Exclusive behind-the-scenes with McLaren-Honda & Mobil 1

Exclusive behind-the-scenes with McLaren-Honda & Mobil 1

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
21 Sep 2015

Ever wondered what it's like in the garage of a Formula 1 race team? Well so did I. So when I got the call from Mobil 1 to get a tour of the McLaren-Honda garage and find out what goes on in the engine of the MP4-30 race car, I jumped at the chance.

Mobil 1 by ExxonMobil is renowned for its performance and quality in engine oils. With its longstanding partnership with McLaren for over 20 years, Mobil 1 has been tried and tested in the most extreme conditions possible: the high stress, ultra-demanding races of Formula One. Mobil 1 is the official technology partner of McLaren, having supplied race fuels and lubricants since 1995. They also provide trackside engineering support to the team, analysing data from the oil to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

The race fluids provided by Mobil 1 to McLaren-Honda have a singular goal: to deliver maximum performance and efficiency to constantly improve the performance of the engine and correspondingly the car and team results. This drive for excellence is reflected directly in the road car product line up that Mobil 1 offers to customers. The idea is the same throughout; making sure that the engine is well lubricated and clean to allow it to perform at its optimum level thereby delivering maximum performance to the road.

The 0W-40 oil used in an F1 car is very similar to that sold to consumers all around the world for their road cars; the Esso race fuel is developed in the same New Jersey technology centre as the Synergy road fuels we know and love. In putting the oils and fuels through the demands of F1, Mobil 1 is able to research and develop new and better products both for racing and consumer needs. Knowledge and experience gained from F1 are translated into real world products for everyday use. Much like the innovation partnership Shell has with Scuderia Ferrari.

On the track, Mobil 1 has a mobile laboratory in the McLaren garage. Oil samples are taken from the race cars and tested via spectrometry to determine things like engine wear and performance levels. Making sure that the engine runs cleanly, smoothly and at optimum temperatures is part of the job at every race, to make sure that the car runs reliably throughout the race season. A sample is taken when the engine is first fired up, to check that everything is in order. This is all done by the keen eyes and hands of Mike Frost, Mobil 1 Racing Technical Advisor for McLaren-Honda, who also ensures tha new products are constantly developed to give McLaren-Honda the performance that they need.

Making sure that all is well with the engine before the actual key sessions like qualifying and the race itself is critical for the McLaren-Honda team, and Mobil 1 engineers are on hand at all times to provide this assurance. Analysing and comparing data from the past also allows Mobil 1 to constantly improve their products to meet the needs of McLaren and provide them the performance improvements that will give them the winning edge.

So the next time you have to decide on which engine oil, lubricants and fuel to use, be sure to try out the various range of products from ExxonMobil. They will begin production of their Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil in new Jurong plant from 2018, and will be the only plant in Asia Pacific to produce the company's flagship motor oil. Made in Singapore race tested engine oil; what more assurance do you need?

Credits: Story by Alvan Sio; Photos courtesy of ExxonMobil

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