Fri, Sep 23, 2011
While drivers bask in the glory of winning Formula One race trophies and overall titles, there are armies of engineers in the paddocks and research laboratories working furiously to produce the best race car.
Take those who work on the tyres, for example. Tyres are a very important part of the car, being the only part of the vehicle that is in contact with the ground.
Taking over as the official tyre-maker for F1 this year is Italian company Pirelli.
It received its contract only in June last year, giving it just eight months to build a team and the facilities to develop tyres for F1, said Paul Hembery, global motorsports director for Pirelli.
“Everything has been very intensive. It feels as though it has been two to three years already,” he said.
“All of us worked 24/7, and the results have been positive. Despite the championship being dominated by one car and one driver, people are still watching. Our commitment to F1 is three years at the moment. Being in F1 has a tremendous impact on our brand recognition globally. We want to grow and expand as a company, and to create more awareness of our brand, especially in Asia. F1 has six races in Asia and it’s an ideal platform for us to make our presence known.”
Another important component in motor racing is fuel, and nothing is spared to produce the most potent fuel for the cars.
Shell, which has a long-standing partnership with Ferrari, invests more than 21,000 man hours every year to develop advanced fuels and lubricants.
Its technology manager for Ferrari, Cara Tredget, said the fuel used in every F1 race is optimised for the production of maximum power, and the technology behind it is used to develop fuel for regular use at Shell petrol stations.
Indeed, during a test earlier this year, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso demonstrated that the petrol from Shell’s commercial pumps produced speeds that there just nine-tenths of a second slower than those produced by Shell’s F1 race fuel.
*This was first published in My Paper.