03/09/2006, Dusseldorf

 

Henkel Continues to Play Key Role for Team McLaren Mercedes

At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Team McLaren Mercedes unleashes its redesigned racing machine: the MP4-21. The team has revamped the next evolution of last year's fastest Formula One car with a new Mercedes-Benz V8 engine and completely redesigned 90 percent of the car's components - relying on Henkel products and technologies for the perfect blend of design flexibility, structural stability and aerodynamic efficiency.

DÜSSELDORF, Germany - March 8, 2006 - As the Formula One season kicks off, racing fans have their eyes on Team McLaren Mercedes and its completely new car. Covering a good mileage and achieving competitive lap times in the 2006 pre-season tests, the car seems as well-adapted to this year's new FIA regulations as it was last year: In a 2005 Formula One season marked by sweeping constraints on engines, tyres and aerodynamics, the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 quickly emerged as the fastest car on the circuit, taking 10 of the last 15 chequered flags.

This year's regulations place a further cap on top speeds, compelling changes in the cars' structure and aerodynamics. Replacing last season's V10 engines, this year's V8s make stronger engine vibrations a key factor for engineers - and make Henkel's Loctite(r) brand adhesives all the more mission-critical for Team McLaren Mercedes. A broad range of Loctite adhesives with different chemistries are used to cover the diversity of constraints on the new engine, a Mercedes-Benz FO 108S V8.

With less horsepower in the back, aerodynamics play an even greater role in the drive for competitive edge, compelling modifications throughout the carbon-fibre bodywork that makes up 80 percent of the car. Henkel brand products such as Frekote(r) and Hysol(r) provide the team the design flexibility and structural stability they need in bodywork construction, helping quickly realize modifications such as the new car's smaller air intakes and lowered nose. As an Official Supplier of Team McLaren Mercedes, Henkel has supported McLaren Racing throughout the 16-month R&D effort that went into the new car, consulting on the best-suited products to meet the new engineering challenges.

One of Henkel's recent innovations was even used in the 2005 race car's rear suspension. Following engineering challenges early in the season, Terocore(r) structural foam helped to strengthen the carbon-fibre wishbone that replaced the previous steel construction in the later part of the season. The team turned to Henkel for a solution that would not add significantly to the car's weight but that could withstand the intense heat and strong vibrations from the engine. Launched five years ago, Terocore is a staple of road car production, improving the resistance of conventional structures by up to 500 percent without adding significant weight. It proved to be the ideal solution from its very first application in Juan Pablo Montoya's car for the Monza Grand Prix: Starting in pole position, Juan Pablo went on to win the race.

"Henkel has played a key role in the continuing evolution of our Formula One cars, providing the technological and engineering innovation we need to overcome design challenges and achieve the ultimate in performance," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "Our success is fuelled by strong partners like Henkel who share our will to win and whose products and expertise we can rely on."

Throughout a 12-year association that began with Henkel's Loctite(r) brand, the diversity and number of Henkel brand products and technologies applied in the car's construction has grown. Today there are more than 100 applications of Henkel brand products throughout the MP4-21 race car.

"Formula One racing offers the ultimate proving ground for Henkel's products and technologies and we are proud to be contributing to continuing innovation at Team McLaren Mercedes," said Jochen Krauter, executive vice president, Henkel Technologies. "With the Henkel logo's positioning on the MP4-21's rear wing, our sponsorship offers an optimal platform to increase awareness of the Henkel brand."