ExxonMobil explains how its trackside oil analysis monitoring quickly detects and identifies engine, gearbox and hydraulic system faults, helping improve the reliability of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31
In the build-up to the 2016 Australian Grand Prix (17-20 March, 2016), the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team is working closely with technology partner ExxonMobil to optimise the performance of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 (above). Building upon their 21-year technology partnership, ExxonMobil engineers are bringing their expert oil analysis capabilities and an improved high-performance race fuel which helps to increase power in the advanced Honda 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine to the 2016 Grand Prix season.
In 2016, more than 50 oil samples will be extracted from the car each Grand Prix weekend. They will then be analysed at ExxonMobil’s trackside laboratory to supply more than a thousand points of analytical data to help determine real-time lubricant performance. This technology also enables Mobil 1 engineers to assess the condition of the engine, gearbox and hydraulic systems throughout each race weekend.
Bruce Crawley, Motorsport Technology Manager at ExxonMobil, said, “This time of year is always very exciting as new developments are completed and brought to the track. We’re extremely proud to be working so closely with McLaren and Honda to develop an innovative and competitive powertrain. Rigorous testing both on the track and at our research and development facilities provides critical learnings to help engine design and performance evolution. The lessons we learn at the track also help influence the lubricants and fuels we ultimately provide for motorists.”
Commentating on the final round of testing, McLaren’s Racing Director, Eric Boullier said, “In preparation for the 2016 season, ExxonMobil has been central to our efforts to restore the kind of success we have enjoyed throughout the 22-year technology partnership. Since Honda joined as our engine provider, the team has worked extremely hard both on- and off-the-track to optimize fuel and lubricant products around the Honda Power Unit. We are confident that the expertise and innovative approach to the oil analysis provided by ExxonMobil engineers will take the engine technology to the next level and prove vital to improving performance. We’re excited about hitting the grid in Australia.”
To enable the car to perform at its optimum, the critical moving parts are lubricated by five synthetic Mobil lubricants including Mobil 1 Engine Oil, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil SHC Hydraulic Oil, two Mobil SHC greases and Mobilube 1 SHC Racing Gear Oil.
In the final test before the start of the 2016 season, ExxonMobil introduced a high-performance advanced fuel technology Esso Synergy Racing Fuel at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.
Regulations state no refuelling is allowed during a race and each car will be limited to a maximum fuel flow rate of 100 kg/hour, making the power-specific fuel efficiency of the engine a critical factor. The new and improved race fuel used in the Honda engine will help to deliver a total power unit output of more than 900bhp and reach speeds in excess of 350kph; accelerating from 0-100kph in just 2.3 seconds.
Driving continual innovation in motorsport technology has been a part of ExxonMobil’s heritage for more than 40 years, and the company’s partnership with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team is one of the longest running energy company partnerships in Grand Prix history.