David Coulthard: "F1 drivers not happy"
Former Formula One ace turned TV commentator David Coulthard has waded into the debate about whether the sport has lost its mojo due to the muted volume of this year's cars.
The Scot spoke openly at an Infiniti Red Bull brand experience day to AOL Cars about his dislike for the sound of this year's F1 cars – and revealed the drivers are just as unhappy about it.
"They are not happy," he told AOL Cars. "The marketers love it because it gives them a reason to put their investment into F1, and I completely understand that, but the drivers are not enjoying driving the cars this year.
"Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis (Hamilton) are probably a bit happier as they have a better package, but even if you speak to them privately they say the driving experience is not as pure as it was."
Coulthard's comments will be added to a growing wave of discontent among drivers, teams and fans.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner told AOL Cars recently that his team currently has two priorities – to beat Mercedes and to turn up the volume.
Coulthard added: "Part of the F1 event was all about when you arrived at the track you got excited by the noise and the anticipation as soon as you heard it.
"When I was a kid going to Silverstone I remember standing at Stowe Corner and it was misty. Out of the morning mist came a V12 Ferrari driven by Alessi and the noise was amazing – you heard it coming and knew it was a Ferrari. It went past and you went 'wow'.
"It's ridiculous that we like things that hurt our ears, because if the wife is talking too much and our ears get sore we don't like that! But with race cars, or music, it's about the sound and the experience of it."
Coulthard believes Formula One has a responsibility to the fans to make the sport sound great once again.
"If you went to see the Rolling Stones and they came out and said tonight we're only doing an acoustic set because we're getting old and don't want all the noise then the crowd wouldn't be very happy and rightly so," he added.
"It's the same with F1. I heard Monaco was 20 per cent down this year. We have a responsibility to the fans. The fans will speak out and they know what they want."
What do you think? Does the FIA need to act to bring back the sound of F1? Let us know by commenting below