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FIA to continue F1 noise change efforts despite 'trumpet' failure

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona F1 test May 2014, new exhaust

FIA efforts to improve the sound of Formula 1's 2014 engines will continue despite last week's failed test of a 'trumpet' exhaust.

Mercedes agreed to develop and test a prototype tailpipe that it hoped would make the turbo power units noisier following complaints from Bernie Ecclestone that the new cars were too quiet.

But as well as the prototype megaphone not producing any noticeable improvement in decibel limits during the Barcelona test, it also prompted widespread mockery of its looks.

OPINION: Trumpet farce proves noise row misguided

F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel added to the the jibes in Monaco earlier this week.

"It reminded me of the old gramophone," he said. "Not very pretty!"

The noise matter has now been left in the hands of the FIA, which is working with acoustic engineers to evaluate the data from the test and will deliver suggestions on the next step.

SHORT-TERM CHANGE UNLIKELY

Any changes are unlikely in the short term, however, with no further in-season testing planned until after the British Grand Prix.

If no firm answer is found by Silverstone, then it could mean that any move to increase the noise may have to wait until the end of the season.

Although that timeframe may disappoint the most vocal critics of the noise - especially Ecclestone - there is a growing feeling in the F1 paddock that the issue itself is becoming less important to react to.

Complaints about the noise have quietened down, and FIA president Jean Todt made it clear after the Spanish Grand Prix that he believed the criticisms would naturally die away as people got used to the sound of the new turbo engines.

"It is a question of taste," he said. "I don't have any problem with the noise, but I need to take it into account if a lot of people say they want more noise.

AUTOSPORT magazine

"I never heard any complaint about the noise in Spa [at the World Endurance Championship round]. And in Spain, again, those who complain they are more vocal than those who do not complain.

"We have asked some manufacturers to prepare some suggestions.

"But believe me, in a few months' time, nobody will speak any more about the noise. We will have found something else."

This week's AUTOSPORT magazine - available online and in shops now - includes an analysis of the latest twists in the noise debate after the controversial 'trumpet' test

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