Comment: 2014 engines sound great

AUTOSPORT Group F1 Editor Jonathan Noble's verdict on the 2014 engines

People normally say you should believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

But today was an exception to that rule - as selected Formula 1 media, including AUTOSPORT, got a first chance to listen to exactly what a 2014 V6 turbo engine is going to sound like.

For years we have heard conflicting stories about the audio qualities (or lack of them) of the new 2014 V6 turbo engines.

In one corner were Bernie Ecclestone and a few race promoters - who suggested they would sound 'terrible' and needed to be dropped.

In the other corner were the engine manufacturers who insisted the power units would deliver a different - but still satisfying – noise.

At Brixworth today, Mercedes-Benz delivered its definitive answer to the debate when it played the audio from a dyno simulated lap of the Monza track.

And the smiles around the table of those hearing it for the first time delivered a conclusive answer that fans will have little to worry about.

Yes, the high-pitched shriek of the V8 engines hitting the rev limiter at 18,000rpm may be gone, but the new deeper noise is certainly nothing to be disappointed about.

There is still a solidness to the sound; one that will be amplified when the engines are put onto racing cars with proper exhausts and allowed to play flat-chat on race tracks around the world.

Mercedes' engine chief Andy Cowell reckons the new engines actually sound 'sweeter' than the current V8s, and no one present today could disagree.

The state of secrecy in F1 means that audio of the engines will not be ready for public consumption for a while – for even the sound could provide an advantage to rivals – but fans should rest assured that there is little to fear from what is coming in 2014.

You will still need your ear plugs next year. And that is great news.