We get nostalgic as the Williams F1 Team puts Damon Hill’s 1996 championship winning FW18 through its paces at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Remember when Formula 1 engines used to sound like…well, Formula 1 engines? The soundtrack of F1 today – like it or not – has come a long way with the development of technology. Already the 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 era – though still capable of buttock-puckering speeds – has been criticised for its hybrid-spec ‘wooshy’ soundtrack, the new units lacking the gutsy roar of the V8 and V10 years long since past. It’s left purists frantically reaching for the volume switch all year and trackside fans a little disillusioned.
I’ll admit it, watching Felipe Massa’s run up the Goodwood hill aboard Damon Hill’s title winning Williams FW18 has left me a little nostalgic, and not just because the 1996 champion is the reason I started watching Formula 1 in the first place. The low basey warble that suddenly becomes a high-pitched shriek of pure, unadulterated speed and anger. It sets the hairs on the back of my neck atingle. That Karun Chandhok’s shakedown of the FW18 is less than a minute long and visually presents nothing of great interest is neither here nor there. Plug the headphones in, crank up the volume, and remember an era now lost to all but memory.
I’ll put the rose-tinted glasses aside in a little while.