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GP Week : Issue 89
TECH CHAT >> Formula One fuel saving strategy. Since this season's cars must hold their entire fuel supply for the full race, any extra weight significantly slows the car. "We're looking at power, volumetric fuel efficiency, so that's on the fixed volume; we have a metric weight basis measurement and where higher temperatures are likely to be encountered." Evans said. "We trial new components, new detergents, new packages in the F1 engine and transfer that to the regular V- Power fuel that people buy around the world. There are lots of variables that went into the work that we did." Minimizing the starting fuel weight involves careful calculations to determine how a driver manages his fuel consumption. Shell research shows that each additional 10kg of fuel is estimated to add 0.3 seconds per lap, cumulating in a lap time decrease of up to 4.8 seconds from start to finish. Fernando Alonso, reflected on driving with the added weight.: "The cars feel different with the heavy fuel load. In terms of performance, we're running about 4 to 5 seconds slower than the optimum pace with a full tank and also driving the cars with that amount of fuel changes the driving style," Alonso said. The driver responsibility for fuel management on the track can be assisted with fuel mix tactics, so that it utilizes more or less fuel during different parts of the race. "Running lean with the engine will be a very high possibility in parts of some races," Fernando Alonso admitted. "The team and the strategy will decide on which parts of the race we do that, and you have to find the right balance between performance and saving fuel." "All of the drivers have a button on their steering wheel which enables them to make the engine run leaner or more rich. That button allows the driver to influence the ratio of fuel and the air inside the engine," said Lilley. "By changing that ratio you can use less fuel but you will ultimately have less power." The Efficient F1 Driver One thing is for certain it is that we are witnessing the creation of new fuel efficient drivers as they re-invent their winning strategy to incorporate proficient fuel management. Ferrari drivers and seasoned veterans of Formula One, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have set the bar high for fuel management strategy. "Let's say you were in the traffic for a very long part of the race due to the safety car. You need to use the fuel, otherwise you will finish too heavy," Massa said. "Let's say your engine uses a bit less fuel than another engine, maybe you can do the whole race with 10 of 15 kilos less fuel than another car which is better for lap times." Double World Champion Alonso, has worked closely with Shell engineers based in Maranello and at Shell's Technical Centre in Thornton England to fully understand how to get the most from the car in every race. Shell's technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari maximizes the benefit for energy conscious consumers as the team creates the most efficiently powered fuel to date. "We are very fortunate to have so many scientists and engineers working on future fuels for motorists. They're always trying weird and wonderful compounds; they come to me with those ideas and suggest we try them out for F1. I first make sure they are applicable to the commercial fuels that are being developed for consumers around the world," Mike Evans said. "If they serve a good purpose for consumers and fit within the FIA regulations, we will consider them for a future Ferrari F1 fuel evaluation." Shell is leading the way with fuel efficiency within Formula One and with consumers worldwide. -- courtesy Shell Motorsport F1 fuel-efficiency starts in the lab (above)! Lisa Lilley and Mark Farley in front of the computer. Fernando checks it out (left), while he and Felipe get the latest development news (below). 31