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
Thursday 27 March 2014
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.”
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
Phil Hughes head injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Phil Hughes injury: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police