Melbourne: Team bosses told fans to get used to the new, quieter Formula One engines on Friday after complaints that the previously deafening cars now sounded more like vacuum cleaners.
Turbo-charged hybrid engines have replaced the ear-splitting V8s, giving the year`s opening practice sessions a decidedly sedate feel. Some likened the "underwhelming" sound to a "sewing machine on wheels", while others said it sounded like a race between 22 vacuum cleaners and wondered why it was so quiet in the F1 paddock.
However, others present found the subdued sound a blessing as, for once, they didn`t need ear-plugs and could hold a conversation with the person next to them.
And team officials certainly didn`t see it as a problem ahead of Sunday`s Australian Grand Prix, where the new engines will make their racing debut. "People pretty quickly get used to what Formula One engines sound like," Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams told reporters.
"We`ve had so many changes over the decades and you very quickly forget what a previous engine sounds like. I think people just want to see a good race on Sunday and as long as we can deliver that then any issues which are considered contentious may fade away."
Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said the quieter engines were part and parcel of the drive towards hybrid technology which is intended to filter down to everyday road cars. "If you like the sound of engines let`s go back to V10, V12 and let`s not do any hybrid engines. This is a modern technology, this is where road cars go. Downsizing is the model and I think you just have to accept that the formula has changed," Wolff said.
"These cars are going to go quicker in a few races than the old ones. We are going to get used to the sounds and I promise you next year we will not remember any difference in F1."