First and foremost, I want to let you know how much I enjoy your magazine. It is unique in capturing motor racing subjects of interest old and new and I wish you continued success.
Second, I would like to share my thoughts about Mark Hughes’ column headed The quiet revolution (July). I totally agree with Mark that emotions are very much generated by the unique sound of the engines, but the current naturally aspirated, port-injected 2.4-litre 19,000rpm engines will soon be a thing of the past — probably a good thing. If the new F1 regulations allow manufacturers to run differing engine configurations, we might once again have unique noise emissions as in years past when Ferrari, Alfa, and Matra were running 12-cylinder engines and privateers used good old DFVs.
Engine speed should not be an issue. Here in California we have had the opportunity to attend the Long Beach Grand Prix and sample the noise generated by Trans-Am, vintage F1, CART and, last but not least, Paul Stoddart’s Minardi two-seater 3-litre V10s. We also had an opportunity to compare vintage F1 cars and the current F1 machines at the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal. Everyone we spoke to loved the noise generated by the vintage F1 cars.
F1 would certainly be improved for the spectator if 19,000rpm were not a requirement, although advanced technologies and relevance to road-going vehicles should be important. The FIA should avoid V12-powered diesels equipped with particulate filters that are, by and large, ‘silent’. Let’s hope that they get it right in 2011. John Williams, California, USA