Red Bull won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Sergio Perez after a hectic race in which his teammate Max Verstappen crashed out from a strong lead after he suffered an unexpected puncture.
The team now lead the Constructors' Championship from Mercedes by 26 points, and team principal Christian Horner told RacingNews365.com and other select media after the race that the Red Bull cars will be running Exxonmobile fuel for next year.
"We are happy with our partners, who, like us, are always working to improve themselves. Exxonmobile also came to this race weekend with an upgraded fuel, and we will be working with them again next year," Horner said.
The oil company have been working with the team since 2017. During the season, fuel suppliers develop new updates several times, a process which takes about 13 weeks. This means that Red Bull get about four updates every calendar year (rather than per season).
In Baku, Perez and Verstappen ran such an upgrade and it seemed to pay off as the Mexican recorded his first victory since joining the team for 2021 while Verstappen led the race before his unfortunate retirement.
Of course not everything was down to the fuel supplier, but they do play a crucial role in the development of the car throughout the season.
Under the current F1 format, very few major changes can be made to the car during the season, as the possibilities for developments have been restricted in a number of areas.
This means that a manufacturer has to pay attention to every little detail in order to compete for the top spots, which is precisely why fuel suppliers provide several updates over the course of the year.
However, the FIA have also drawn up a large set of rules for fuel suppliers, taking samples from the cars after each race to ensure the limits are being respected.
This ensures that the fuel stays as close to possible to the fuel that we as 'normal' consumers use when filling up at the pump.
So it is not exactly easy for fuel suppliers to make a profit due to these rules, but they always keep working hard to find even a small advantage or bit of progress to work with. In this way, the fuel supplier makes a contribution to F1 cars which can help them be around 2 seconds fasters over the course of the season.