Friday, 1 August 2008

BRIDGESTONE in Hungarin Grand Prix

SHELL Hungarian Grand Prix

Lisa here (Shell Technology Manager for Ferrari). We have arrived in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungaroring is one of the oldest circuits – Formula One has been hosted here every season since 1986.
It is the middle of the summer in Budapest and the temperatures are really high! Luckily we are inside our Shell Track Lab, where together with Mark (Farley, Analytical Focal Point Trackside) and Gareth (Lowe, Shell Trackside Analyst) we are getting ready for the eleventh race of the season, which is one of the most demanding circuits on the Formula One calendar.
Hungaroring is a narrow track with many tight corners. Such a twisty circuit is challenging for the engine, where the temperatures can reach in excess of 300°C! When you think how fast Formula One cars are, imagine that the lubricant within the engine has to travel even faster. The massive forces required to open the valves quickly enough at 19,000 rev/min must also be passed on through a lubricant effectively and without failure.
For us, this means that all the products we supply to Ferrari must be able to cool the engine. To do so, the Shell Helix lubricant is sprayed on the underside of the pistons. The 'multi-tasking' lubricant is designed to take away the heat, controlling the engine temperature and preventing the heat from having a detrimental affect.

"Apart from setting-up the Shell Track Lab, in the last few days we have been busy preparing the Shell V-Power fuel and Shell Helix lubricants which Ian (Albiston, Shell Formula One Project Manager) shipped all the way from the UK."

Apart from cooling, the lubricant must protect the moving parts from mechanical wear, reduce friction and power loss. To achieve this balance, it takes a whole team of technical staff, and years of experience from the track. Over every race weekend we collect over 40 samples which we analyse in our mobile laboratory, the Shell Track Lab. We then transfer these findings into new lubricant formulations, ensuring Ferrari always receives the best product which can deal with circuits like Hungaroring, does not waste any energy and delivers maximum horsepower to the engine.
This weekend is the last race before we head for a well-deserved three-week break, ahead of the next round of the Formula One which takes us to the European Grand Prix in Valencia on the 22nd of August.
Take care,
Lisa Lilley
Find out how Lisa felt during her first Grand Prix weekend and watch an exclusive interview with her.