Petronas ready for battle with Shell in 2016 F1 season

Petronas has vowed to take the fight to rival fuel and oil supplier Shell over the course of the 2016 Formula 1 season when the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari is expected to intensify

Petronas ready for battle with Shell in 2016 F1 season

Shell recently claimed it had delivered a 25 per cent gain to Ferrari's engine in 2015, equating to half a second per average lap, and around 30 seconds over a full race distance.

It is a claim Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff described to Autosport as "an interesting number, but probably not quite where the reality lies".

Petronas, Mercedes' primary sponsor and key technical partner, made gains of its own after introducing a new fuel at the Italian Grand Prix, and it expects the battle with Shell and Ferrari to intensify next year.

Andrea Dolfi, global manufacturer liaison and motorsport manager in research and technology for Petronas, told Autosport: "We battle and strive to keep up with the continuous engineering approach at HPP [Mercedes High-Performance Powertrains], and move forward.

"Since F1 solutions are truly tailor made to co-engineer with the fluids, we have to move along with them.

"If you want to visualise it, yes, it's a technical race, and what matters at the end of the day are the results on the track.

"There are contributions from all sides. We are working together, moving together and we are striving to achieve tangible, sensible improvements."

Petronas is planning on introducing a further fuel and oils upgrade for next season, hopefully for the start of the campaign.

Speaking to Autosport at a recent Petronas event in Kuala Lumpur that celebrated Mercedes' title successes, Chan Ming-Yau, fuel technology and oil business manager, said: "We tend to launch a fuel when we have sizeable gains, something we are sure can be taken advantage of.

"We launched a new fuel at the Italian GP earlier this year, together with the new-spec engine, and time gains were made

"But we continue to improve because we can't stand still. We are making incremental gains.

"As we go along and find numbers we are happy with, then we will introduce.

"We are looking at doing something for the new season, and for the start if we can, but if not, as soon as we can.

"When we launched the formulation of the new fuel for 2014 I thought there was not much room for improvement, but actually we found it.

"That was a surprise. So let's keep on working and eventually we will find something."

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