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Wolff: F1 teams must listen to fans

Thursday 20th March 2014

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Wolff: F1 teams must listen to fans

Wolff: F1 teams must listen to fans

Mercedes Racing Director Toto Wolff believes the Formula One teams should work on improving the noise of their cars if the fans are unhappy about it.

The new F1 turbo engines sound significantly different than the previous generation of power units and have been a hot topic of discussion among fans and stakeholders alike.

Although most teams have admitted that more time should be given for the season to settle before calling for major changes, they have conceded that they must be willing to take action if spectator numbers start dwindling because of the noise.

"I am not too much of a technician but we need to look into things," Wolff told Autosport when asked about the possibility of changing the acoustics of the cars.

"If we agree that there should be something done on sound, then one should look into it. But assuming that it is possible or the right step to do, I am not sure.

"For me personally I would judge it [the new rules] as a success.

"The cars are mind blowing technology.

"You hear criticisms about the engines and the noise of the engines, and I was out there at an event in Melbourne and David Coulthard drove the old V8 and it was a mega sound. There is nothing you can say against it.

"But F1 is still the pinnacle of motorsport. This is not GP2, and therefore it was the right step."

McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis is one of those who believe that it is too early in the year to be able to gauge whether the switch from eight cylinder to six cylinder engines is a good thing.

"I think we should give it a little bit more time to settle down before we are too critical of it," Dennis said.

"I think there are always going to be people who have negative observations. That is inevitable.

"But qualifying was exciting, and the race was pretty close between everyone other than Mercedes."

Eric Boullier, the McLaren race director, agrees with both Wolff and McLaren, saying that the fans should be listened to but that the season hasn't progressed far enough to make a decision either way.

"Like every big change, there are always pros and cons," Boullier told Autosport.

"It is true that we cannot dismiss the fans' complaints, but we also see some positives.

"We need to not focus only on the noise. We are undergoing exciting change actually, with this new industry-relevant powertrain which is why we could attract some new engine manufacturers and keep the existing.

"We have less aero downforce, it's a more driver formula, and you can see on the weekend there were a lot of small driver mistakes.

"It is true the engine sound is different, but not that different from the turbo engines we had in the 80's. It takes a little bit of time to see what is going on and how it develops."

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