Bernie Ecclestone met with F1 race promoters in Barcelona on Saturday, and inevitably engine noise was top of the agenda.
Melbourne’s Ron Walker was among those who stressed that it’s a serious issue that has to be addressed, due to the negative reaction from fans. The consensus was that next week’s test by Mercedes will be crucial.
If the results are successful, and the exhaust modification is deemed to have no performance impact on any of the three power units, the hope is that it can be introduced as soon as possible.
“Everybody’s looking forward to what the ‘megaphone’ is going to be like,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “I think there are different opinions around the paddock about what’s going to happen or not. We were asked by the FIA and Bernie to put the device on the car, and see if it’s really effective. We are pretty clear, if the fans want to have more noise, and it’s making the car not only sound better but also be perceived in a more attractive way then we would be [behind it].
“Then hopefully the other teams will vote in favour as well., As you know it’s part of the technical regulations, if you want to implement it in the season you need a unanimous vote. There are not lots of times in that paddock where you have unanimous votes. It will be an interesting one.”