New F1 engines a blast from the past for Rosberg

Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:41pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - The sound of Formula One's new power units was a blast from the past for Nico Rosberg, son of 1982 champion Keke, but others were less sure after the 2014 cars made a quiet test debut on Tuesday.

"It reminds me a bit of when I used to look at the videos from the '80s, the old turbos, and it's that same sound now - deep, with lots of power on the straight," the Mercedes driver told reporters.

"So it really gave me a flashback to those videos I was watching."

The sport is undergoing a transformation this year, with the screaming normally-aspirated V8 engines replaced by a complicated V6 turbo and energy recovery systems incorporated into the unit.

The sound has been a vexed question for many, with some fearing the 1.6 liter units could prove a turnoff for spectators accustomed to having their eardrums assaulted by a barrage of noise.

The sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone is no fan of the V6s, which have been introduced to help lend the sport a greener image and pioneer fuel-saving technology of relevance to ordinary road users.

With plenty of teething problems on Tuesday, it was a case of all quiet on the testing front with some teams failing to even get out of the garage and long periods of eerie silence - normally a sign of something amiss at a racetrack.

Those few cars that did put in laps did so mostly in isolation and it was hard to form a serious judgment of the sound from the evidence available.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One racing driver Nico Rosberg of Germany stands before unveiling the new Mercedes F1 W05 car during its official presentation at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo