Bernie Ecclestone on the case for more noise from new F1 cars

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After Australian Grand Prix organizers issued complaints about the quieter sound of the new V6-powered Formula One cars, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is hunting for ways to put the noise back into the World Championship.

Tom Cary of the UK’s Telegraph newspaper quotes the 83-year-old Ecclestone as saying that “we can’t wait all season” to find a solution to making the greener machines sound “more like racing cars.”

Ecclestone disclosed that he has been talking with FIA president Jean Todt on the matter and that he has received complaints from promoters.

“I don’t know whether it’s possible [to make modifications,] but we should investigate,” he added. “I think, let’s get the first few races out of the way and then maybe look to do something.

“We can’t wait all season. It could be too late by then.”

Yesterday, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott went on a national radio network to discuss how, from his perspective, the quieter cars took away from the atmosphere last weekend in Melbourne.

Additionally, he mentioned that said cars may have also incurred a breach of contract between the race organizers and Formula One management.

“We pay for a product, we’ve got contracts in place, [and] we are looking at those very, very seriously because we reckon there has probably been some breaches,” Westacott stated at the time.

The Telegraph story adds new quotes from AGPC Chairman Ron Walker, who says that the loudest noise at Albert Park didn’t come from the F1 cars but from the V10-powered two-seater from former Minardi owner Paul Stoddart.

“If you sat in the grandstand, you could hardly hear [the F1 cars] coming down the straight,” Walker claimed.

The throaty growl of the V6 motors, which are at the forefront of the technical revolution that has swept into F1 this season, has been met with mixed response from followers.

Force India team owner Vijay Mallya was caught proclaiming “the noise of Formula One has gone” on the world feed broadcast, but three-time World Champion and Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has said that it wouldn’t make financial sense to alter the engines for the sake of more noise.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”