Quieter Formula One engines allow tyres to shine

Posted by: Cal on 3/04/2014

Category: General

When you think of fast and furious Formula One racing, you think of an excited crowd, thrilling manoeuvres on the track, and the ear-splitting ruckus of roaring V8 engines.

However, the familiar din of the racetrack may be no more with the introduction of new hybrid, environmentally friendly engines to Formula One cars, which were put on show for the first time in Australia.

Instead of the previous 2.4 litre V8 engines, the cars now utilise smaller 1.6 litre V6 engines in an effort to make the sport cleaner, greener and more energy efficient, keeping up with changing standards on the Aussie roads.

A fuel limit also applies as part of the change to Formula One rules, with drivers having to complete their race on just 100 kg of fuel. In comparison, previous races saw drivers completing races on around 160 kg.

The new, hybrid engines will result in a significant decrease in the roaring noise you might be used to hearing in a Formula One race. 

Although the changes to the engines are designed to be more energy and fuel efficient, thus more environmentally forgiving, there was significant uproar from fans and industry players alike when the quieter engines were announced.

Some believed the change was going to significantly change the essence of the sport, with some even labelling the quieter engines a "disaster".

According to the New York Times, some fans said that the series had lost its "sparkle" as a result of the lack of noise, which provided a "direct injection of macho bravado, a sense of danger, speed, urgency, and wonder".

However, after the unveiling of the engines on the actual track at the first race of the season, the 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix, opinions were mixed. While some fans will definitely miss the excitement created by the powerful V8 engines, some say that the end result is not as bad as they imagined.

BBC Sport reported even Formula One big boss Bernie Ecclestone admitted the engines were better than he initially thought after the second race in Malaysia, after stating he was "horrified" after their unveiling at the first race in Australia.

With the elimination of rowdy sound from V8 engines, the Formula One race uncovers plenty of other atmospheric sounds that were perhaps not as evident as before. The excited roar and chanting of the crowd, along with the screech of car tyres on the track.

In fact, that's one of the best parts about it - hearing every last bit squeezed out of Formula One's incredible tyre performance is exciting in itself!