15 May 2014

'Megaphone' exhaust does not work, says Rosberg

8:02 am on 15 May 2014

A 'megaphone' exhaust tested by Formula One leaders Mercedes in Spain failed to make the quieter new cars sound any louder according to team driver Nico Rosberg.

The German says the exhaust didn't work and concedes Formula One will have to look for another solution after he had lapped Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya with what looked like a shiny vuvuzela at the back of the car.

The season's dominant team, runaway winners of all five races so far, had agreed to try out the trumpet-like device to try and pump up the volume after complaints that the new V6 turbo hybrid cars were too quiet compared to the old V8 screamers.

The softer sound provided an immediate controversy when the season started in Australia in March with some race promoters, who met in Barcelona on Sunday, fearing ticket sales could fall off if fans were alienated by the lack of decibels.

Others in favour of the quieter new era argue that increasing the noise goes against the greener spirit of the regulation changes, which reduce wasted energy from the exhaust and brakes and harness it to improve fuel economy.