Efficiency may be the buzz word as we head into a new era of Formula One, but balancing frugality with durability from the revolutionary V6 Power Unit is an equally important consideration. Once again, this is where technology developed in harmony between the team and PETRONAS comes to the fore, with the all-new range of Syntium lubricants developed specifically to give the F1 W05 that extra edge on track.
The higher density V6 Power Unit runs at higher temperatures than its V8 predecessor, indicating the requirement for a thicker oil: a demand mirrored by the need for durability given the limited number of Power Units available to each driver over the course of a season. However, to ensure that every last bit of energy within the fuel can be maximised to achieve the best possible level of efficiency, the aim must be to reduce friction within the ICE and also the churn of the oil, which points to a thinner oil.
With such a fine line to tread between efficiency and durability, balancing the contrasting demands of these two targets is as complex as it is crucial. The solution created takes a very thin synthetic base and bulks out the viscosity at high temperatures using highly advanced polymer modifiers. The result gives a thinner oil for efficiency at low temperatures, while the expansion from the polymer modifier at higher temperatures provides a thicker ‘cushion’ for durability.
It is only through years of research collaboration between PETRONAS and the team that such solutions could be reached, and these concepts will continue to develop and improve over the lifetime of this Power Unit configuration.