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Formula 1 gasoline: Interview with mobile technician Bruce Crawley

Bruce Crawley, head of mobile development
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Is the hybrid formula the most demanding for a fuel manufacturer?

C rawley: It's the first Time that we have an efficiency formula. The energy density is very high. Over 400 hp per liter of displacement. And the engines have to last a very long time. In the first turbo era there was a new engine every day. These 3 requirements together make it so difficult. The most interesting aspect for us is the maximum limit of 100 kilograms of fuel per race and a flow rate of 100 kilograms per hour. That's why we have to pack as much energy as possible into these 100 kilograms of fuel. We have to run the gasoline in an engine where the knock limit is the limit. The contribution that fuel makes to performance is significant.

Bigger than ever before?

Crawley: Yes. Much, much more important than with the eight-cylinder. The knock limit played practically no role in the V8.

So you like the new regulations?

Crawley: This time I have to praise the FIA. With the regulations you have created something that is really relevant to series development. For us it is a wonderful playground. Our engineers are constantly pushing the limits of thermal efficiency and combustion. At a much higher level than ever before.

Would you still be in Formula 1 without the technical challenge?

Crawley: My bosses will always ask me: What does that help us with commercial products, where is the return on investment? I'm not sure we'd still be racing if we didn't have a technological justification for it.

Were there any new developments over the winter?

Crawley: We introduced a new gasoline in the second week of Barcelona. That was a definite step forward. This is where chemistry meets mechanical engineering. In the beginning it wasn't that easy to get these two very different types of engineers to communicate with.

How many people work at Mobil for Formula 1?

Crawley: The core group consists of 8 engineers. There are also others who carry out tests andmix up the fuel.

Do you work in the USA or Japan?

Crawley: We sit in two New Jersey laboratories. But the engineers travel to Japan every now and then to talk to the Honda engineers. The test bench tests with the engines are carried out in Sakura and Milton Keynes.

Modern Formula 1 engines have an energy efficiency of over 45 percent. Where will the development lead?

Crawley: We will gain a few more percentage points in terms of energy efficiency. How much is difficult to predict. Rather high single-digit than double-digit values.

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