Sebastian Vettel has given a frank assessment of the sound coming from the new V6 engines in Formula 1 in 2014, calling it "s--t."
The world champion was asked for his view on the debate, which is raging within the sport after the Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel's early retirement from that race meant he had an opportunity to listen from trackside, and the German did not like what he heard.
In quotes picked up by Autosport, Vettel said:
It is s--t. I was on the pitwall during the race, and it is better [quieter] than in a bar!
I think for the fans it is not good. I think F1 has to be spectacular—and the sound is one of the most important things. I remember when, although I don't remember much because I was six years old, but we went to see the cars live in free practice in Germany, and the one thing I remember was the sound.
[I remember] how loud the cars were, and to feel the cars through the ground as it was vibrating. It is a shame we don't have that anymore.
As you can hear in the video below, the difference between 2013 and 2014 cars is substantial:
Whether that translates to a change in engines or specifications sooner or later is unclear.
Speaking in the wake of the Australian GP, Bernie Ecclestone has already indicated his unhappiness with the sound, according to The Age (h/t Sky Sports). Melbourne race organiser Ron Walker, per the Australian Associated Press (h/t Guardian), has also added his voice to the debate.