Andretti fearful over new engine sound
16 December 2013 – Former World Champion Mario Andretti has expressed fears over the potential sound of turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engines, being introduced to the sport next season amid a series of regulation changes.
The American had first-hand experience of the initial turbo era during the 1970s and 1980s, but is worried that the new powertrains, capped at 15,000rpm, will lack in comparison to the recent V8 units.
"I'm so in love with the sound of Formula 1 today and I'm afraid we're going to lose that," Andretti, who started 128 races in the top echelon, explained to GPUpdate.net.
"I know that's a very shallow statement to some degree but there's the romantic side to it. I was talking about it with Bernie [Ecclestone] and he said, 'Oh my god we should never have changed this!'
"Obviously technology must go on with more development of KERS and all this sort of thing. That's interesting, but I'm curious to wait and hear what the new engines will sound like.
"[The sound is] always amazing. Insiders or outsiders are always just in awe of that. It's such a big, big part of the excitement in my opinion. I don't like to lose anything."
Andretti added that, like many key technical figures have been predicting, teams look set to face a reliability challenge in the early stages of the year.
"Introducing anything new is potentially going to spoil some of the reliability they have been enjoying," he said.
"Let's face it, right across the board in the major disciplines, all the top competitors have an absolutely excellent chance of finishing unless there is a mistake.
"From a reliability standpoint, the entire field just finishes. There are only about two or three dropouts. That's wonderful because nobody can feel as though they were robbed.
"That all could change, so those are my fears about the new rules."