Formula 1 2016: Engines Will be Much Louder (w/ Video)


The current turbocharged V6 engine formula in F1 may have its fans in tech-geek and green car circles, but many longtime Formula 1 fans have lamented the loss of the high-rpm wail of the V8 and V10 era of the sport. The announcement this week that the V6 would live on- at least until 2020– would have upset them, but there’s hope: the 2016 cars will be much louder than 2014/15 cars.


Formula 1: 2 Exhausts Are Better Than 1


The main “improvement” in the quality of F1’s sound for 2016 will come from new regulations allowing two exhaust pipes instead of one (shown, above). Mercedes’ technical chief, Paddy Lowe, is convinced the system will work, although he admits he is unsure of how much louder, exactly, the new 2016-spec. engines will be.

“It will work, and we’ll see how much louder they’ll be,” Lowe said in a made-for-Mercedes video interview. “Some measurements have been made in labs and they’ve seen some significant increase … the reason for that is the wastegate was causing a sort of silencing of the main exhaust pipe, so by removing it from the main exhaust pipe we have less silencing going on of the main flow.”

This may seem like a lot of arguing and worrying about something that, from a TV/home audience perspective, doesn’t make much of an impact on the “show” of Formula 1, where the commentary is generally the loudest part of the broadcast. To give casual F1 fans a better sense of the difference between the “old” and the “new” sounds, however, I’ve included this terrific sound comparison video, below. Check it out, then let us know which race experience you’d prefer in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Formula 1 Engine Sound Comparison

Source | Images: Motorsport, Krookzeh.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • Canyon MIke

    I want the 20,000 RPM V10!

  • bruno secundo

    I prefer the less noisier ones from 2014. What’s the point having to use earmuffs?

  • Jacob

    Where is the commentary sound coming from.

  • Jim Harvey

    Current F1 engines sound like lawn mowers. Pathetic.

    • Patrik Gårdewall

      more like Hippos that farts under water lol
      i agree its lame as hell
      F1 died when these tubro engines was introduced

  • Big George

    The V-8 / V-10 engines sound frantic, which makes the racing experience even more tense. The V-6 sounds like the local go-kart track, fun for the kiddies.

  • Steve Hanley

    Make the cars “sound” louder? Oh, please. Just more fiddling and twiddling with a dying sport. Why not just set up speakers around the track and pipe in recordings of what engines used to sound like?

    This is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Much doo doo about nothing.
    : – (

  • Disagree. Maybe the young guys like that high-rpm V8 sound, but it couldn’t compare to the olden days of Ferrari flat-12s and even the BMW turbo 4s. Did you ever hear the Lambo V12!?? Good times.

  • Patrik Gårdewall

    bring back the V10s or stop this nonsens!

    F1 V6 Turbo: Hippos that farts under water

  • the man

    F1 has become a tree hugger travesty.

  • PLu Los

    If you want quiet race cars Bruno, play with hotwheels at home