Formula One's quieter engines are a disgrace: Promoter
The promoter of the Australian Grand Prix has warned that races will leave Formula One as a result of the quieter V6 engines which have been introduced this year.
The 1.6-litre turbo-charged engines are more environmentally friendly than their 2.4-litre V8 predecessors and were given their first run at the season-opener in Australia earlier this month.
They attracted criticism for lacking the high-pitched scream which Formula One has become famous for and the Australian GP chairman, Ron Walker, says it could drive fans away.
"The sound is a disgrace. When the car comes down the straight you can't even hear it.
"Now you have got every promoter worried that it's going to turn fans away," Walker said.
"You will find promoters dropping out. They will go and get an IndyCar race or something like that to keep the fans."
IndyCar, Formula One's American rival, has single-seater cars with 2.2-litre twin turbo-charged V6 engines.
The race hosting fee is nearly a 10th that for Formula One, which comes to £17m every year on average.
Last year IndyCar announced that it is planning to add international races by 2015.
"We may as well go and buy an IndyCar race for $3.5m (£2.2m). It would be hugely louder," says Walker. "It would be a drastic change to switch to IndyCar but we cannot go on like this."
Walker is also chairman of the Formula One Promoters' Association, an organisation which represents the 19 races in the calendar, the next of which is this weekend in Malaysia.
He has written to Formula One's chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, informing him that the promoters will meet at the Bahrain Grand Prix in two weeks to voice their concerns.
"There will be a meeting of all of the promoters and you will find that an enormous voice will come out of that... to say 'Bernie, enough is enough. This really is not what we bought,'" Walker added.