Two seasons since the mandated use of the 90-degree V6 turbos in the pinnacle of motorsport, the public has been left yearning for the noise that has became signature of Formula One over the years.
With the departure of the V8s in 2013, perhaps arguably one of the main factors that have turned viewership away from the sport over the past couple seasons is the fact that the new engines just make the cars sound dull and muted. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, and watching racing should be as much an aural delight as it is a visual one. Having that sentiment linger in public opinion of the sport may cause loss of interest. Suffice to say, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has been listening.
The FIA has thus implemented a new regulation that requires teams to revise their exhaust systems to make their cars more audible for the 2016 season. It seems that the existing exhaust piping has been pointed out as a cause for the cars to sound like vacuum cleaners, thus calling for a small change in the piping. While it doesn’t seem to be a large change in the rules, the FIA hopes that this new layout for the exhaust systems will allow more noise to emanate from the cars.
The actual change in the system is actually very simple, so much so that it is quite unbecoming of the tech-savvy sport. In fact, the idea they’re planning is actually being implemented on various modified high performance vehicles already. Andy Cowell, Head of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, explains in the short clip below how they plan to overcome the silencing problem.
This small change in wastegate piping is certainly welcome to long-time fans of the sport, but hopefully the FIA will consider revising more drastic rules to make the actual racing more lively down the line to further improve viewership.