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2014-05-16 10:21

PESKY EXHAUSTS: The F1 exhaust debacle continues to be the topic everybody is talking about. Former F1 team owner Gian Carlo Minardi ranted about too much 'focus on the noise'. Image: AFP/TOM GANDOLFINI

LONDON, England - Founder of the defunct Minardi Formula 1 team Gian Carlo Minardi has slammed efforts to turn up the volume of the new F1turbo V6 power units as "absurd".

Mercedes fitted a trombone-shaped exhaust to its car at a Pireli tyre test in Barcelona but it failed to deliver thesound boost that many in F1 were seeking.

Minardi said: "I find it absurd that the focus is on the noise when it definitely is not the primary problem."

'AN ABYSS'

Minardi, now 66, said teams should stop trying to turn up the volume and focus instead on being "more competitive": "In Spain we saw a gap of 49 seconds between Mercedes and Red Bull. An abyss."

Indeed, experts and rivals predicting Mercedes' advantage is so big that the German team could win every race on the 2014 calendar.

A 100% winning record is unprecedented in F1 but even Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda acknowledges it is a possibility in 2014. "At the moment it looks like it. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I am calm. I think if you have the pace advantage that we had at a circuit such as Barcelona then the others need at least four to five races to catch up."

And he thinks championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who's won the last four GP's on the trot, is likely to beat Nico Rosberg to the 2014 title.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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