Ecclestone promises to bring the noise back to F1

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Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - United States Grand Prix - Race Day - Austin, USA

If you tuned in to Sunday's opening GP in Melbourne and were disappointed by the vacuum-cleaner noises of the new turbocharged 1.6-litre cars, it seems you weren't the only one.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that investigations are to get underway to find ways of making the new, hybrid-powered machines sound more like racing cars, after Australian Grand Prix organisers threatened to sue for breach of contract.

Ron Walker, chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) had complained that a lack of aural drama from the cars could affect future ticket sales.

Speaking to Melbourne's The Age newspaper, he said that the noise was "not what we paid for" and that the issue would affect "promoters all around the world".

Ecclestone himself has long been opposed to the switch from naturally aspirated V8 engines to greener V6 turbocharged units, and after the Melbourne race said: "I was not horrified by the noise, I was horrified by the lack of it. And I was sorry to be proved right with what I've said all along; these cars don't sound like racing cars," reported The Telegraph.

He continued: "I've been speaking with Jean (Todt – FIA president) this afternoon and what I've said is that we need to see whether there is some way of making them sound like racing cars.

"I don't know whether it's possible but we should investigate. I think let's get the first few races out of the way and then maybe look to do something. We can't wait all season. It could be too late by then."

Ecclestone confimed that he had been contacted by a couple of promoters who were unhappy over the lack of noise. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo has also been inundated with unhappy emails over the issue.

Walker added: "We (the AGPC) are an entertainment company and we have to entertain the public. Everybody was talking about it. When you take the excitement away, you have trouble selling tickets. You have to create demand, and part of that demand is people liking the noise of the race cars. We are resolving that with Bernie. It's clearly in breach of our contract. I was talking to him last night (Sunday) and it's not what we paid for. It's going to change."