.
  3. The new era cars are very fast and the technology is really cool, but the sound is missing that "wow" factor for me. I was lucky enough to go to the 2013-2014 USGP and I enjoyed the V8's more than the V6's. From my point of view, sure with V6's you can have a conversation with the person next to you and you can hear the cars with more clarity, but in my opinion the new cars don't compare to the earth-shattering noise and the sense of power (insert Jeremy Clarkson) they made you feel. For comparison, the FIA says the sound pressure level for the new cars is 11 decibels lower than before (134 dB compared to 145 dB)
    The main reason they seem much quieter than the old era is because our ears are more sensitive to higher frequencies.

    Source: https://acousticengineering.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/are-formula-1-cars-too-quiet/
  4. 11 dB is quite a big difference. dB is not a linear scale, it is logarithmic and exponential. Basically double the absolute power value for every 3 dB
  5. The whole sound of a Formula One car used to be such a wonderous thing. Now it sounds like some hybrid gocart to me. Ruined. Bring back real screaming v12's and v8's I say and to hell with economy and PC green engines.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. kedy89

    Premium Member

    V10, V12 or a proper V6t sound, 80's style.
  7. People have measured it trackside, and the loudest engine is the Mercedes at around 104db and the quietest engine is the Ferrari at around 85-90db

  8. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    I don't really know much about the technical part of F1 but I did like the sound of the cars around the 2000-2006 period. I think they were V8's. But definitely they need to be louder, I mean now they just sound like lawnmowers which doesn't really give me a sense of speed, which is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about F1.
  9. kedy89

    Premium Member

    V10 until 2005, from then on V8 (except ToroRosso in '06). Last V12 was Ferrari in '95 btw. :)
  10. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    Hmmm yeah then it was 2005 and a V10, thanks for mentioning.:thumbsup:
  11. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    Talking Door Racing Premium Member

    As much as I love hearing the V10s sounds and V8s live, I have to admit that seeing the Audi LMP1 flying by with literally aero drag sounds only impresses me a lot.

    Sound is unused energy to accelerate, so I would rather see a MGU-S being deployed:p.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Frank

    Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I found the Audi sound really impressive @ Le Mans as well, not that anyone agreed with me.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Staff Member Premium Member

    No. If you make the cars louder, all you're going to do is put in earplugs and reduce the noise again. I like being able to have conversations when cars are going past, and if all you can hear is a scream that bursts eardrums, then nothing can be heard.

    That said, the noise of the new engines is nowhere near as good as the old V8's and 10's. Give me V10 noise with V6-Hybrid volume and we're onto a winner.
  14. the_sigman

    Sim racer, F1 news editor... Racing is in my blood Premium Member

    I am watching a lot of series, from F1, WEC and Indycar to DTM, WTCC and Formula E, therefore I got used to the sound easily and it is not a problem for me. Of course I would prefer a louder sound and maybe another pitch, but I don't really care to be honest.
  15. On the healthy and safety of the people that work around them on a daily basis, no they don't. But I work in audio and in noisy environments, so I might be biased.
  16. Matt88

    Team Manager and Driver - MK Simsport Premium Member

    When the Porsche supercup support race is considerably louder than the F1, something ain't right.

    Exactly as said earlier it's missing that WOW factor.

    I live next to silverstone and have attended many test day and races since I was 6. The new engines sound like any other engine. F1 used to be unique and exciting. Its lost that now unfortunately. Intact I think there now quieter than in 2014
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. I would put another option, V10. That's the right answer.
    • Agree Agree x 1