F1's ongoing noise debate could move one step closer to being resolved after this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, as a revised exhaust system will be run during next week's test with a view to boosting the volume of the new-breed turbo-charged cars.
Having initially been set to take place in next week's post-race test at the Circuit de Catalunya, Crash.net
has learned that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone requested the evaluation be brought forward and take place in Friday morning's opening 90-minute practice as he expects many race promoters to be in attendance. Those same individuals, who have been amongst the most vocal when it comes to complaining about the lack of aural stimulation with the new cars, are unlikely to stick around for the two-day test that follows the weekend.
However, despite that request, Mercedes has now clarified that it will be waiting until the test to run the exhaust.
Mercedes will be at the forefront of the development, with team director Toto Wolff confirming earlier this week that the addition of a 'megaphone' exhaust outlet was amongst the solutions being touted.
"The solutions range from very complex solutions within the exhaust system down to a simple megaphone at the back," he told Germany's Kolner Express
newspaper in the build-up to this weekend's Spanish round, “The 'megaphone' is a parallel exhaust that simply opens up at the end - with all the problems that brings with it…"
Ecclestone's reasoning aside, it seems odd that the current F1 pacesetters would be willing to interrupt development of the W05 in order to test the solution alone, unless Mercedes expects it to bring other rewards. Barcelona traditionally sees teams bring out their first major upgrade of the season, with Friday practice key to understanding its effect on the cars.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg had already alluded to the fact that a solution was pending, hinting that the cars would sound different by the time Monaco rolled around in two weeks' time.
“Mercedes have done lots of work on trying to make the cars louder and have a greater engine noise,” the German noted in the build-up to Barcelona, “They have come up with good solutions, we have tested them in the factory and they work, so now we will test them on the track next week. Then it is a matter for the FIA to get all the teams to agree and try and get the things on the cars.”