I never realized exactly how important sound was until I watched a FIA Formula E race…
I consider myself pretty solidly in the anti-pollution camp. Not primarily the “standard” definition, with my concerns being as strong, or stronger, regarding light and sound pollution than water/air. Not a fan of loud exhausts, noisy HVAC systems, extraneous/poorly aimed lighting, etc.
However, it appears that the shriek of the engines is critical for a racing engine. I’ve always liked Formula One (as well as some of the old IMSA cars) more than, say NASCAR, but have never known why. After watching this Formula E event, I now understand… F1 engines at 16,000-18,000 RPMs and Mazda 4 rotors at full boost just plain sound fast. Do I want them to blow out my eardrums, no, but some volume is required with that sound to make for a truly great race watching experience. Nearly silent, except for the whine like one hears from little toy RC cars, Formula E cars are boring. Was the competition good, yes. Were they actually fast, yes. Did I enjoy watching the event, no.
Truly an unexpected revelation. What are your thoughts on the sound (or lack thereof) of racing?