Shell V-Power, Ferrari, NASA and our Vauxhall Zafira
When you start to think about it, a lot of everyday technology derives from what was once really high tech and out of the reach of all of us. There are a surprisingly large number of everyday things that started off with NASA and the space race that are now everyday; from scratch resistant glasses lenses, to ceramic braces so your teenager doesn’t feel too insecure with orthodontistry. Shells working relationship with Ferrari is very much the NASA of fuel technology.
the British contingent on the Shell V Power network of champions. Tall people at the back
It’s for this every reason that I sacrificed a couple of days of precious holiday and escaped to Maranello in Italy. More specifically, to Ferrari. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. If it’s any consolation, the taxi picked me up at 4.05am and the six course meals didn’t help my diet any. Ferrari’s boardroom, whilst being incredible and enormously difficult to even see a picture off, let alone sit in and drink cola in, did also happen to be that bright shade of Ferrari yellow that backgrounds the prancing horse. Thank goodness it wasn’t bright sunshine!
Shell and Ferrari have a working relationship that goes back decades. In fact it originated before Ferrari was actually Ferrari, and a certain Mr Enzo Ferrari ran the Alpha Romeo racing team. Ferrari used to race in numerous different classes of motorsport, and their success was so legendary that Ford put everything at it’s considerable disposal to design and build the original GT40 to stop the success of Ferrari at Le Mans. Now days Ferrari only race in the F1, the most high tech race series on the planet. They’re also the only team to have competed in every single season since the start too. They competed in more races than any other team, had more pole positions than any other team, won more races, drivers and constructors titles than any other team and, well, you get the idea.
Shells relationship with Ferrari is so strong that there are 3 Shell filing stations at the Ferrari Factory and every new Ferrari leaves the factory with a tank full of Shell V-Power. Unfortunately my cunning plan to leave my Shell Drivers Club card behind the counter at the most frequented filling station was thwarted. That would have earned me a few points as their state of the art factory crafts a few thousand cars a year.
Shell work exclusively with Ferrari on F1 fuels, fuels which are 99% similar to their road fuels. The technology, like kevlar, that started off in body armour and is now used as reinforcement in bike tyres, filters down into the technology we use every day. Shell phrase it like this:
‘99% of the chemistry in Shell V-Power race fuel is identical to the chemistry used in the Shell V-Power road fuel that can be bought at Shell forecourts. It is this remaining one per cent that allows enough experimentation to help give Ferrari the edge on the track’ .
Cara Tredget, as you can see from the above clip, says it very well. But it’s not just Ferrari’s that benefit from a tank of Shell V Power, and if you come back in a couple of days I’ll tell you exactly why the work with Ferrari means our Vauxhall Zafira is going to last longer as a result…