Renault back Mercedes over noise
Renault engine chief Rob White has backed Mercedes' attempts to crank up the noise in F1, but fears there may be consequences to the project.
The sport's lack of sound has been a major complaint this year since the introduction of the quieter 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units that have replaced the shrill V8s.
In an attempt to increase the decibel level, and so ease concerns of disgruntled race promoters who are a worried about drops in ticket sales and revenue, Mercedes are to trial a device on Wednesday during the second day of a two-day test at Barcelona.
Fellow power-unit manufacturer Renault have been consulted, with White believing the 'megaphone', as it has been dubbed, "will work".
"We are fully involved and engaged in the work that's going on, led by the FIA, and Mercedes have shared their initial results from a dyno test of this device," said White.
"The FIA have some acoustic consultants who have visited us and have had access to our existing dyno test results, including sound measurements.
"They are doing some further work at our factory as we are in an exploratory phase, trying to respond to the subject.
"We are also conscious of the fact some of what we are experiencing - with respect to the noise - is that it does what it says on the tin.
"It (the power unit) uses less energy. It does so more efficiently so there's less falling out of the back as noise.
"Of course the Strategy Group (that comprises Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams and Lotus) has identified the need to try and do something to improve the perception of the noise.
"As long as you don't do silly things, there may be some potential to make a modest adjustment that makes them a bit louder and sound a bit nicer without in any way compromising the fundamental objectives."
White's concern is given Renault's slow start to the season, as they were plagued with problems in pre-season testing and are only now beginning to atone, is that time and resources are being devoted to a particular subject when all effort should be made on returning to the front.
"This is F1 and there are unintended consequences to be careful of all over the place," added White.
"I don't sign up to the opinion they sound horrible. Instead, I feel there is a positive message that has kind of got drowned out.
"My short to medium concern is we mustn't be put in a situation where we take a performance hit relative to our competitors, directly or indirectly as a result of this subject.
"We are very determined to fight our way back to a competitive position and it's important the noise subject doesn't become a drain on that part of the project."