F1: Sebastian Vettel vocal as quiet V6 engines spat rumbles on, with Red Bull driver declaring they are 's***' ahead of important Malaysian Grand Prix

Vettel retired in the season-opening Australian GP after just three laps but the clear lack of noise coming from the new turbocharged V6 engines has seen Vettel join the chorus of criticism

Sepang

Sebastian Vettel has waded into the row over Formula One’s quiet engines, saying the new 1.6-litre V6s were in danger of making the sport unspectacular.

“It’s s***,” the four-time world champion declared roundly, having arrived here in Sepang for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix. “I was on the pit wall during the race, and it is quieter than in a bar! I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular – and the sound is one of the most important things. I remember how loud the cars were, and to feel the cars through the ground as it was vibrating. It is a shame we don’t have that any more.”

It is a view shared by many within the sport, including the promoter of the Australian Grand Prix, Ron Walker, who, The Independent revealed on Tuesday, believes that races will leave Formula One over the issue.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, however, sees a distinct advantage for drivers in the quieter engines. “With the old engines, even with earplugs, there was never a race I finished when I didn’t feel really tired mentally and didn’t have a massive headache,” the Briton said. “But after Melbourne, for the first time I didn’t have that headache. So that’s a positive!”

The 2009 world champion added that noise should be of no concern to drivers and anyone who was critical of the new engines should not be involved in the sport.

“Go and race something else if you’re not happy,” Button said. “As drivers we don’t have an opinion where the cars are in terms of sound and feel. But when you cross the finish line first you’ve won a grand prix, so you don’t care what the car sounds like or what it looks like. You’ve beaten the best in the world, and that’s all you care about.”

Button’s former team-mate Lewis Hamilton arrived in Sepang “relaxed, recovered and trained”, and ready to correct the lack of a Malaysian Grand Prix victory on his CV.

On the face of it, the 2008 champion might reasonably have felt a little irked by his team-mate Nico Rosberg scoring another victory (to add to Silverstone last year) after his own Mercedes hit trouble early in the race at the season opener in Melbourne a fortnight ago, but he insists he is well over that.

“Mentally that was very easy,” Hamilton said breezily yesterday in the humid paddock. “Why? It just was. I was chilled after the race, I’ve slept well and had a good week. And it’s easier because I think that I’m better.” Than Rosberg? “No, because in myself I’m better all round. I’ve learnt a lot over the years and been through a lot of shit, and I’m in a better position.”

With Rosberg winning by 25 seconds at Albert Park it is hard to envisage Mercedes not being in a tremendous position this weekend after a winter of incredible effort. Both drivers know that they have the best car, as Red Bull struggle to hone their troubled Renault-powered RB10 and Williams and McLaren vie to keep ahead of Ferrari.

And Hamilton fully appreciates that he needs to make a strike this weekend to avoid falling more than 25 points behind his team-mate.

“But it’s not like I need to come here and make a statement,” he countered. “It’s not a matter of that. But I do want some points. It’s a very long, long year ahead, but naturally I don’t want to get too far behind.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine