With new fuel standards due to be introduced into Formula 1 this year, Shell has reportedly made a breakthrough in its fuel that will enable the Ferrari team’s vehicles to recover the power lost by switching to the new fuel.
As part of the sport’s transition to more sustainable fuels, vehicles this year will have to use E10 petrol, which is a blend of 90% hydrocarbon-based fuel with 10% ethanol. As the official fuel and lubricant partner, it falls to Shell to provide the best-performing products it can in a sport where split seconds can make all the difference.
Mattia Binotto, the Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, had previously estimated that the engine redesign needed to accommodate the new fuel standards would lead to a power loss of 20 horsepower, although other teams would also incur similar losses. Shell’s work appears to have negated this loss in the new 2022 engine, which according to motorsport.com:
“Brilliantly exceeded the power values of the 065/6 that concluded the championship, both for the design qualities of the super-fast unit designed by engineer Wolf Zimmermann, under the technical direction of Enrico Gualtieri, and for the chemical qualities of the latest fuel developed by Shell.”
To be frozen and homologated until 2025, the new Ferrari engine appears to be capable of presenting a challenge for the Red Bull and Mercedes teams. Ferrari is hoping to achieve regular victories in 2022, but its progress will only start to become evident when vehicles start doing their winter tests on the racetrack.