05/24/2006, Düsseldorf

 

Henkel Innovation Hits the Streets in F1 Road Race

With its unforgiving twists and turns, the Monaco Grand Prix street course subjects Formula One race cars to stresses and strains far more extreme than even the best-built roadster could take. But the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 is constructed to perform and endure using nearly 200 applications of products and technologies from Henkel, the market leading provider of the adhesives, sealants and surface treatments used in manufacturing today's road cars.

DÜSSELDORF, Germany - May 24, 2006 - Rocketing at speeds of 300 km/h down the straights and downshifting within seconds heading into hairpin turns, Formula One race cars share little in common with road cars. One of the rare times they do is during the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the last remaining "street courses" in Formula One racing. And one of the unique ways in which the high-tech worlds of race car and automotive construction converge is the application of innovative products and technologies from Henkel, Official Supplier to Team McLaren Mercedes.

Branded products from Henkel offer the essential design flexibility McLaren Racing engineers need in constructing a race car that is in continuous evolution to achieve the ultimate in performance - taking to the track this season with more than 90 percent of its components completely redesigned. In continual pursuit of optimal designs to make road cars quieter and longer-lasting and to achieve the optimum in comfort, strength and safety, automotive manufacturers all over the world also tap Henkel's innovative solutions.

"We're in the racing business to win, and to get the competitive edge in the fast-paced world of Formula One you have to partner with only the best," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "Henkel's products, technologies and expertise are well-established in the racing community and are deeply integrated in our construction efforts, offering us the perfect blend of design flexibility, structural stability and aerodynamic efficiency."

Although the transfer of technology normally runs from the race track to the road, Terocore(r) structural foam, a staple of road car construction, was used on the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars on one occasion last year - at the Monza Grand Prix. Terocore(r) was used to enhance the performance characteristics of the carbon fibre wishbones that had replaced a previous steel construction in the rear suspension. Starting from pole position, Juan Pablo Montoya went on to win the race.

Terocore(r) provides unrivalled and enhanced durability, strength and stiffness for today's vehicles, adding structural integrity without adding weight to the chassis (and thus making for better gas mileage) and helping improve crash safety by absorbing impact energy. The product is widely used by car makers to replace traditional fasteners, supports and many of the average passenger vehicle's 1,400 welds - lowering production costs by up to $80 per vehicle.
Not only manufacturers benefit from Henkel innovation: Today's drivers enjoy quieter rides thanks to Henkel brands such as Terophon, a "3D pillar filler" used to fill cavities between bodywork components to dampen road noise. Henkel products are omnipresent throughout the road car's body and exterior, interior and powertrain, and are as invisible to drivers as a well-polished windshield - which nowadays is bonded to the car body more often than not by Teroson(r) direct glazing adhesives.

"Henkel's brands and product expertise have been supporting Team McLaren Mercedes for over a decade and driving innovation in the automotive assembly for more than 75 years," said Jochen Krautter, executive vice president, Henkel Technologies. "Whether for Formula One racing innovator Team McLaren Mercedes or for the world's leading car makers and automotive suppliers, engineers trust Henkel to provide custom solutions for ever new design challenges, and we're proud of our strong track record of success as an industry leader."