In Spain, Shell introduces the invisible update
Montmelo, 10 May – After a three week break and a three day test session at Mugello, all the chatter in the Barcelona paddock today is about what updates all the teams have introduced on their cars for this weekend. The talk centres almost exclusively on the aerodynamic side, which is indeed the most important factor to influence car performance. However, every slight advantage gained can make a big difference when it’s time to add up championship points and today, Scuderia Ferrari held a press conference to talk about an important but invisible update from its long term partner and fuel and lubricant supplier Shell.
“Shell is introducing a new V-Power fuel here in Spain with the aim of giving Ferrari a performance benefit,” explained the team’s Head of Engine and KERS Operations, Mattia Binotto. “Development of a new fuel takes a few months and it involves a lot of time, energy and resources. Shell begins developing a new fuel by screening several different samples in its laboratory before supplying what it believe to be the best candidates to us at Maranello. We then run performance checks on the dyno, although performance is not the only parameter, as we also look at combustion efficiency, speed of combustion, consumption and also power output. Then, the best sample is selected and undergoes reliability tests. This is a time consuming process and we are happy to introduce this new Shell V-Power fuel here in Spain as we expect it to give us an advantage.” Asked as to whether this advantage can actually be quantified, Binotto explained that indeed there is a lap time benefit. “To summarise it, I would say that if it works as planned then it should be good enough to improve your grid position by one place, at a time when qualifying performances are so close. In fact, given the engine freeze, there is very little one can do to enhance the performance of our 056, but this is one way that is allowed.” Binotto also intimated that two more developments on the fuel front could be expected prior to the end of the 2012 season.