Shell In Formula OneInsights
Shell’s Technical Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari is one of the longest running and most successful partnerships in Formula One history.
The Formula One World Championship has been running since 1950 and Shell was supporting Enzo Ferrari himself as far back as the 1929. Since then, Scuderia Ferrari is the only team to have competed in every year of the series, winning 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, while Shell was a partner for 10 and 12 of those respectively. Shell therefore has a track record to be proud of in Formula One, however past glories do not automatically guarantee success and 2014 was one of the toughest seasons in Scuderia Ferrari’s history.
The goals faced by the two companies of developing a revolutionary powertrain, and optimising fuels and lubricants to meet last year’s new regulations, proved a real challenge. That challenge continues in 2015, especially as the sport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), took the decision to relax rules relating to engine development for this year.
Shell’s Formula One project team continues to grow, with more than 50 Shell technical staff now contributing to the Shell Formula One programme with Scuderia Ferrari. These team members work together around the world in Shell laboratories and facilities, at all the race tracks on the Grand Prix calendar and alongside the team engineers in their Maranello headquarters.
Shell’s involvement in Formula One is a demanding scientific exercise in itself but its main purpose is to ensure that any technological advantage developed for Scuderia Ferrari is passed directly through to motorists. The most obvious examples of this are Shell V-Power Unleaded fuel and Shell Helix Ultra engine oils – both of which owe a large part of their development and pedigree to the Formula One programme.
Only last year, Shell PurePlus Technology – the process of producing synthetic, crystal clear base oils from natural gas with virtually none of the impurities found in crude oil – was introduced into the Shell Helix Ultra race lubricant for Formula One.
With Shell PurePlus Technology now at the heart of every oil used by Shell’s Technical Partner, Scuderia Ferrari can also enjoy the benefits of this latest innovation. When it comes to the fuel, its chemical and physical parameters are prescribed by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, with the specific objective of making the development of race fuels relevant to those sold at the pumps. For example, the Shell V-Power race fuel used by Scuderia Ferrari contains 5.75% by weight of bio-components.
“At Shell, we see the Technical Partnership with Ferrari as a great opportunity to develop the best products for our customers. It’s not just about Scuderia Ferrari, it’s also about access to Formula One and all its advanced technology because this is where you come up with new ideas. The challenge the team presents us with is that we always have to stretch ourselves to be better than the year before and following a difficult season like 2014, we have to push ourselves even further”.