elease date: 27 January 2005THERE IS SOMETHING INTOXICATING ABOUT THE SOUND OF AN F1 ENGINE. WHETHER IT IS THE ROAR OF A 1950S 4.5-LITRE FERRARI, OR THE WAIL OF A MODERN DAY BMW V10, THE FEELING IS THE SAME.
THE POWER OF 1100 HORSESThe allure of grand prix racing is in the sights, sounds and smells, but it's also in the fact, that the cars are pushed to the absolute limit in the quest for speed. The turbo motors of the 1980's produced in excess of 1100 horsepower (the equivalent of 10 BMW 318i road cars) and today's engines reach up to 19,000rpm (that's 316 revolutions every second - think about it). While all this incredible technology makes the headlines, we at Castrol have quietly got on with a technological revolution of our own, because without the right oil to keep all the parts running, an engine, no matter how advanced, is going nowhere.
THE SMELL OF CASTROL "R"Castrol has been at the forefront of motorsport since the idea of racing cars began. The company's founder Charles Wakefield ensured that his product was the oil to have. Ask anybody, who was around motor racing in it's golden eras to tell you three things that remind them of the time and you can bet that almost everyone will mention "the smell of Castrol 'R'".
Our racing oil was almost universally used from the F1 down through to the junior formulae. It was a castor oil specially developed for highly stressed racing engines. It was developed in two grades, for two and four stroke engines and could be added to fuel as an upper cylinder lubricant, this is what produced that evocative exhaust aroma.
SETTING RECORDSCastrol was used in setting the original air, sea and land speed records and since then, the famous oil has been used to break the land speed record an impressive 21 times.
It's not surprising then, that Castrol has always played a big part in Grand Prix racing. Motorsport's pinnacle category has always pushed the boundaries in terms of technology and performance: an ideal environment for our engineers.
BEFORE 1945Although the Formula 1 World Championship did not begin until 1950, Grand Prix racing was in full flow for more than 40 years before that and every step of the way Wakefield was there with Castrol.
In the 1920s Castrol was lubricating Bugattis and Delages to victory in the big races of the day across Europe. In 1934, after a gap of six years in which formula racing had largely vanished from Europe, a new formula was created and German marques Mercedes and Auto Union - with huge subsidies from new German Chancellor Adolf Hitler - entered revolutionary cars. However, for all their German engineering they still recognised that Castrol oil provided the best lubricant technology available.
The Eifelrennen at the new Nürburgring circuit in 1934 provided the first outing for the Mercedes, and Manfred von Brauchitsch took the stunning W25 to a memorable victory. Except for the odd victory by Tazio Nuovolari's Alfa Romeo, the German cars enjoyed a winning streak that stretched right up until the Second World War, with Rudolf Caracciola winning the first European Drivers' Championship - the forerunner of the world championship - in 1935, driving for Mercedes.
AFTER 1945The post war years brought the dawn of the world championship. The entry formula, Formula A, which became known as Formula 1, called for single seater cars powered by either 1.5-litre super-charged engines, used by Maserati and Alfa Romeo, or by 4.5-litre normally aspirated units found in the Ferraris and French Talbots.
For the first few years of the championship, the Italians could not be beaten. The Alfas won in '50 and '51, followed by two years of Ferrari dominance. But half way through the 1954 season Mercedes poached the great Juan Manuel Fangio from Maserati to put together its super team with Karl Kling and Hans Hermann also driving. Once again the Stuttgart marque chose Castrol as its lubricant partner and it was our oil that helped Fangio wrap up his second world title.
In 1955, the great Argentinean continued his winning ways with Mercedes and Castrol, just beating his new team-mate, British star Stirling Moss, to the title. However, Moss did take a memorable victory in the British Grand Prix at Aintree, where he led Fangio across the line.
For 1956 Fangio jumped ship to Ferrari after Mercedes decided to pull out of motorsport in the wake of the terrible Le Mans disaster in the '55 race, when one of its cars somersaulted into the crowd.
At Castrol we focussed on sports cars and scooped numerous class and overall victories at Le Mans with Jaguar and Aston Martin.
FORMULA 1 SUCCESS FOR CASTROLIt was not until the Belgian Grand Prix in1967 that we were able to celebrate Formula 1 success again with the American Dan Gurney in his own Eagle chassis. In 1968 Gurney again used our oil, but in a difficult season his best result was a fourth place in the US Grand Prix.
Castrol was back with a vengeance in 1977 as lubricant partner to Walter Wolf's new Wolf marque. Having tempted South African star Jody Scheckter away from Tyrrell and designed a neat chassis, the team shocked the establishment by taking a sensational debut victory in the South African Grand Prix. That season saw Scheckter score two more brilliant wins at Monaco and Canada to push Niki Lauda's Ferrari hard for the world championship and leave Wolf fifth in the constructors' championship, an amazing achievement considering the team only ran a single car.
The following year Scheckter and the Wolf team struggled to match their debut season. A spell with the McLaren team followed, before the Castrol name once again powered to success in the twilight of the turbo-charged era with Brabham and Nelson Piquet, taking the drivers' championship in 1983.
After switching our attention to, and then dominating sportscar racing in the late 1980s, which included multiple Le Mans wins with Jaguar, Castrol returned to Formula 1 in '93 by reuniting with the Lotus team. Despite the famous name, the team was a shadow of its former self and was forced to close its doors at the end of the following season.