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.

Jo Borrás

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, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.