Mercedes working on 'dramatically' louder F1 engine

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Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe says the reigning Constructors’ champions are currently working on making Formula One power units dramatically louder.

Since their introduction in 2014, the 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engines have been much maligned, with disgruntled fans bemoaning the lower sound of the current units compared to the high-pitched scream of their normally aspirated V8 predecessors.

This year’s exhaust regulations, which state that teams must use at least one extra pipe for the wastegate, have delivered an increase in engine noise, with ESPN reporting that recordings on the dynos have gone up from 124db to about 128db.

However, the FIA remains steadfast in its determination to further improve the auditive experience for the fans.

"We can do some more work on the noise, that needs to get a little bit louder in my view, but we have made a step," Lowe told ESPN. "We've got some ideas being worked on that will make a dramatic increase in noise.

"Mercedes are the prime developer of a system, but we need to develop something that makes noise without losing horsepower, but that is possible."

Current power units are not only unloved for their muffled sound but also due to the double restrictions on fuel flow and consumption, with fans riling the ‘lift and coast’ technique used by drivers in order to save fuel. However, Lowe says increased efficiency has rendered such criticisms moot.

"We had all this stuff with taxi driving, but in reality the numbers that were picked of 100kg fuel [for the race] and 100kg max flow rate per hour were remarkably well judged. I don't know whether that was luck or judgement!

"While people complain about drivers having to fuel save in the race and so on, we've always had to fuel save because it's never optimal to drive flatout and the degree to which we have to save fuel in the race is not excessive in my view. It's just mildly more than it used to be and is becoming less because as we make the engine more efficient, we have to do less fuel saving in the race.

"The original intention was to drop the 100kg limit year by year, so by now we should really be on 98kg, if it had been properly pursued, rather than going up to 105kg as some wanted to do."

F1 bosses have until April 30 to finalise next year's technical regulations.

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