All the noise about Formula One’s noise is just that to former FIA president Max Mosley. Noise.
And he believes that the current FIA president, Jean Todt, is doing exactly what he would do if he were still in charge.
“I’d do pretty much what Jean is doing, which is take no notice,” he told Reuters in a recent interview from his home in London.
“Or pay lip service to the discussion – ‘Oh, that’s interesting, Bernie’ – but in the end take no notice because there’s nothing anybody can do, the regulations are fixed, nobody can change anything.
“If you try to change them, Mercedes will stop you and your own rules stop you. So there’s nothing to discuss until 2015 and arguably not even then because of the notice periods. So Jean can just very gently take the Mickey.”
The noise – or to some, lack thereof – of F1’s new V6-powered machines has been a hot-button topic in the early rounds of the 2014 World Championship.
Promoters of the Australian Grand Prix have cried foul, Bernie Ecclestone has sounded off on the matter, and reigning World Champion Sebastien Vettel stirred things up when he called the engine noise “s***” last month in Malaysia.
More recently, Ferrari ran a release with the president of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, saying that the “new F1” was “a product that has absolutely no sense” – which dovetailed nicely with a Ferrari-organized fan poll that had more than 80 percent of the voters rejecting this year’s changes.
To Mosley, all of them are raising a ruckus just to further their own particular agendas – and that those groups have no idea that the public is on to their tactics.
“The truth of the matter is I think that the public don’t take the slightest notice,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is going to say ‘Ooh, Vettel says the engines are rubbish so I’m not going to turn the television on Sunday’. It just doesn’t happen.
“People might turn it off if it’s a boring race, but everyone will turn it on.”
Mosley also mentioned that, “ideally,” Formula One should have gone even further on the green side of things engine-wise with a four-cylinder powerplant.
But in the meantime, he believes that the new noise will eventually be accepted.
“Those cars were becoming dinosaurs and then the sponsors all have to answer to some sort of board about their green credentials,” he said.
“Well, these cars are still very fast…My bet is that by this time next year, people will have forgotten all about the sound. They’ll be fascinated by the cars, by what’s happening.”