Saving Energy at 300 Kilometers an Hour

In 2014, Formula 1 racing fostered an energy revolution. The governing body of the motorsport, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), imposed new rules that introduced a direct injection turbocharged V6 engine (“power unit”) and limited fuel consumption to 26.4 gallons per race, thereby incentivizing technical teams to find new energy efficiency solutions. Total, involved in Formula 1 racing for over 47 years now, is at the forefront of the trend.

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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

At Total, Formula 1 is a decades-old passion. 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, our engineers are masters in the art of formulating customized fuels and lubricants for the most powerful automotive engines. The goal is to optimize their operation, energy efficiency and reliability.

FIA-Imposed Requirements...

Starting in the 2014 season, FIA 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, and return energy from the energy store to the drivetrain. Another system, connected to the turbocharger, converts heat energy from the exhaust gases into electrical energy. The new power unit is super-efficient because FIA has set the bar high: cars are not able to start a race with more than 100 kilograms of fuel, even though 160 were needed in some cases before. And drivers must avoid taking big risks, since reliability is the number one priority. Finally, each team will have four engines for the entire season, instead of the eight they had three seasons ago.

...Surpassed by Total

At the Solaize Research Center, near Lyon in southeastern France, Total’s engineers are working hand in hand with Renault Sport F1 engine makers to do what seems impossible: 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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