ExxonMobil: ‘We have a new fuel formula ready for Red Bull’
By Srihari HS 21 June 2020 | 16:51
The coronavirus crisis has implications for all Formula 1 teams and Red Bull Racing is no exception. But in addition to the internal changes that need to take place at the Austrian racing outfit, the crisis has also affected cooperation with external parties. ExxonMobil, Red Bull Racing’s fuel and lubricating oil supplier spoke to MaximumF1 to talk about the impact of corona crisis on its Formula 1 project.
Mark Humphries, Global Sponsorship & Motorsport manager, and Global Motorsport Technology Manager, David Tsurusaki, are responsible for all communications with Red Bull Racing and Honda. The two gentlemen admitted that uncertainty arose, especially at the beginning of the corona crisis. However, at ExxonMobil, this uncertainty was short-lived. “We have adapted well to the changing environment. With regular video conferences with our partners, we discussed what people were doing and what new products were in the pipeline.”
ExxonMobil is using the annual winter break to look for new ways to provide Red Bull Racing with a more advanced oil and fuel. So they were in the starting blocks in mid-March when they were to kick off in Australia. “We were well prepared for the new Formula 1 season; we had a brand new fuel and lubricating oil ready. Full of confidence, we planned to enter the new season with an excellent fuel from race one.”
ExxonMobil works ahead
Unfortunately, the season did not start as planned. Although the fuel supplier lacked circuit data, the delayed start to the season will not change much in terms of planning, Humphries and Tsurusaki acknowledged: “Our Formula 1 program is a continuous development and we always plan at least six months ahead. We had already started our fuel update for the season before everything went into lockdown.”
“During this lockdown, we actively maintained contact with Honda and continued to work closely together, even when Honda announced they were entering into an extended closing period through May.” The fuel supplier was not requested by the FIA to close its factories.
Diligent work continued at ExxonMobil so that when the coronavirus storm subsided, Honda could immediately get back up to speed: “We continued producing test fuel during lockdown so that it could be used and mixed when the factories reopened in June. The data from this renewed recipe is now coming this way again; we can get a lot out of that.”
Red Bull Racing ready for an excellent start
ExxonMobil and Red Bull Racing are well prepared for the new season. The global lockdown did not disrupt cooperation between Honda, ExxonMobil and Red Bull Racing. The constant communication allowed the fuel supplier to come up with an improved version of the fuel for Red Bull Racing in Austria: “We have some new fuel formulas ready. If we want to introduce it this season, we are ready to race.”
“One of the biggest consequences of the COVID-19 crisis is the pressure on the budget. Almost all our partners suffer from this. It is becoming increasingly clear that as Red Bull Racing’s technology partner, we must ensure that what we develop will lead to performance improvements every time,” the duo concluded. The fuel supplier guarantees that the Formula 1 project will run smoothly during these difficult times. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images)
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