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What does F1 really need, noise or sound?

I do not want noisier F1; making the engines louder is pointless. What makes motor sport more interesting are the sounds, and the plural here is important.

At one time each engine type sounded different and even when most grand prix cars were running DFVs there were still a few 12 pot motors in the mix: Anyone who heard the Matra V12 will never forget it. In the first turbo era we had a variety that all sounded different and that is what made for an interesting mix of sounds.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be and racing down the years was rarely as close as it is now. There were often races where even the three cars on the front row of the grid might have had a bigger gap in lap times than would cover the top fifteen cars on the grid today. It wasn’t uncommon to have only three or four cars on the lead lap at the finish and there were not too many flag to flag battles for the win either. But we loved it for the racing, the colours, the cars and how they sounded.

The Matra aside a formula one race wasn’t too much threat to your hearing either though. They just looked and sounded different and that is something that modern F1 has lost. Whether it can ever get it back I don’t know, but making it louder is not the answer.



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