Bumping up the octane may offer a bit more horsepower on the combustion side, but it doesn't really help maximize the heat needed on the energy recovery side. The rub is finding the right mix that not only gets the most horsepower from the internal combustion side through the octane but also has more caloritic value to make the engine run hotter and boost heat recovery.
It's not an easy fix. In addition to the 45 fuel formulas Shell tested before the 2014 season, it has put another 35 different through the grand prix ringer since Melbourne in March and the start of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on Sunday.
By the Numbers: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile president Jean Todt has already been to several races in 2014 after attending only a couple last year. The reason is money, specifically the budget cap that the sport is trying to put in place.
Todt has made it a priority because several smaller teams remain in dire financial straits as they try to keep up with the runaway costs in Formula One.
One-third of the way into the season, it is thought that the Caterham and Marussia squads are in the toughest position with the Sauber outfit also struggling to make ends meet.
It was rumoured that Marussia may not make it to the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, but it showed up and even scored an incredibly valuable two constructors points. The teams' cut of the television pie is determined by points.
Caterham is next on the endangered list, with many paddock insiders feeling that it may not make it to the end of the season. Not far behind is the Swiss-based Sauber outfit, which has struggled to keep afloat for the past few seasons.Lotus may also be on shaky financial ground.
The problem for F1 is that the commercial contracts for races stipulate that they must have a minimum of 10 teams and 20 cars. With only 11 teams and 22 cars on the grid in Montreal, keeping them viable is a huge conce – rn. Should two of the four troubled teams not be able to continue, the contracts with race promoters become void and the series is in big trouble.
Quote of the Week: "Obviously, we realized the Mercedes cars both started to go slowly – we didn't really know what the cause of that was – but at that point they were an awful long way ahead and we had several cars ahead of us to deal with. It wasn't really until around when we were starting to put pressure on [Force India's Sergio] Pérez [for second place] and I guess we thought that maybe we had a chance if we got past him to catch [race leader Nico] Rosberg because he wasn't far ahead either. I didn't really realize we would get past [Pérez] as easily as we did obviously they had problems because they weren't that fast in the straight, but it was only after we passed Pérez [with five laps to go] that it became clear that we would have a pretty decent shot at it."
— Gavin Ward, of Toronto, who is the performance engineer for Canadian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo talking about the point where the team felt a victory was within its grasp.
The Last Word: Jacques Villeneuve has become the latest former driver to get into the wine business.
The 1997 world champion held an event on Canadian Grand Prix weekend to introduce his new vino, a Tuscan red called La Febbre ("the fever" in Italian), in all Quebec Costco and Couche-Tard locations. The name is homage to his father, who it was said infected his fans with "la febbre Villeneuve."
"Through the years, I have become very passionate about wine," said Villeneuve, who said he doesn't drink daily but enjoys a bottle when he have a nice meal with friends.
"There are so many different flavours and history – it's alive. This is not to put a stamp on something but actually work to create a wine. I wanted something that would be me."
The wine is produced in partnership with Julia Wines and is produced in Italy but bottled in Quebec. Other former drivers in the wine business include Mario Andretti, Scott Pruett, Jarno Trulli, and Jimmy Vasser.
Villeneuve's plan includes adding a chardonnay to the line in July. Villeneuve is concentrating on learning more about the wine making process and so far the neophyte vintner is simply enjoying the fruits of the labour.
"It's good," he said. "I am super happy – it's better than expected."