Mercedes began testing a new ‘megaphone’ exhaust during the second day of the post-Spanish Grand Prix test in Barcelona.
The outfit reacted to a backlash from fans who criticised the sound of the new V6 turbo-charged engines which are far quieter than previous years.
The FIA asked the three engine manufacturers to look at solutions, with Mercedes so far the only one to come up with some sort of solution – though many others are being evaluated.
The simple solution Mercedes debuted in Spain on Wednesday is larger opening which amplifies the sound as it exits the rear of the car, and according to our sources at the circuit, has noticeably boosted the noise level.
During the morning, Nico Rosberg ran back-to-back laps to test the exhaust which gave the FIA and a team of sound experts drafted in a chance to hear what difference it’s made.
Should the FIA green-light it for use during races, it’s likely it wouldn’t happen until the German GP as other outfits will want to test it, to ensure it doesn’t hurt their performance, which can only be done during a test session outside of the championship.
The next test is due to take place after the British GP in June.
However, the FIA could call an urgent World Motor Sport Council meeting to sign off a change in the regulations which would allow the exhaust to be tested during a Friday practice session.