Three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton says the lack of sound produced by modern F1 cars has taken away a major aspect that fans previously enjoyed.
Speaking in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition show on Wednesday, Hamilton said the current hybrid-turbo engines sound “terrible”, and that the sound of a Formula 1 engine was one of the major reasons that “hooked” him into the sport.
“I’ve said time and time again that I think it’s terrible,” said Hamilton when asked about the lack of engine noise. “But most people are like ‘oh, it’s not that bad’. But my opinion is that I think it is.
“When I first went to a Grand Prix at Spa in 1996, got into the paddock and Michael [Schumacher] came past in the V10 [Ferrari] and it literally rumbled my ribcage. I was hooked even more than I was when I’d watched it on TV. It was like a fighter jet – I was like ‘what the hell?’
“It’s not the only thing the fans love, but it’s an addition to smell, to the roar of awesomeness that Formula 1 is. Take that away and, jeez, it’s just sad to see the cars come by now, sound-wise.”
High hopes for new F1 owners
Hamilton said that he hoped the sport’s new owners, Liberty Media, would listen to the fans more in future to make the sport great again.
“I don’t feel Formula 1 is winning – it’s not been for a long time,” said Hamilton. “That’s to do with rule changes, it’s to do with not helping or not engaging the fans enough.
“There is still a great following in Formula 1, and I’m excited for the new owners that have come in. I’m hoping they do something new.
“New blood. New ideas. New ways of engaging the fans in a unique way. F1 is a bit outdated, if you look at other sports they’re further ahead in the entertainment factor.
“Formula 1 is catching up, and they have a lot of catching up to do.”