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Promoters will walk away over F1 sound ‘disgrace’

Ron Walker warns the FIA the sound of the new F1 engines will lead to a backlash from fans and could cause races to walk away
Australian Grand Prix promoter Ron Walker says other races are likely to walk away from F1 as a result of the “disgrace” that is the sound of the new engines.

The new F1 season kicked off in Australia a little over a week ago, with the 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines being heard in a race situation for the first time. While the new power units are much quieter than their predecessors – the high-pitched V8s – they also deliver a number of new sounds. However, Walker – who is also the chairman of the Formula One Promoters' Association – believes the new engine sound “is a disgrace” which will force promoters to look to other series in order to keep fans happy.

“The sound is a disgrace,” Walker told The Independent. “When the car comes down the straight you can't even hear it. Now you have got every promoter worried that it's going to turn fans away. You will find promoters dropping out. They will go and get an IndyCar race or something like that to keep the fans.”

Walker also warned that Bernie Ecclestone could himself face a backlash from the race promoters, saying: “There will be a meeting of all of the promoters and you will find that an enormous voice will come out of that... to say 'Bernie, enough is enough. This is not what we bought.'”

However, despite the threat to Ecclestone, Walker made clear that he blames FIA president Jean Todt for what he believes is a move that “will ruin the sport that Bernie built” as negotiations over a new Australian Grand Prix deal continue.

“We haven't signed a new contract with Bernie, so this is going to put a lot of pressure on the FIA. It doesn't have the right to destroy this sport. It will ruin the sport that Bernie built over this. Out of any single problem, this is the one that will kill the golden goose. It is hard enough to sell tickets now but this is arrogance at the worst from Jean Todt.”

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Skooter

March 25, 2014 9:44 AM

And so they should. And so should the fans. No fans - no sport. Only the FIA and Bernie could take something that is, lets be honest, largely dull to watch, and make it dull to listen to as well. My enduring memories of my trackside F1 experiences is the noise more than anything else. The noise is an intregal part of the race experience. So look at the first F1 race of the season, compare that to the sister two wheel championship of the first Moto GP weekend. Night and day. Nuff said. Moto GP - truly edge of the seat stuff. F1 - sadly, yawn. Wish it wasn't. But it is.

rou

March 25, 2014 9:15 AM

All these new regulations were brought in prematurely. 12 more months and they could suss out all the minor things. Anything to bring down Red Bulls reign, right? I have to admit walking around Melbourne on Friday and not hearing the engines screaming from Albert park was a little disappointing. The screaming engines also block out females from asking questions every time a car passes.



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