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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003