Mercedes gets boost from new Petronas fuel

Mercedes' hopes of holding on to its Formula 1 power advantage in 2017 have been further boosted with fuel supplier Petronas poised to introduce new fuel for the start of this season.

Mercedes gets boost from new Petronas fuel
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Mercedes AMG F1 W08 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W08 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W08 detail

Following months of work at Petronas' Villastellone research centre in Italy, the company has given the green light for a new Primax fuel and new Syntium lubricants to be evaluated at Barcelona testing this week.

The move comes ahead of a season where power will be even more critical because the increased drag of the cars, but reliability will be at a premium because teams are restricted to four engines for the campaign.

Mercedes itself is introducing a heavily revised engine this season, which has already been labelled as delivering an 'unprecedented' step forward in performance.

Petronas' motorsport manager Andrea Dolfi told Motorsport.com that one of the key factors driving forward its development was the need for improved energy deployment in 2017 – because any car that ran out of electric boost early on straights would be at a big disadvantage.

"The new power unit will seek better performance by moving the limits in terms of duration of energy conversion," he said.

"For this reason, the Petronas Primax new fuel and Petronas Syntium engine oil were reformulated to meet the demands of the Mercedes engineers."

When asked if the fuel gains could be as much as the three tenths of a second that was estimated early in the turbo hybrid rules, Dolfi said: "The value in performance is significant. I can't say more because the data is sensitive, but we are satisfied with the work that has been done."

The new fuel is set for introduction at the Australian Grand Prix, following its evaluation at the Barcelona tests. 

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