F1: Bernie Ecclestone softens criticism of quiet engine noise but admits they 'sound terrible on TV' after Malaysia Grand Prix practice

Ecclestone has previously admitted to being 'horrified' by the noise of the new turbocharged V6 hybrid engines but has since said it's 'a little better than we thought'

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Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone feels the sport needs to crank up the volume to improve the show.

But after hearing first hand the quieter noise of the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units - compared to the more visceral V8s - at a circuit for the first time this season, Ecclestone believes the sound levels are not as bad as many have criticised.

Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker claimed Ecclestone was "horrified" by the drop in decibels after watching the season-opening race a fortnight ago on television.

Attending this weekend's race in Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit, although the 83-year-old could hold a conversation in the pit lane, he was not unduly concerned.

"It's a little louder than we thought, so if we can just get it (the noise) up a little bit more then it would be all right," said Ecclestone.

"It sounds terrible on tv, but the problem isn't that, it's about the people coming here and the whole atmosphere of Formula One.

"People said you couldn't hear anything, but it's not true. It just needs to be a bit louder than we have now."