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Competition between Petronas and Shell will continue to sizzle in 2016. Just as Petronas introduced its new formulas for the Mercedes-AMG team at the 2015 Italian GP, Shell had also injected its Prancing Horses with new fuel.

Shell claimed that the Ferrari team gained up to half-a-second a lap with the new fuel, amounting to nearly a 30-seconds advantage over a full race. Mercedes-AMG Petronas team boss, Toto Wolff, responded to the claims by saying that it was, “interesting, but probably not quite where the reality lies.”

Global manufacturer liaison and motorsport manager in research and technology at Petronas, Andrea Dolfi, said that his company will keep pushing its own development to match that of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP).

“Since F1 solutions are truly tailor made to co-engineer with the fluids, we have to move along with them. If you want to visualise it, yes, it’s a technical race, and what matters at the end of the day are the results on the track,” said Dolfi. “There are contributions from all sides. We are working together, moving together and we are striving to achieve tangible, sensible improvements,” he concluded.

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Petronas, title sponsor and key technical partner of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team, has said that it will be introducing a major fuel and oil upgrade for the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Speaking to Autosport at a recent event, Chan Ming-Yau, fuel technology and oil business manager, said, “we tend to launch a (new) fuel when we have sizeable gains, something we are sure can be taken advantage of.”

An often overlooked aspect of the sport by its fans, fuel and oils play a massive role in a Formula 1 car’s performance. Chan continued to explain, “we launched a new fuel at the Italian GP earlier this year, together with the new-spec engine, and time gains were made. We are looking at doing something for the new season, and for the start (2016 season) if we can, but if not, as soon as we can.

“As we go along and find numbers we are happy with, then we will introduce (the new fuel and oil),” he continued. “When we launched the formulation of the new fuel for 2014 I thought there was not much room for improvement, but actually we found it. That was a surprise. So let’s keep on working and eventually we will find something,” concluded Chan.