Saving Energy at 300 Kilometres an Hour

In 2014, Formula 1 racing underwent an energy revolution. The governing body of motorsport, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has imposed new rules requiring the introduction of a direct injection turbocharged V6 engine (“power unit”) and limiting fuel consumption to 100 kilograms per race, thereby providing an incentive for technical teams to find new energy efficiency solutions. Total, involved in Formula 1 racing for over 47 years, is at the forefront of this innovation.

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    A maximum of four engines (“power units”) per season.

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    High-powered Formula 1 engines require fuel and lubricants perfectly calibrated to their needs.

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    100 kilograms of fuel per Grand Prix race and maximum mass flow rate of 100 kilograms per hour, the new FIA rule since 2014.

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Energy of Champions

Total has been passionate about Formula 1 for many years. In 2016, the Group stands alongside the manufacturer on the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and is also a sponsor of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team.

With their considerable experience accumulated over the racing seasons, the Group’s engineers are masters in the art of formulating customised fuels and lubricants for the most powerful automotive engines. The goal is to optimise their operation, energy efficiency and reliability.

FIA-Imposed Requirements...

Starting in the 2014 season, FIA has made the use of new hybrid engines (“power units”) mandatory. All cars now have a V6 turbo paired with two motor generator units. One is mechanically linked to the crankshaft to convert the kinetic energy generated during braking and, during acceleration, return energy from the energy store to the drivetrain; the other, connected to the turbocharger, converts kinetic energy from the exhaust gases into electrical energy. The new power unit is super-efficient, as the FIA has set the bar high: cars will not be able to start a race with more than 100 kilograms of fuel, even though previously 160 were needed in some cases. As each team will have only four engines for the entire season, instead of the eight they had three seasons ago, reliability is a top priority and drivers must avoid taking big risks.

...Surpassed by Total

At the Solaize Research Center, near Lyon in south-eastern France, Total’s engineers are working hand in hand with Renault Sport F1 engine makers to square the circle: deliver the same power and increase the yield of mechanical assemblies while drastically lowering fuel consumption and engine wear and tear. They are the same engineers who develop fuels and lubricants for ordinary passenger vehicles. The solutions they come up with will eventually allow everyone to drive cleaner and farther. And on just one engine! More than ever, Formula 1 racing is a proving ground for Total innovation.

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