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F1 drivers 'not happy' with turbo cars - Coulthard

ESPN Staff
June 3, 2014 « Pace of development encouraging - Button | Maldonado expecting 'difficult weekend' in Canada »
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David Coulthard says unhappiness amongst drivers about this year's F1 cars is widespread because they lack the "pure" driving experience and noise of previous seasons.

Several drivers have spoken out about aspects of the new cars, with Sebastian Vettel saying the new V6 turbo engines sounded "shit" ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Coulthard, who won 13 grands prix before his retirement in 2008 and is now a pundit for the BBC's F1 coverage, believes other drivers are not speaking out publicly but share the misgivings about the new era of F1.

"They are not happy," Coulthard told AOL Cars. "The marketers love it because it gives them a reason to put their investment into F1, and I completely understand that, but the drivers are not enjoying driving the cars this year.

"Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton] are probably a bit happier as they have a better package, but even if you speak to them privately they say the driving experience is not as pure as it was. When I was a kid going to Silverstone I remember standing at Stowe Corner and it was misty. Out of the morning mist came a V12 Ferrari driven by [Jean] Alesi and the noise was amazing - you heard it coming and knew it was a Ferrari. It went past and you went 'wow'."

Coulthard insists it is perfectly valid for F1 fans to dislike the lack of noise in 2014.

"Part of the F1 event was all about when you arrived at the track you got excited by the noise and the anticipation as soon as you heard it. It's ridiculous that we like things that hurt our ears, because if the wife is talking too much and our ears get sore we don't like that!

"But with race cars, or music, it's about the sound and the experience of it. If you went to see the Rolling Stones and they came out and said tonight we're only doing an acoustic set because we're getting old and don't want all the noise then the crowd wouldn't be very happy and rightly so.

"It's the same with F1. I heard Monaco was 20 per cent down this year. We have a responsibility to the fans. The fans will speak out and they know what they want."

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