Red Bull Racing’s fuel supplier ExxonMobil are set to give the team a boost at the British Grand Prix when it introduces an upgrade that they hope will improve the performance of their Renault power unit.
David Tsurusaki, the ExxonMobil Global Motorsport Technology Manager, says they will introduce their second new fuel of the season at Silverstone, and he feels it will offer the team some encouragement.
“For the first step, we made a good gain,” said Tsurusaki to Autosport. “[The gain from the second fuel] is not as much as the first fuel, but I think it’s a positive incremental step.
“We don’t talk about the numbers but it’s enough to rationalise a change. Internally, we’re talking about introducing it at Silverstone, depending on validation. It’s unpredictable stuff but I’ve told our team that is our target.”
Tsurusaki believes ExxonMobil’s step forward will mean its fuel will be on par with their on-grid rivals, and the relationship between supplier, Red Bull and Renault is thriving.
“I think we’ve made a nice incremental step replacing the previous fuel, which they didn’t think they had but we had it,” said Tsurusaki. “Now, we’re in a pretty good place.
“We have a good working relationship, we’re working closely with Red Bull and Renault. It’s moving. I think we’re close to [matching our rivals] now.”
The fact that ExxonMobil only aligned themselves to Red Bull in January, following their decision to end their partnership with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team, means that their planned third update is unlikely to be ready to be introduced this season, with that likely to delayed until the start of 2018 instead.
“We think we can get to possibly three in reality,” said Tsurusaki. “We’d aim for the following year [for the third upgrade].
“We’re already working on chemistry and processes for 2018. We didn’t have the opportunity to do that last year.”