Shell V-power fuelling Ferrari's title hopesFuel is a subject often discussed in Formula One circles, but nearly always in relation to its weight and repercussions on speed, or its role in pit stop strategy and the distance a Formula One car can travel before it re-fuels. Interestingly, what is often overlooked and rarely considered is what fuel does inside the engine to achieve performance in these areas. Shell and Ferrari work closely together to develop their fuel advantage in this respect.
Mike Evans, Shell Formula One Fuels Development Project Leader explains, "In recent times, our technical partnership has seen the development of Shell V-Power race fuel, which is designed to provide Ferrari with three main advantages – first, give the engine more power and responsiveness through optimised formulation and friction reduction; second, improve fuel economy; and third, offer protection and increase the reliability of the engine."
One of the latest fuels developed by Shell contains Friction Modification Technology. Targeting mainly the piston rings, the technology is designed to help the engine turn more freely, unlocking valuable energy and helping improve horsepower. Formulated with powerful cleansing agents, the fuel also helps improve responsiveness.
Fuel economy is an ongoing development area. In Formula One, an extra lap before pitting can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Evans says, "We measure fuel economy on a gravimetric basis – that is the weight of fuel used for a certain distance, rather than volume. Shell’s objective is to create a lighter fuel. For example, say a Formula One fuel tank holds 100litres. If the Shell V-Power race fuel we create weighs a kilogram or two less than a competitor using the same size tank, then we could potentially give Ferrari an added lap advantage."
The third major advantage Shell V-Power race fuel is designed to give Ferrari is engine protection and reliability, essential in the age of the two-race engine lifespan. In this area Shell Helix motor oil works together with Shell V-Power race fuel to help provide comprehensive protection. Evans says, "Shell is very proud of the fact that we helped Ferrari reach a strong engine reliability record. By combining Shell V-Power race fuel with a suite of other Shell products, we create a complete package of care for Ferrari’s engine."