Promoted: Drive Mexico City like a pro: Tips from Ferrari’s Marc Gene

Speed versus Fuel Economy: Scuderia Ferrari Development Driver Marc Gene shows Autosport how to save fuel around the Mexico City circuit

Promoted: Drive Mexico City like a pro: Tips from Ferrari’s Marc Gene
In association with

This week, Autosport has been on-site at the Shell House in Mexico City delving deep into some of the more the technical aspects of Formula 1. Yesterday, the focus was to 'Beat the Performance' - taking an in-depth look at the fuel-saving aspect of the sport. Illustrating the technicalities of conserving fuel was Scuderia Ferrari development driver Marc Gene, who challenged fans and influencers - as well as our very own Julia Piquet - in simulator battles around the Mexico City GP circuit using the F1 game.

The Shell House initiative is about educating and exciting fans of Formula 1 - which is where the crucial partnership between Shell and Scuderia Ferrari comes into play. Scuderia Ferrari and its major sponsor have the longest and most successful partnership in the history of Formula 1. Nobody else has won so many races or championships - and the success of the partnership is thanks to working hand-in-hand - it's a team effort that extends far beyond sponsorship.

"As a driver, you are always looking for that advantage," explained Marc, taking to the stage head of his mentoring sessions. "Power is key. Of course, the more power you have, the more speed you have, so the faster you can drive. So for us, if Shell can provide a fuel that allows us to get the absolute maximum out of the car, that's crucial."

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility... or should that be reliability?

"Reliability becomes very important," Marc continues. "When I started racing in Formula 1, there were 16 races on the calendar. Now there are 21. At that time, you could put a new engine in for each race - now we must make three engines last all season. These engines must be 21 times more reliable than before - and having high performance fuels and lubricants that keep the engine in peak condition is essential."

We'll be learning more about the key advantages Shell's technology brings to the Scuderia Ferrari team from Formula 1 Fuels Development Manager Benoit Poulet later this week when we visit Shell's mobile Track Lab at the Mexico City circuit during qualifying on Saturday.

There's a lot more to fuel economy than just the fuel itself, though, as Marc soon demonstrates; taking to the simulator alongside Julia to walk her through the methods F1 drivers use to keep their fuel consumption in check on trickier circuits.

"The fuel-saving performance is a combination between the power unit and the fuel - but it also requires a lot of driving skills," he tutors, as the pair roll their cars out onto the virtual Mexico City circuit. "It's about how you can adapt your driving to take full advantage. You want to go as quickly as possible, while preserving fuel. The easiest way to do that is to coast. Coasting is when you drive full power, but you take your foot off the accelerator for a few moments before you apply the brake.

"In qualifying, there's no need to save fuel," he continues, expertly weaving his way through Ese del Lago and Horquilla corners. "So you might brake, let's say, 80m before the corner. However, in a race where you are preserving fuel, you might lift off at 100m before the corner, coast for 20m or so, then apply the brakes. This is the most efficient way of saving fuel. This technique applies to all road cars as well as Formula 1 cars - it can help you save fuel - and money - when you drive."

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'driving like a racer'.

Of course, when it comes to F1 performance, competition is key. With two racers on board for Autosport in Julia Piquet and Elba Navarro, a head-to-head seemed inevitable.

shares
comments
Mercedes' controversial F1 wheel design cleared by Mexican GP stewards

Previous article

Mercedes' controversial F1 wheel design cleared by Mexican GP stewards

Next article

Ricciardo: 'Weird' recent F1 Red Bull reliability inexplicable

Ricciardo: 'Weird' recent F1 Red Bull reliability inexplicable
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Marc Gene
Teams Ferrari
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021