Although the jet fighters flying overheard were the reason for many sore ears and thumping headaches, the sound of the Formula One cars left a lot to be desired. Admittedly, the sound coming out of the 20 F1 contenders is better than it was a few years ago, there is still a long long way to go if they want to retrieve the noise of yesteryear.
Not all was lost however, as there was one car there that covered me in Goosebumps and made me remember what I love about Formula One, and it was the worst engine on the grid in its day, and also the slowest, the 2005 Minardi.
Waking to the sound of that car screaming around the Albert Park Circuit as I slept soundly in my hotel bed at the back of the track, made me remember just why I love this sport so much, regardless of how much the powers that be try to destroy it. I will be there, every round, hoping for an improvement, hoping that cars will be able to overtake once again and actually fight for race victories….and wait, wait for the noise to get louder, the guttural sounds as they slow to go around a corner, the smell…the complete atmosphere that sends shivers down my spine every time.
With the 2017 cars, if you were lucky you could hear them just before they came into eyeshot, nothing like the 2005 Minardi, which by the way never won a race, and was always lapped by the leaders.
The cars may be faster this year, but they still can’t pass, and the only one to have a guttural sound was the McLaren Honda, but it was more like a grind as it changed gears going down pit straight and instead of giving me goose bumps, it made me cringe.
We all watched as Lewis Hamilton was unable to get past Max Verstappen on Sunday, even though he had the faster car however we are being told not to make judgements just yet, it was only race one, but I fear the rest of the season could prove to be a lot more of the same.
So what can the powers that be do to fix this problem?
Me? I suggest the go back to the way things used to be, to the days when F1 cars sounded like F1 cars, when wheel to wheel racing was on the menu nearly every race. Sure there are some venues that don’t allow overtaking, such as Hungary and Monaco, but with a little bit of work, all circuits should be able to accommodate overtaking, if the cars were up to it that is. But that will never happen. Those days are over.
FIA President Jean Todt has already ruled out a return to the ‘old days’ of Formula One as the rule of thumb with the sport is for advanced technology, so we must go forward, not back, however he does recognise the need for change...
"F1 is the flagship of the motor sport industry, and it must be in line with the technological developments of the industry,” he was quoted as saying in the Italian press. "On the other hand it must be a balance to keep it sustainable. The machines today are too sophisticated.”
There could be hope on the horizon with a meeting already on the agenda to discuss the future of the sports engine regulations, a meeting that interestingly enough, Audi are planning to attend. Let’s wait and see shall we, but I for one, will not be holding my breath.