McLaren Honda expect performance increase from new fuel in Canada


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. McLaren Honda MP4-31 – Jenson Button. Saturday 28th May 2016, F1 Monaco GP Practice 3, Monaco, Monte Carlo. Digital Ref : 1568LB1D9471 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

A new specification fuel formulated by ExxonMobil will be available to the McLaren Honda F1 team in Canada, and it is believed it will equate to around a 1 percent power increase for the squad.

It will be the first fuel upgrade since the start of the season, when they saw a big jump in performance compared to where they were last season, and the fuel company hope to see further gains through their latest concoction. ExxonMobil’s Global Motorsport Technology Manager, Bob Crawley, explained the new formula to motorsport.com recently.

“We’re bringing a new fuel to Canada, which we’ve been working on with Honda. It’s a new concept, and quite different to what everybody else is doing. It’s part of an ongoing programme of development which is now in its third year.

“We made a significant step forward in Melbourne, with a double-digit power performance increase relative to where the engine was with the previous fuel. We’ve been running with that fuel so far this season. The new fuel for Montreal represents about a 1 percent power increase.

“In round numbers, that’s around 5kW, or about a tenth of a second, depending on what circuit you are on.”

A further new fuel is already in the pipeline to be released as soon as it is ready, with another to be developed and released later in the year, and with advances being made all the time and at a relatively rapid rate, there could be even more productions yet before the season is through.

“The development programme is more intense again than it was last year. Last year we did four fuels, and this year we expect to do at least four.

“However, the steps that we are making are bigger, and also there’s a lot of activity for 2017. There’s much more work going on as the programme builds.

“The spec is very specific and tailored to the engine hardware and the mapping. Everything has to synch-up in terms of extracting maximum performance, so you have to map the engine to get the performance out of the fuel.

“So we do generally try to put a new fuel upgrade in at the same time as a major hardware spec change, but not always.”

Any help that McLaren can get in the performance department right now is a welcome one, and it could be just what they need to bring home another strong points haul in Montreal.