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Mercedes supplier Petronas to trial new fuel at Barcelona F1 test

Mercedes' Formula 1 fuel supplier Petronas is poised to trial a new fuel at this week's Barcelona test

Following months of work at Petronas' Villastellone research centre in Italy, the company has given the green light for a new Primax fuel and new Syntium lubricants to be evaluated in Spain.

Power is expected to be even more critical this season to compensate for the increased drag caused by the new aerodynamic regulations, while the tightened restriction of four engines for the season puts a further emphasis on reliability too.

Petronas' motorsport manager Andrea Dolfi said the company had been asked to work with improved energy deployment in mind.

Any car running out of the additional electrical boost too soon on straights will be at a big disadvantage this year.

"The new power unit will seek better performance by moving the limits in terms of duration of energy conversion," he told Autosport.

"For this reason, the new Petronas Primax fuel and Petronas Syntium engine oil were reformulated to meet the demands of the Mercedes engineers."

Mercedes itself is introducing a heavily revised engine this season, which its customer team Force India predicts will bring an "unprecedented" step forward in performance.

It was estimated early in the turbo hybrid era that fuel blends could be worth up to three tenths of a second in lap time.

Asked if the 2017 gain would be that big, Dolfi replied: "The value in performance is significant.

"I can't say more because the data is sensitive, but we are satisfied with the work that has been done."

Petronas and Mercedes intend to run the new fuel from the season-opening grand prix in Australia if it performs as expected at Barcelona.

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