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.”

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.