SHELL/FERRARI PARTNERSHIP IN F1
Shells involvement with Ferrari in formula one goes back over 60 years, the current partnership started in 1996
Fuels and Lubricants are ever more important with new regulations restricting teams to 8 engines for each driver for the 17 races this season, each engine will have to last up to 2,500klms.
Shell Helix Ultra Racing oil has to provide protection during extreme racing conditions and also in storage between races, as well as maximizing engine performance and reliability in the light of the freeze on engine development during the season.
Almost all of the fluids used in the Ferrari F60 have been developed and produced by Shell, these include fuel, engine oil, greases and even the hydraulic fluid for the system that opens the fuel flap. Additionally Shell has developed a cooling fluid for use in the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) which also has the safety benefit of insulating the electrical charge.
Shell supplies Ferrari with 200,000 litres of V-Power racing fuel annually.
The fuel is developed by a team of 50 spending 18,000 hours annually with the key criteria being to give the engine more power and responsiveness through optimized formulation and friction reduction. to improve fuel economy, and to offer protection and therefore increase the reliability of the engine, The friction modifying technology focuses on the piston rings to help the engine turn more freely and maximizing engine power.
Formulated with powerful cleaning agents, the fuel also helps stop deposits forming on inlet valves and injection systems, preventing a loss of responsiveness over time.
Fuel economy is an ongoing development area, with an extra lap before refueling meaning the difference between winning and losing, Shell is working to create a lighter fuel, that is, you can go the same distance carrying less weight in fuel for the same tank size.
The fuel is produced in a purpose built blending facility in relatively small 20,000 litre batches this is shipped in 50 litre containers and Ferrari will use about 2000 litres over the G.P weekend.
Once developed a fuel is rigorously tested by Shell and Ferrari, then submitted to the
FIA, which strictly controls the technical and physical parameters of the fuel.
The regulations are designed to encourage development of road car fuels and as such specific power boosting chemicals are banned and all chemical ingredients are monitored.
The regulations also introduced 5.75% by weight bio component in 2008.
Due to the possibility of a team being disqualified for non-compliance, the fuel is constantly tested using the gas chromatography method.
To this end Ferrari carries with it to every race a Shell track lab or Track-shack as it is affectionately known by the 3 technicians who’s job it is to analyze up to 40 samples of fuel and lubricant per meeting to ensure compliance with regulations and to ensure drivers get maximum performance at all times.
The lab technicians use a Rotating Disc Electrode(RDE) oil analyzer which uses a technique called Optical Emission Spectroscopy(OES) to detect the presence of 15 metals to give an insight into how the engine or transmission is wearing and when a change may be necessary.
Thanks to the team from Edelman, Shell and of course Ferrari for their assistance.
Formula 1 Team reports for the 2009 F1 season includes race previews, reports and reviews
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