Sebastian Vettel has described the sound of the new F1 engines as "sh*t", saying it is one of the most important aspects of the sport.

The new engines were heard in a race situation for the first time in Melbourne a fortnight ago, with fans offering a mixed reaction to the sound of the 1.6-litre V6 turbos. Having retired from the race early on, however, Vettel was in position to hear the cars from trackside and is unhappy with the lack of noise.

Asked what he thinks of the sound of F1 in 2014, Vettel replied: "It's sh*t."

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Expanding on his response, Vettel said the sound made up a big part of the whole F1 experience in his view.

"I was on the pit wall during the race ... it's better than in the bar. That's my opinion and I think for the fans as well. I think Formula One has to be spectacular and the sound is one of the most important things.

"When I was a small child, I don't remember much, but I remember when I was six years old and we went to see the cars live during free practice, the one thing I remember was the sound. How loud they were, to feel the cars through the ground and the whole ground was vibrating. It's a shame you don't have that."

Reflecting on Red Bull's start to the season - having himself retired in Australia and with Daniel Ricciardo excluded from second - Vettel said the pace of the car was unexpected and he believes a strong result is possible if the car is reliable.

"For us there's still a lot to learn and it will take some time. I think Australia was a surprise; if you look at the performance it was generally a positive weekend for us. Obviously the result - if you look at the points we scored which is at this stage zero - was not satisfying but I think it was a relief on Friday to see that the car is quick, to see that the package is quick. We just need to make sure that we get everything together and that the package is reliable.

"I hope for here that we may have a reliable package, that we can keep up the performance from where we were in Australia and we will see. I think anything is possible here. I wouldn't mind some rain, for sure; Daniel proved that the car is quick in the wet last week as well, so we'll see."