Pat Symonds: New exhausts will make cars 12% louder


Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says the new exhaust systems for 2016 will make engines 12% louder than last year.

The current V6 turbo engines have been criticised for being too quiet compared to the high-revving V8s they replaced in 2014, leading to a series of studies into how to make the exhaust note louder. This year the technical regulations state that the wastegate exit must have its own pipe (or two pipes), rather than the previous arrangement where it fed into the main exhaust creating a silencer effect.

"Something the spectators may notice more is that the engines will sound a bit sharper," Symonds said after the launch of the new Williams FW38. "Over the winter we can expect more power from improved combustion and this will in itself produce a bit more noise but perhaps more significantly the turbo wastegate is no longer plumbed into the main exhaust.

"This should not only produce an engine note that is around 12% louder than before but may also from time to time trigger some of the dramatic sounds we all associate with high performance turbo charged engines."

The sporting regulations will see a change to the tyre regulations this year, with drivers given more choice over which compounds they use. Symonds believes the new rules will not change the face of F1, but will add a random element.

"Here we can expect to see much more change particularly with regard to tyre usage. It has long been recognised that the more prescriptive a set of rules are, the more similar the outcomes of a competition will be.

"With this in mind it was decided to introduce an additional fifth tyre compound at the soft end of the spectrum and, more importantly, give the teams greater freedom in the choice of tyres they use. While I don't think this is an earth shattering change it still has the potential to spring the odd surprise from time to time."