Unimpressed World Champion Sebastian Vettel dismisses the sound of 2014 as "s***"
But Red Bull driver relieved with the pace shown by RB10 in Melbourne
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 28/03/14 5:27am
The reduced volume generated by the new power-units proved to be a major talking point both during and after the season-opening Australian GP, with the debate itself arguably sounding louder than the low growl emanating from the V6s, the greener but downsized successors to the much-mourned V8s.
While 'pump up the volume' has become the new mantra of outraged purists who would prefer not to be able to hear themselves think, other trackside observers have praised F1's new soundtrack as a 'multi-faceted noise' that allows other aspects of the show to come to an audible fore.
'From trackside in a braking area you'd hear the whistle and whine of turbo and cam gears, the rumble of resistance as torque was taken from the rear axle and fed to the battery, you'd hear part-throttle hesitancy and then a beautifully cultured V6 howl' wrote Mark Hughes in his post-Melbourne column for Sky Sports F1. Colleague Martin Brundle, however, was rather less convinced, arguing 'there simply isn't enough volume and some of the intense drama has been lost.'
Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend's Malaysia GP, Vettel was even more damning in his assessment of F1's new sound, instantly dismissing it as "s**t", before railing, in rather more eloquent terms, against the retirement of ear-deafening sensory overload.
"F1 has to be spectacular and the sound is one of the most important things," mused the Red Bull driver. "I remember when I was a small child, and I don't remember much, being six years old when we went to watch practice at the German GP and the thing I recall is how loud the cars were and the feeling of the ground vibrating. It's a shame we don't have that anymore."
On the track, Vettel is determined to make plenty of noise on the Sepang Circuit this weekend after departing Melbourne frustrated with his own early retirement but heartened by the RB10's belated competitive showing in the hands of new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
"The pace in Melbourne was a surprise and the weekend generally was a positive. The points scored, zero, wasn't satisfactory, but it was a relief on Friday to learn that the car, and the package, is quick. We weren't happy with our preparations and the problems we had in Melbourne are down to us not running enough, it's as simple as that. It wasn't a massive surprise with the poor preparation we have had," the reigning World Champion remarked.
"My hope for here is that we are reliable and can improve from where we were in Melbourne. Everything is possible here and I wouldn't mind some rain."
The German's wish may well be granted, with the risk of thunderstorms predicted for all three days of the event.
But come rain, shine or thunderstorms, it's a certainty that the row about the lack of noise from the V6s will continue to rumble on.