By LOREN HAZELWOOD
Kamui Kobayasi crashing out after a brake-by-wire failure. Photo: AP Photo/Ross Land
Australian Grand Prix organisers claim the new F1 cars may have breached race contracts because they were not loud enough.
Fans have also spoken and agreed that the new V6 turbo-charged powertrain cars sound duller than a lawnmower on a Saturday morning.
The Australian Grand Prix Coordination’s (AGPC) organiser Andrew Westacott said the new cars took away the fascinating spectacle of Formula One racing.
“One aspect of it was just a little bit duller than it’s ever been before and that’s part of the mix and the chemistry that they’re going to have to get right,” Mr Westacott told Fairfax radio.
Westacott also mentioned that AGPC chairman Ron Walker told Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone who said that the quieter sound might have breached the race contract.
“Ron spoke to [Ecclestone] after the race and said fans don’t like it in the venue,” Mr Westacott said.
“We pay for a product, we’ve got contracts in place, we are looking at those very, very seriously because we reckon there has probably been some breaches.”
Not only were the big bosses disappointed with the sound of the new cars—the fans and racing drivers were in disbelief with the V6-turbo sound, including NSW Formula Ford Driver, Daniel Holihan.
“They should definitely bring back the V8 or even the V10 and V12 engine, it’s the fans that come to hear the high pitch roar of a Formula One around the city of Melbourne,” Mr Holihan said.
“I was getting more of a thrill watching the rolling starts of the V8 Supercars.”
Although the cars were not as loud—the racing spoke for itself, with the drivers battling for position throughout the whole race, while trying to not break down.
The competition level was high and it was unpredictable who would win the race before it started, with reliability also playing a big part during the first race in Australia.
“I loved the action, the race was very entertaining because it was a complete fresh start for every team and there was a lot of passing going on,” Mr Holihan said.
Not only did the race deliver great action and unpredictability, it also saw controversy unfold as Australian young gun Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified after a fuel-flow sensor error.
Ricciardo’s team at Red Bull have appealed the decision, with the verdict expected to take a few weeks to be announced.
Nico Rosberg was the eventual winner of the race, with McLaren rookie driver Kevin Magnussen replacing Ricciardo for second on his Formula One debut, with McLaren teammate Jenson Button rounding out the top three.
Formula One management are yet to comment on the hybrid-generation cars.