“Looks like Mercedes have put a vuvuzela on the back of their car,” Reuters’ Alan Baldwin wryly observed.
Questionable aesthetics aside, attention then turned to whether the exhaust extension, also dubbed a ‘megaphone’ by the press, did indeed turn up the volume.
Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel added to the the jibes in Monaco earlier this week.
“It reminded me of the old gramophone,” he said. “Not very pretty!”
The noise matter has now been left in the hands of the FIA, which is working with acoustic engineers to evaluate the data from the test and will deliver suggestions on the next step.
Complaints about the noise have quietened down, and FIA president Jean Todt made it clear after the Spanish Grand Prix that he believed the criticisms would naturally die away as people got used to the sound of the new turbo engines.
“It is a question of taste,” he told Autosport. “I don’t have any problem with the noise, but I need to take it into account if a lot of people say they want more noise.
“I never heard any complaint about the noise in Spa [at the World Endurance Championship round]. And in Spain, again, those who complain they are more vocal than those who do not complain.
“We have asked some manufacturers to prepare some suggestions. But believe me, in a few months’ time, nobody will speak any more about the noise. We will have found something else.”