Engines will be ’25 per cent louder’


Formula 1 fans can look forward to a much louder sport this season due to changes to the exhaust rules.

The introduction of 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines in 2014 heralded a new era in Formula 1 and a much quieter one.

Heavily criticised by fans and F1 personalities alike, last year the World Motor Sport Council approved a rule change whereby the wastegate on cars has to exit via a separate tailpipe from 2016 onwards.

This, Williams technical chief Pat Symonds says, will mean the engines will be "20-25 per cent louder."

Speaking at the Autosport International Show, he explained: "In the past, everyone has run wastegate pipes into the main tailpipe of the engine and what we have to do in 2016 is separate them.

"The wastegate on a modern turbo engine doesn't open very much.

"We have a motor generator attached to the turbocharger which is one of the ways we harvest waste energy and that controls the compressor speed rather than using a rather inefficient wastegate.

"So we really try not to open it very much. In race trim, it's hardly ever open and in qualifying, we open it a bit.

"You might think, if you're not opening the wastegate, you won't hear much difference but that is not quite true.

"Because there is a pipe joining the wastegate and main tailpipe, it acts as a side branch resonator. Fancy name, what does it mean?

"It means actually even with the wastegate closed, it acts like a silencer in the exhaust.

"Getting rid of that means it'll be a bit louder.

"In terms of what you will perceive, with the wastegate closed, you'll perceive it is around 14 per cent louder.

"With the wastegate open, it'll actually be 20-25 per cent louder, so quite significant.

"We haven't heard these on the circuit yet, but I think we may hear a few of the old signature noises from the turbos, the whistles and the pops – but we will have to wait and see about that one."