Although the current hybrid engines produce a fairly interesting noise, they can’t match the old V8s and V10s for that high-pitched scream which used to provide such an ear-shattering and chest-piercing part of the F1-watching experience.
Attempts have been made to improve the noise over the years, from slight adjustments to the rules to the utterly hilarious megaphone idea which was trialled a few years ago.
A better noise is something rule makers are trying to achieve with the 2021 engine formula, but that’s still a few years away. In the meantime, Liberty Media wants to come up with an interim solution which gives fans at home the impression that the cars are louder.
Formula 1 commercial manager Sean Bratches told Reuters:
“One of the things that we want to amplify going forward are the sounds of the sport, because they are viscerally moving to fans and critically important in all the research that we do.”
In a move which sounds only slightly less ridiculous than the megaphone idea, Bratches also said the sport is working with Australian producer David Hill – a man with a reputation for innovation in broadcasting – to develop a microphone which is attached to the exhaust system, making the cars seem louder on TV.
“He’s working with a German concern to develop a ceramic microphone that we can actually adhere to the exhaust pipe to get the true amplification of sound for fans.”
It’s nice to see the sport cares about giving fans what they want, and having a microphone literally right by the exhaust certainly sounds intriguing, but couldn’t fans achieve a similar effect at home right now by, you know, just turning the volume up?