Just 12 months ago Formula 1 launched its new hybrid-powered formula on an unsuspecting Australian public and the immediate blowout from fan reaction was…tangible. The lack of sound from the new engine…er, Power Units was a major talking point for the entire paddock and grand stand area and it left promoters threatening legal action over the lack of a viable product they had purchased—at least in their minds.
A season later and it seems the grand stands have come to either expect the lack of sound or embraced the reduced decibel level which is effectively on par with the sound pressure levels the Ferrari Challenge series generates (from our vantage point at turn one mere feet from the track, it measured 98db for both series).
The outrage died down but not after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone agreed with promoters sending even more ire down the paddock. This leaves me wondering this, will the new format of F1 impact the attendance this year in a land of petrol heads? Australians don’t mess about with anything and they like their racing loud, competitive and hard. Will folks choose to stay home this year?
If you’re an wonderful Aussie, are you staying home or is the lure of F1 too compelling regardless of the sound? Just what will Australia’s attendance for the season opening race be in one week’s time?