Does Formula 1 need to bring back the Noise?

Once possessing the most distinctive sounds out on the track, the current incarnation of Formula One fails to deliver – is there any going back?

Let’s have a frank discussion here. The current F1 cars sound a bit weak. They look fantastic, they move like the beasts that they are, but they sound like leafblowers. The infectious high-pitched whine that would creep up one’s spine during a race is non-existent. Hell, one might argue that the sound itself was reason enough to buy a paddock pass and listen as they would scream past. Sad days indeed.

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 23: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo leads Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo, Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer and the rest of the grid at the start during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2016 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 23: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo leads Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo, Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer and the rest of the grid at the start during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2016 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Though all hope is not lost. The 2017 season will mark Liberty Media’s first year at the helm, and they haven’t been shy about taking the sport in a new direction. It’s no secret that Formula One has been falling behind in viewer engagement over the years. Sure, the sport still holds one of the largest followings worldwide, but the way that the Ecclestone-era handled engagement is enough to boil your blood. Just think back to the wonderful days of biting the bullet into some ridiculously overpriced cable package just to be able to watch one Motorsport.

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Whatever Liberty Media has up its sleeve, they’re not showing it yet. Though hopes are resting high on them, particularly those of one Lewis Hamilton:

“I don’t feel Formula 1 is winning – it’s not been for a long time. 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.”  – Lewis Hamilton

Would F1 be making a positive change if they brought any of these tracks back to the calendar?

Whatever direction they take it in, they’d better bring back the goddamn sound. Put a filter on it for all that matters – anything would be better than what we have right now.

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