Monday 11 December 2017

All the Formula One noises we can't wait to hear again

By Max McLean

Crank the volume up!

The return of Formula One brings many wonderful sights back to our attention, but what about the sounds?

F1 is a treat for both the eyes AND the ears, so what is it exactly that your lugs should be looking forward to?

The low rumble of the grid walk

Nothing quite represents the low-level tension immediately before a race better than the gravelly rumble of the cars that permeates the grid-walk interviews – the hairs on the back of our necks are big fans.

“Lights out…”

Are there two more exciting words in the sporting lexicon? All commentators have their own variation upon which they lean for the opening of a grand prix, introducing arguably the most exciting 30 seconds in sport as the lights go out with a single phrase.

Gear changes

The rapid gear changes F1 drivers make are a treat for the ears during a race, a pitch that rises and falls and continues to rise during the car’s ascent through the gearbox. There is a small chance this sound could be misconstrued as annoying…

Cars going past

You know that “Vrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmm” sort of screechy sound, brought to you by the Doppler effect? That one. Yes.

The high pitch of full throttle

Of course, with the majesty of the on-board camera at our disposal, it’s possible to hear the engine how the driver hears it – and at full throttle that’s quite something – like a bumble bee incandescent with rage.

The pits

An orchestra if we ever heard one, the pits are a crashing cacophony of sound, whereupon the engine, the fuel pump and the wheel guns are as much a violin, a cello and a horn section as any musical ensemble.

It’s not Mozart, but it’s not bad.

Team radio

What is that weird short sharp sound that accompanies the start of a team radio message? Whatever it is, we’re hooked, and we’re quite keen on the muffled messages too.

This, from Fernando Alonso, is one of our favourites. Told to save fuel in 2015, he replied: “I don’t want, I don’t want. Already I have big problems now, driving with this, looking like amateurs.” Don’t hold back, Fernando…

The anthems

There’s something extra special about the national anthems at the end of a Formula One race – perhaps it’s the fact it’s a Sunday. Among others, the Italian and German national anthems are synonymous with the sport, along with the superbly upbeat F1 anthem.

Press Association

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