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Vettel blasts quiet engines

2014-03-28 08:02

SEBASTIAN VETTEL AT SPEED: The Red Bull driver is a little furious over the lack of spine-vibrating sound during F1 GP's. He's loved it since he was six. Image: AFP

PATRICK JOHNSTON

SEPANG, Malaysia - Several-times Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has blasted the sport's new V6 turbo/hybrid engines because of their lack of noise.

The Red Bull driver says the tracks are now quieter than most bars and that fans are missing out.

Vettel dominated the sport for the last four years of the V8 era but his run of nine consecutive wins ended in Melbourne in the season-opening race on March 16 when retired with a reliability issue.

The early stop gave Vettel a chance to hear the cars continue around the Albert Park track with the lack of noise not proving music to his ears.

FIRST TIME AGED 6

He said ahead of this weekend's 2014 Malaysian GP in Sepang: "I was on the pits wall during the race and it was (quieter) than in a bar. I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular and sound is one of the most important things."

Vettel said the deafening noise of the V8's had made a lasting impression when he first went to a race in Germany aged six. "We went to see the cars live in free practice in Germany and the one thing I remember was the sound. I remember how loud the cars were and felt the cars through the ground as it was vibrating.

"It's a shame we don't have that anymore."

The view was shared by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. He said the lack of noisehad taken some of the magic away from the glamour sport. "It's OK, it's not special as it used to be, but it's a lot of power and special in other ways."

ENOUGH NOISE

Vettel's team mate Daniel Ricciardo, second in his first race with the team at his home GP in Melbourne before being disqualified, said the noise remained loud enough for him. "Once you're at full speed you still don't hear what's going on," the Australian told reporters. "There's still enough noise inside our helmets to block out the rest.

"I think it's all right. It's different, something else to get used to. I'll probably have good hearing for a bit longer so I'm not really complaining."

Ricciardo's lack of complaint would have been met with approval from McLaren's Jenson Button, who took advantage of the Australian's disqualification to move up to third in Melbourne. Button, 2009 champion, advised the likes of Vettel to leave F1 if they did not like the adaptations.

"Go and race something else if you're not happy," the Briton said. "As drivers, we don't have an opinion where the cars are in terms of sound and feel. When you cross the finish line first you've won a GP, you don't care what it sounds like and what it looks like.

"You've beaten the best in the world and that's what you care about."

Hamilton's Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, who won in Melbourne, supported Button's opinion in an earlier news conference. "The cars are great to drive, that's fine, so I think its all good," he said.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Malaysian GP.
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