07/05/2005, Düsseldorf

 

 
 / 
Download: web print
Show all
 

Contact

Name Simone Gleumes
  Corporate Communications, Brand Communications
Phone 0049-211-797-4463
Fax 0049-211-798-4040
Email Send email

Team McLaren Mercedes Targets Formula One Victory at Silverstone with Henkel

The crowds at the British Grand Prix this weekend are in for an exciting race on a course marked by a challenging mix of slow corners and high-speed curves. But many fans are not aware of the underlying products and technologies that help the cars hug the track and yet handle immense G-forces. As an Official Supplier of Team McLaren Mercedes, Henkel's products are used in more than 100 applications to make the team's winning racing machine lightweight, durable and aerodynamic.
A sell-out more than two weeks before the event itself, the British Grand Prix will see more than 100,000 people packed into its stands. The race promises to be an exciting one as the circuit's mix of corners makes it a good test of the abilities of car and drivers.
"Silverstone is a challenging circuit to drive; it allows you to really push the limits in the fastest corners such as Copse. It's one of the quickest on the calendar," said Kimi Raikkonen, driver for Team McLaren Mercedes. "There are also some slower, much tighter bends at Silverstone that demand good traction, so we need to ensure medium to low downforce in the set-up to get the best out of the car," added Raikkonen's team mate, Juan Pablo Montoya.
With an equal mix of flat-out high-speed sixth and seventh gear corners as well as second-gear technical switchbacks, the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars need exactly the right balance in terms of aerodynamic set-up. Too much, and the cars will create excessive drag on the fast sections such as Maggotts and Chapel - too little and the cars will lack grip in slow corners such as Bridge and Luffield. Some very technical track sections see huge G-Force levels - particularly around Becketts (4G) and Copse (4.5G). These corners put the cars under massive stress and vibration levels, putting Henkel products to the test under the most extreme conditions.

Innovation for Optimal Aerodynamics
The use of Henkel products allows flexibility in designing aerodynamic elements, which are tailored to suit differing characteristics at each of the nineteen races Considering that a 10 percent aerodynamic improvement translates to a boost of around one second per lap on the circuit, Henkel's innovative products are crucial in helping Team McLaren Mercedes gain the competitive edge.

"We ourselves are unable to cover the full bandwidth of automotive and aerospace technologies required to tackle our construction demands," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes. "That is why we need strong specialist partners like Henkel who, through broad and deep expertise, reliable products and proven technologies, are best-suited to support our drive for victory in Formula One."

Henkel's engineers continually evaluate technology transfers that can take place between Henkel and Team McLaren Mercedes - technology transfers that are literally "top-down": the same technologies that power innovation in the skies for modern aircraft such as the Airbus A380 super jumbo are applied on the MP4-20 racing car.

Henkel products play a key role in the production and bonding of the light-weight composite materials that make up more than 80 percent of the MP4-20's aerodynamic shell. The team uses Hysol EA9686 film adhesive in the ‘lay-up' of materials, in which patterns are cut to size to form key aerodynamic features of the MP4-20 such as the nose cone and front wing. Here, Henkel products add strength and stiffness without adding weight - a key design consideration for Formula One cars as well as for today's jet aircraft. Both are built of carbon-fibre composite materials that are twice the strength of steel and five times lighter, yet more capable of withstanding stress, strain and the extreme heat of the engine. In terms of design, the main difference is that airplane wings give airlift whereas, inverted on the Formula One car, they provide downforce to enhance traction and manoeuvrability.

"Henkel shares a common mindset with Team McLaren Mercedes: a strong commitment to innovation and success," said Heinrich Gruen, senior vice president, Henkel Technologies. "As the world's leading supplier of adhesives, sealants and surface treatment products, Henkel offers the team access to some 6,000 products used by leading precision engineering manufactures across diverse industries. Formula One also exposes the Henkel brand to the millions of racing fans who, whether they know it or not, interact with and benefit from these Henkel applications every day."

Henkel - A Driving Force in the Racing World
Around the world, Henkel has an extensive commitment to motorsports. In 2004, the Henkel logo appeared for the first time on the rear-wing of the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars, thereby continuing the technical association with the team, which began in 1995 through the Loctite brand. As Official Supplier, Henkel provides a wide variety of innovative solutions to the team. More than 100 different applications of Henkel products have been incorporated into the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 for its challenge in the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship. In North America, Henkel's NASCAR sponsorships include several brands with the No. 66 Ford Taurus from Brewco Motorsports - driven by Greg Biffle, a rising NASCAR star boasting three career NEXTEL Cup Series wins - and the Loctite brand with Robert Yates Racing and the No. 38 M&M'S® Ford. For the three-week, 10,000-kilometer 2005 Dakar Raid through gruelling desert terrain, Henkel provided each racing team with an essential mechanical emergency kit containing a wide range of adhesives, sealants, maintenance products, cleaners and bonding tapes. In addition, a Henkel engineer accompanied the Raid, providing each team with technical back-up and support at each of the bivouacs.

About McLaren:
McLaren Racing, the company behind the Team McLaren Mercedes team, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. McLaren has won eleven Formula One Drivers' Championships and eight Formula One Constructors' Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers' World Championship. McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966 and has proven to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time with 141 Grands Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 587 Grands Prix. The McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, the McLaren Group's new headquarters has been developed on a 50 hectare site. The facility includes design studios, laboratories, research and testing facilities, electronics development, machine shops and production facilities for the Team McLaren Mercedes Formula One cars and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. www.mclaren.com

About Henkel:
The Henkel Group operates in three strategic business areas: Home Care; Personal care; and Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatments, which serves the transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries, and offers a broad range of products for the craftsman and consumer. With brands and advanced technologies, Henkel makes people's lives easier, better, and more beautiful. More than 50,000 employees work for the Henkel Group worldwide. People in 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel - "A Brand like a Friend".