B ernie Ecclestone said it. The fans voted. And even the drivers share the opinion of many. The current Formula 1 engines are too quiet. 'When I recently drove an old BRM from 1970 in Mexico, the sound went through my core. The noise is part of a Formula 1 car. It is its acoustic trademark,' reported Sergio Perez.
The modern V6 turbos are too quiet compared to the V8 engines. Measurements have shown: The number of decibels fell by a third. Especially in the partial load range, it gets quiet on the Formula 1 tracks. But the sound quality is even worse. The drive sources sound like lawn mowers despite performance values beyond 800 hp. Or like a hairdryer, mockers say.
Motor concept dampens the sound
The concept defines the sound. For reasons of efficiency, the turbocharged 1.6-liter engines are most of the time in a speed range of 10,000 to 12,000 rpm. operated. The speed limit of 15,000 rpm. is never achieved. Incidentally, it is even worse in the WEC. The Porsche 919 Hybrid usually only turns at 9,000 rpm. and whispers even more than any Formula 1 engine.
In addition: The MGU-H electric machine, which sits between the turbine (red) and compressor (blue), acts like a silencer (see gallery). The position of the wastegate valve directly on the turbine is responsible for the sound quality. It is currently connected to the tailpipe via a diversion.
'This connection acts like a side arm resonance absorber. The sound is made in the tailpipe,' explains Mercedes engine manager Andy Cowell. If you want to understand the exact effect of this arrangement, you should google the term 'Helmholtz resonator'.
Five possibilities for wastegate position
That will change in 2016. The connection between wastegate and tailpipe is cut. The wastegate then opens into one or two separate pipes, which have to run parallel to the exhaust pipe at a defined distance. Similar to the Ferrari V6 turbo from 1984. They will end in such a way that there are no parts of the fairing or the wing behind them. The FIA wants to avoid aero tricks with the help of the exhaust gases.
The teams are free to choose the arrangement of the wastegate tailpipes. Either one above or below the exhaust or two next to each other on the top and bottomof the tailpipe or one below and one above. Cowell promises: 'It will raise the sound by a few decibels and improve the sound quality significantly.'
In our gallery we show what will change with the exhaust.