Mercedes set to test prototype louder exhaust next week

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Mercedes is set to test a prototype exhaust design at next week’s test in Spain in an attempt to find a solution to the sound problem that has marred the beginning of the new season.

The downsize from V8 engines to turbocharged V6s has resulted in a definite reduction in sound. The issue appears to be rather subjective, with some praising the new technology and not seeing the noise as a problem. However, the likes of Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo have expressed their disappointment with the new sound, and met in Bahrain to discuss the issue.

Soon after this, the FIA confirmed that it was looking into ways to improve the sound, and Mercedes will be the first team to test a new system which works much like the bell in a trumpet.

“Mercedes will evaluate a prototype solution during next week’s test to assess its impact on the tailpipe noise,” the team confirmed on Twitter.

“It’s a first step in a development process to address the feedback from our sport’s fans about these mega new hybrid power units.”

Teams will get the chance to test next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which is hosting this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes also confirmed today that it has renamed its car the “F1 W05 Hybrid” in honor of the new engines for 2014.

“What we are seeing in Formula 1 today is the next generation of innovations that will eventually find their way from the race track to the road,” team boss Toto Wolff explained. “Mercedes-Benz is leading the way in promoting the positive new direction the sport has taken.”

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”