What better way to promote your synthetic oil than by putting it to the ultimate test? Mobil 1 has been producing oil for 40 years and felt that a core involvement in motorsport would be the best way to show what it can do.[Not a valid template]
Just five years after Mobil 1 was introduced by what was then called the Mobil oil company, it was involved in Formula 1. A ten-year relationship with the Williams team began in 1979, and then in 1987 it joined forces with Benetton. In 1995 Mobil 1 became a key partner of the McLaren team, a relationship that continues today, 20 years later.
It’s not just Formula 1 where Mobil 1 finds motorsport partners though. Mobil 1 has sponsored NASCAR drivers since 1987, starting with Rusty Wallace and today most notably with three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. It’s been the official motor oil of the whole NASCAR series for nine consecutive seasons.
In 2014, Porsche has returned to the World Endurance Championship with Mobil 1 as a lubricants partner. The company has strong ties with Porsche, as it also works alongside the race teams in the United Sports Car Championship and the FIA GT series.
Mobil 1’s involvement with motorsport goes beyond simple sponsorship. The involvement of the firm is a core part of the day-to-day running of a race team.
Modern racing cars are extremely complex machines, running to very fine mechanical tolerances. Lubricants are an essential part of the car – if the engine is not lubricated properly, it won’t work. In Formula 1, Mobil 1 has to lubricate each engine for 5000km and keep working at temperature of up to 300°C. With engine longevity and reliability more important than ever in 2014, due to a change in regulations over how many engines can be used in a season, McLaren engineers have to work even closer with the staff at Mobil 1.
The chief mission for Mobil 1 at McLaren – and at its other partners – is to keep the oil viscosity as low as possible, for minimum friction within the engine, while ensuring that it continues to work in extreme conditions. That means a range of different specifications of oil in different parts of the engine, and continuous analysis of how well it’s performing.
Mobil 1 engineers attend every Formula 1 race, taking samples after every session and running analysis at Mobile Analytical Centre that can detect foreign matter like metal in the used oil. This can then show how much the engine is wearing.
McLaren’s 2014 car, the MP4-29, uses no fewer than six Mobil 1 products at each session – Mobilube SHC Racing Gear Oil, Mobil SHC Hydraulic Oil, Mobilith SHC 1500 Grease on the drive shafts and 220 Grease in the ceramic wheel bearings, and Mobil High Performance Unleaded Race Fuel. There are even more products used back at the McLaren Technology Centre, where the race cars are designed and built.
“Mobil 1 certainly is a performance differentiator for us and has been for 20 years now,” says Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO of the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. “It has always been on the oil product but increasingly with fuel as well now, and it is lap time in a can.”
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