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Modern F1 not value for money, says Australian GP chief

ESPN Staff
March 18, 2014 « Ecclestone declares war on the lack of noise | Button relishing Magnussen competition »
This will be a less common sight in the paddock this season © Getty Images

The organiser of the Australian Grand Prix says the lack of noise from the V6 engines means his investment is not worth the money he paid to host the event.

Ron Walker has been one of the most vocal critics of the sounds of the new engines, saying back in 2011 he feared they "would be like a tin can rattling", and the opening race of the new season has only hardened his opinion.

"I walk in the botanical gardens and you could hear the sound of the twin-seater F1 car of Paul Stoddart's sweeping around the circuit, but you couldn't hear these new turbo cars. If you sat in the grandstand, you could hardly hear them coming down the straight. We [the Australian Grand Prix Corporation] are an entertainment company and we have to entertain the public. Everybody was talking about it. When you take the excitement away, you have trouble selling tickets. You have to create demand, and part of that demand is people liking the noise of the race cars. We are resolving that with Bernie. It's clearly in breach of our contract. I was talking to him last night [Sunday] and it's not what we paid for. It's going to change."

Walker has previous in this department, as he spearheaded an alliance of 17 F1 circuits all committed to switching their allegiance to IndyCar if F1 changed to V6 engines back in 2011. His threat that "all hell will break loose" never came to pass but he made it abundently clear other organisers shared his opinion at the time.

In 2011 Walker said: "We are not going to have our customer base destroyed. The sound is part of the brand. It must be 18,000 revs and it must sound the same. They won't be able to introduce the engine because we won't run the engine, we won't run the races. An IndyCar race costs about $3.5 million, compared to what we are paying and it is louder and noisy.''

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