UPDATE: Vettel profanely rips F1’s new quieter cars (VIDEO)


Following Formula 1’s downsize from V8 to V6 engines for 2014, a great amount of debate has been sparked by the sound of the new power units. Lacking the recognizable screech of their predecessors, the V6s have met a great deal of criticism, ranging from the fans to the drivers and the sport’s CEO, Bernie Ecclestone.

Now, world champion Sebastian Vettel has entered the debate, and he has not minced his words at all.

“It’s sh*t,” Vettel explained to the media in Malaysia ahead of this weekend’s race. “I think for the fans it is not good.”

As part of Formula 1’s bid to become more of a ‘hybrid’ sport, the new engines have been introduced with some teething problems. However, 14 cars got to the finish in Australia, and the doomsday theorists that claimed none of the cars would see the checkered flag were proved wrong.

Nevertheless, the fall-out after the race was all about the new engine sound, and Vettel has joined the growing list of critics.

“F1 has to be spectacular and the sound is one of the most important things,” he added. “I remember when I was a small child, and I don’t remember much, being six years old when we went to watch practice at the German GP and the thing I recall is how loud the cars were and the feeling of the ground vibrating.

“It’s a shame we don’t have that anymore.”

Although Vettel’s criticism is by no means surprising nor new, it is perhaps a little short sighted. We are just one race into the new era of Formula 1, and the changes must be taken with a pinch of salt.

The new engine sound is indeed quieter, but so are the LMP1 cars that race in the World Endurance Championship; the racing is still exciting and fast, though. In Australia, the race was by no means a classic, but it was a welcome break from what we saw at the end of 2013 as drivers were actively wrestling with their cars to keep them under control. A little bit of time is what is required here.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.