Mercedes-Benz is set to run its 2014 turbocharged Formula 1 engine on a dyno test bed, as technical chiefs played down concerns the new power units will not sound as exciting as the current normally aspirated units.
With development of the new V6 engines pushing ahead, Mercedes-Benz sources have confirmed that the company's first version of its 2014 engine will be ready "soon," although a final date has not yet been sorted.
With much interest about how these new engines will sound, amid concerns from Bernie Ecclestone and grand prix promoters that they will not be as loud as the current V8s, the man heading the design has no such worries.
"The engines are high-revving. You don't get the maximum fuel flow rate until you are above 10,500rpm, and the maximum revs are at 15,000rpm," explained Mercedes-Benz engineering director Andy Cowell. "Plus, with six pipes going into one turbocharger, a single tail pipe from six cylinders revving at 15,000rpm I think will sound very nice."
The move to V6 turbos for 2014 has also prompted fears about a fresh spending war between manufacturers, but Mercedes-Benz is confident that strict technical regulations have kept costs under control. This means that the idea of an engine-specific Resource Restriction Agreement has been dropped, because it is no longer necessary.
Thomas Fuhr, managing director of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, said: "The biggest achievement with this, irrespective of a physical RRA, was to get sensible technical regulations. The FIA, together with the manufacturers, did a great job. A lot of things are predefined, so you don't spend money developing it – you know there is a single turbo, so it makes things much, much easier. That is the biggest benefit out of these regulations.
"If you control it technically, it is much easier saying you can control it here and there. You see on the chassis front how complicated it has got. The FIA has it in hand with the engines, and there is no way you can go around this topic."