The Williams F1 team have announced that they will be using Mercedes engines from 2014 replacing their current supplier Renault:
“Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will be supplied with a Mercedes-Benz Power Unit (Internal Combustion Engine plus Energy Recovery System) by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) based in Brixworth, UK. Williams will continue to manufacture its own transmission,”
This comes on the back of Toro Rosso switching to the new Renault power plant in 2014 amid concerns from many of the teams that engines and specifically the Renault are very expensive. The deal represents a low risk for the team as Mercedes will be looking for a good customer team to replace McLaren who will be moving to Honda power in 2015.
New Engine Lineup
Team – 2014 Engine – 2015 Enigne
- Red Bull – Renault (confirmed – Engine development partner – de-facto works team)
- Ferrari – Ferrari (Works team)
- McLaren – Mercedes (Customer) – Honda (Works)
- Lotus – Unknown, currently Renault but no deal has been signed and Renault already stated they have enough teams
- Mercedes – Mercedes (Works Team)
- Sauber – Ferrari – Team have publicly stated that they wish to continue with Ferrari but no deal is signed
- Force India – Mercedes (Customer) – 2014 onwards
- Williams – Mercedes (Customer)
- Toro Rosso – Renault (Customer)
- Caterham – Renault (Customer/Works) Team confirmed 2014 Renault supply and the two car companies have an alliance leading to possible cheap supply and/or partial works support
- Marussia – Unknown however Pat Symmonds suggested that they are chasing a Ferrari deal
Renault have publicly stated their desire to only supply 3 teams and with the 2 Red Bull teams leading the French manufactures attack along with Caterham and the global alliance they have in the road car department means they look to have their books full. Lotus appear to be the biggest losers so far as they appear to be left without a supplier currently (although all 3 current manufactures have committed to supplying the grid so they will get some sort of deal). Ferrari also appear to have a lack of Customers with only Sauber looking likely to continue to buy engines from Maranello. Marussia look likely to take one of those deals as Cosworth are not making a new V6 engine, furthermore Ferrari will need to sign a few long term deals to offset the cost of the new engine formula. Sauber are also rumoured to be close to signing a Honda power plant deal in 2015 that would significantly reduce their costs as Honda will need to look for a good Customer to continue on track development of the engine.
Martin Whitmarsh spoke of the “surprisingly open” regulations for the engines and with the lack of testing a good customer is now going to be increasingly important. Certain teams like Toro Rosso and Caterham will run the entire drive train from the works entry (Red Bull) while others such as Williams will make their own gearboxes and possibly energy recovery systems. I would expect to hear Lotus and Marussia announcing their deals within the coming weeks.