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Shell Helix Ultra Technology In Formula One

FEATURE CAR TECH
Bobby Ang September 30, 2015 18:06

Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology – the first motor oil made from natural gas – is a critical component of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One power unit. Tasked with cleaning and lubricating the engine’s moving parts, minimising frictional losses and reducing heat generated within the power unit whilst still allowing the engine to run as freely as possible to maximise power and deliver improved fuel economy; the role that Shell Helix plays has always been extremely challenging.

This is even more important with the latest introduction of new technical regulations to the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) Formula One World ChampionshipTM. Perhaps the greatest challenge stems from an engine re-design introduced in 2014: Formula One engines have changed from a capacity of 2.4 litres to smaller 1.6 litre engines. The new V6 engine is also turbo-charged and forms part of a power unit including the Energy Recovery Systems (ERS).

The net result sees components such as the turbo revolving at higher speeds and working within a much more hostile environment than previous years in terms of operating temperatures and packaging. Despite the increased stress placed on the engine oil by these revolutionary changes, the reliability of the F14 T power proved to be a highlight of the 2014 season, underlining the importance of Shell’s Technical Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari and the role of Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology in meeting the demands of the new engine.

With greater allowance in the technical regulations for expansive engine design in 2015, the biggest challenge for Shell will be to continue to provide Scuderia Ferrari with lubricants that are optimised to meet the demands of any hardware developments as they happen.

Furthermore, there is increased demand on engine durability as the number of power units available to each driver over the course of the season has been reduced from last year’s total of five to just four. Any power unit used in addition to this allowance would see severe grid penalties imposed on the driver.

Therefore, Scuderia Ferrari has been looking to Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology to provide protection throughout this extended engine life without decreasing the performance. For Shell scientists and all of the competing Formula One teams, the modern era of the sport presents a significant challenge. 

Shell has decades of experience working with race and road-going engines, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged. In fact, the engine of every Ferrari GT car leaving the production line is already filled with Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology – an entirely new method of producing synthetic, crystal clear base oils from natural gas with virtually none of the impurities found in crude oil. When combined with Active Cleansing Technology, Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology delivers even higher levels of cleaning and protection, meaning that no other motor oil keeps road car engines closer to factory clean.

Shell PurePlus Technology was first introduced into the Ferrari Formula One programme in 2014 and from January 2015, every oil supplied to Scuderia Ferrari will be formulated using this revolutionary technology.

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. Shell’s lubricants are also formulated to actively reduce friction by introducing Shell’s Friction Modification Technology (also found in Shell V-Power fuels), designed to protect critical engine parts and unlock valuable energy.

It is this technology that has enabled Shell to help power Scuderia Ferrari to 10 FIA Formula One World ChampionshipTM Constructors’ Titles and 12 Drivers’ Titles.

As the world’s most extreme automotive test bed, Formula One represents the ideal platform for Shell to develop its range of products for the everyday motorist. Many of the components used to power and protect the Scuderia Ferrari engine can be found in Shell Helix Ultra’s road-going products.

This means Shell can develop superior lubricants that can keep pace with the changing demands of the modern engine and improve its performance and life; and eventually passing this onto the everyday motorist.

With greater allowance in the technical regulations for expansive engine design in 2015, Shell will continue to provide Scuderia Ferrari with lubricants that are optimised to meet the demands of hardware developments as they happen.

About Bobby Ang

Life's too short to drive boring cars

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