Feb.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mercedes chiefs have admitted that F1 unexpectedly turned up the volume for 2015.

Last year, as the turbo ‘power units’ replaced the screaming normally-aspired engines of the past, the biggest controversy was the loss of volume.

But trackside observers at this week’s first 2015 test at Jerez unanimously agree that the new cars have definitely become louder over the winter.

“We have talked about this on the pitwall,” Mercedes’ engine chief Andy Cowell told Speed Week.

“We haven’t properly measured if the engines are really louder, as we only concentrate on making them faster.

“Maybe it’s because we haven’t heard one for a few months, and maybe it’s because of the amphitheatre of Jerez, but to be honest, they do sound louder.”

Speaking to Italy’s Omnicorse, Mercedes designer Aldo Costa agrees.

“A year ago I could stand in the box without ear protection, but now I’m covering my ears again.

“Of course it’s no comparison to the naturally-aspirated V8, but the sound of the new turbos is at least as good as that of the first turbo generation (in F1),” he added.