A lubricant manufacturer chose the exciting environment of Formula One to debut its latest product: a new solution derived from natural gas rather than crude oil.
The high-performance lubricant, called Shell Helix Ultra, is designed for the engines of racing cars and was used in the Ferraris competing at the Singapore Grand Prix, marking the public launch of a potentially revolutionary new product for Shell.
Forsaking crude oil for natural gas in the manufacturing process is said to provide superior levels of protection for the engine and enhanced cleansing, leading to greater efficiency. The gas-to-liquid technology employed to create it produces a clear base oil, free from most of the common impurities of crude, and is the result of a 40-year research and development period.
The company is already one of the market leaders, thanks to products like Shell Omala S2 G 320 and Shell Tellus S2 M 32, and should this innovative new lubricant meet the demands of top-level racing, it will keep them at the forefront, as well filtering through to the wider industry.
Shell’s Ferrari trackside manager, Ian Albiston, told Formula1.com:
“The new oil has to cope with these conditions, while also achieving the level of protection to reach the 4,000-kilometre engine life required with only five engines per driver allowed for the season. In the high temperature, high stress environment of an F1 engine, the right motor oil can provide a crucial advantage.”
Following a three-year test period, the oil is also being used in the new V-6 Ferrari Formula One engine.