Formula 1: Fuel gains worth 'over 20%' of Ferrari engine update

Ferrari's latest Formula 1 engine is complemented by a new fuel from Shell that is estimated to be worth more than 20% of the upgrade's performance gain

Formula 1: Fuel gains worth 'over 20%' of Ferrari engine update

The introduction of V6 turbo-hybrid engines in 2014 placed great emphasis on complex energy recovery systems but manufacturers have continued to make significant strides with internal combustion engine technology.

Shell has brought a new fuel to the Belgian Grand Prix that has been developed in tandem with Ferrari's latest V6 and maintains its contribution of "over 20%" towards performance gains.

"This circuit will exaggerate the difference because it's longer and power-demanding, which is a good thing," Shell motorsport technology manager Guy Lovett told Autosport.

"Over the past three seasons, through our fuel and lubricants development work, we've contributed to over 20% of Ferrari's power unit gain in performance.

"You always expect to make big gains at the start and then for development progress to taper off. We've not found the taper yet.

"That's enabling us to make significant performance contributions to Ferrari, in that 'over 20%' bracket.

"It surprised us a few years ago that the fuel could make so much difference to the new V6 engine but we've been able to continue that."

Ferrari emerged as a regular challenge to the all-conquering Mercedes package last season and has been credited with having a superior engine this year.

It is thought Shell introduced a new fuel to partner Ferrari's first engine upgrade in Canada, which helped trigger a significant in-season performance boost.

The latest fuel continues experimentation with different ingredients, such as additives to counter engine knocking, a phenomenon in the ignition phase that reduces engine performance.

That enables it to push the spark timing of the engine and extract more performance, without sacrificing the calorific value of the fuel too much.

Keeping the fuel's calorific value high means having as much energy in the fuel as possible, so Ferrari can run the engine harder for longer as well as boosting its basic power values.

The fuel also contributes to a greater peak power and raised weighted power, the engine's predominant speed range, which ensures an overall performance gain as well as a higher power curve.

"The regulations do allow for sufficient scope for innovation and that can be from different component and chemistries, how we formulate the fuels, the mix," Lovett explained.

"If you look at it from a food standpoint, we're fine-tuning the ingredients but also the recipe.

"How we do that is a combination of experimental work at our technical centre in Hamburg, a big amount of activity in modelling and simulation and testing and proving those products on the engine dyno in Maranello and at the race track."

Shell's massive F1 investment involves more than 50 scientists and engineers that amass more than 21,000 hours of work a year between them.

Lovett believes the company is "on target" with its 2018 developments, which will now reduce as it switches focus to 2019.

shares
comments
Formula 1: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final Spa practice
Previous article

Formula 1: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final Spa practice

Next article

How Jordan conquered F1's craziest Belgian GP

How Jordan conquered F1's craziest Belgian GP
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022