FBC Downshift- Here’s how Shell helped Ferrari close the gap

I had a rare opportunity to attend the US Grand Prix as a guest of Shell V-power Nitro+ and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. The folks at Shell just renewed their long-standing partnership with Ferrari but this time, there’s a twist. It’s that “twist” that integrated Shell even more in the Ferrari innovation block and is a reason for such performance gains from the team.

Why does Shell do what they do with Ferrari? The crucible of F1 is the perfect lab in which to innovate, develop and perfect the best possible product for your car.

Vettel Lovett ShellCSBcTuxWwAA2o9k

I had a chance to catch up with Guy Lovett and Steve Bryce to discuss Ferrari’s gains this season, how critical fuel has become to F1 and even the old days. We chat about the Shell/Ferrari partnership and Guy shares some of the challenges they faced in seeking massive gains this season.

I can’t thank Shell enough for the unfettered access to both their personnel and the Ferrari garage over the weekend. I hope you enjoy this interview.

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Bacon Wrapped Sushi

Good pod. I learned a lot of interesting things here about fuel in F1. Am I shocked to hear that it used to be exotic fuels were used back in the day? Not at all. What really surprised me was that the fuel used by Ferrari and the teams in general run a fuel that is 99% similar to that of a road car. So for the teams, the “optimization” that is done for the ICE, only have 1% to play with when it comes to the molecular structure of the fuel? I’m a car nut, but some may scoff… Read more »

Negative Camber

I’m no fuel expert but one of the things I discovered about the Nitro+ is that they have managed to find a way of adding two detergents to the fuel. It’s an interesting process. The fuel is made specifically for the Ferrari engine. I’ve used a lot of fuel in my life and I can say that my car runs better on Shell V-power for sure. It’s not marketing, my car performs better…period. Ask Paul.

As for the Williams, Lotus and FI…they use what Mercedes does, Petronas.

Bacon Wrapped Sushi

Interesting. I should probably read into it more. I feel like I have been slacking when it comes to my knowledge of stuff like this.

We know Petronas sponsors the Merc team, but I wonder if the fuel Lotus / Williams fill up the car with is the same cutting edge formula that the company no doubt will use for the Mercedes factory’s team engine (probably butchered the grammar there).

Negative Camber

I asked Seb what it was like working with Shell versus Total at RBR. He said to be fair, they all put in a lot of hard work (Petrobras included) but Shell takes it to a whole new level. With 40+ engineers spending over 21,000 hours per year on the program.

There are lots of wonks out there that say there is nothing to it and they say science is settled and they can prove it my metrics but in the end, my arse on the car seat and the way my car performs is the real test.

Paul KieferJr

If it’s only for Ferraris, then I suspect that it’s not gonna do much for my Chevy Cobalt.