Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Monte-Carlo, 2013

Williams confirm “long-term” Mercedes engine deal

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Monte-Carlo, 2013Williams have confirmed they will use Mercedes engines from next season.

Mercedes will supply engines and energy recovery systems to the team under Formula One’s new technical regulations which come into force next year.

“I?m delighted to announce our new association with Mercedes-Benz for the 2014 Formula One season and beyond,” said team owner Frank Williams.

“Mercedes-Benz has been one of the sport?s most successful engine suppliers and we believe that they will have an extremely competitive engine package.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Renault for their continued hard work since we renewed our engine partnership at the beginning of the 2012 season. We have enjoyed a strong relationship that has resulted in much success over the years, including powering us to winning ways once again last year at the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams described the deal as “exciting news” and added they were “pleased to conclude this agreement early in the season”.

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said Williams were a “perfect long-term partner for Mercedes-Benz”.

Wolff, who was Williams’ executive director before leaving to join Mercedes in January, added: “It is a win-win situation for both HPP and Williams, which will ensure HPP is able to supply at least three teams on a long-term basis under the new regulations and could open interesting new perspectives for technology transfer.”

Williams have lacked stability in their engine supplier in recent years. Since concluding a six-year deal with BMW at the end of 2005 they switched between Cosworth, Toyota, Cosworth again and now current supplier Renault.

Renault announced last week it will supply engines to Toro Rosso from next season.

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83 comments on “Williams confirm “long-term” Mercedes engine deal”

      1. @jcost – Sorry, but I think that’s completely unfair. Just because Williams signed with Renault and the partnership failed, it does not mean that McLaren’s new-found relationship with Honda is destined for the same fate. They’re two compeltely different teams, two completely different engine suppliers, and because of the changes to the engine regulation, they are two completely different engines.

        1. Still, i think that teams that are using the past to get some more pedigree (like Williams-Renault, Mercedes Silver Arrow, Jaguar with British racing green, Caterham using Team Lotus in 2010), end up not living up to the task. It can help as a short term marketing boost but will not make you faster. Its usually teams that are looking forward that go quickly. Not ones that are trying to turn back the clock and exploit their earlier success (or the success of someone else). Will McLaren- Honda turn out that way? Who knows. But it will have nothing to do with the success that they had in the past.

        2. The partnership didn’t fail. Is not like they will have done much better with any other engine in the back of the car. It’s just that they found cheaper engines. That’s all.

  1. Good news for Williams, they really do need to get into bed with a major manufacturer and I hope this this will result in an up turn in their performance next season. Having a team with such great history languishing in the midfield just isn’t right.

    1. they really do need to get into bed with a major manufacturer

      @geemac they are with Renault, the current champion’s engine, and as far as i know, a mayor French manufacturer. If they are languishing in the midfield is because of some internal management or logistics problem. The solution would not come attached to neither Mercedes nor NASA rockets, they need to analyze themselves first.

    1. Remember, Honda aren’t coming into the sport until 2015. There is plenty of time for them to find a second team to supply between now and then. It has been speclated that Lotus will re-sign with Renault for one season, then cross over to Honda at the end of the 2014 season. Sauber have also been linked to a move to Honda.

      1. I think they will jump to Honda in 2016. They will stay a year more with Renault because of contracts and the chance to evaluate the Honda engine by seeing it in the back of a Mclaren. Also that way they will take an engine that has passed any first running problems.

      1. @keithcollantine – I’m not so sure about that. The 2015 Acura NSX looks pretty nice. And the HSV-010 was pretty nifty, so it’s a shame they never made a production version. It’s a step down from Mercedes cars, of course, but they’re hardly going to be driving around in cars from Great Wall or Chery.

        And if teams are making decisions about their engine suppliers based on which company cars they’re going to get, then they’re in Formula 1 for the wrong reasons.

          1. Well, with Button waiting for the P1 to be delivered, who knows what they will be driving.
            But I think that with the combined Honda and Acura model ranges there will be enough to choose from. Remember how Mika was presented an A Class years ago, I bet he wasn’t all that thrilled by it either!

      1. @melkurion I know about his exploits at McLaren, however, I think that Newey feels more comfortable in the RBR environment and has really taken his designs to the next level. Hence why I think an RBR Merc would be a serious weapon, given that the Renault is a little down on top end speed.

        1. Renault is still better for Newy because it allows his crazy tight packages and has better response and fuel consumption. Merc engine isn’t better than the Renault.

    1. @dragoll
      He was with them for 8 or 9 seasons (not 7) and he only won 2 WDCs and 1 WCC.
      I really don’t get this hype about Mercedes. They were THE worst engine for a good half a decade probably and have managed have a big part in costing Kimi one or two titles. Perhaps Hakkinen too. That’s not to say that they didn’t contribute to their successes too, but I’d say Ferrari and Renault were much better in my opinion. Mercedes only managed to get on the level of Ferrari and Renault once engines were freezed.

  2. Could someone help me a bit, not quite sure what the whole situation looks like. From what I gather that’s how it’s looking at the moment:
    Mercedes – McLaren (only 2014, Honda from 2015), Mercedes, Williams, Force India
    Renault – Red Bull, Toro Rosso, (Lotus?)
    Ferrari – Ferrari, Marussia?, Sauber?
    And where’s Caterham in all that? Staying with Renault or moving to Mercedes?

    1. @enigma It’s widely thought that the deal between Caterham and Renault is done already, waiting to be annoubced soon. they have an extensive partnership developing including road vehicles. Lotus are rumored to be considering a switch to Honda when they arrive. The rest is as you wrote

    2. Caterham has already confirmed that they have no intention to change away from their partner (remember they also cooperate with the Alpine project), although they have not announced a contract signed yet @enigma

      Otherwise its only Lotus that is not confirmed as yet, but I would say your estimate is right, although they might be looking at changing to Honda in 2016 or something

  3. The biggest positive of this deal is, that Williams will not be able to pull another retro-ish livery out of the bag, and have to come up with something new.
    This being Williams, it could well mean they stay largely unchanged though, with white and blue (surely they would not put silver on the car, would they?) in some variant.

    1. @bascb – I do think Williams need a change in livery. Even moreso than McLaren. It has been noted that Daniel Juncadella is a Mercedes-backed driver, and that his career has been supported by the Astana Group, who also have (very) minor branding on the FW35. It’s conceivable that this could lead to a greater relationship between the three, which would pave the way for a new livery. Light blue is a colour that is criminally under-used in Formula 1 liveries.

      1. Williams have traditionally had very boring liveries aside from the times in the 80s and 90s with a nice splash of yellow. Even the Rothmans livery wasn’t outstanding, although at least it was done in a classy way and is iconic. The trouble is that the expanses of dark blue from their recent history are nice, but not exciting enough.

      2. Does anyone know if Mercedes are going to be partners of Williams though, in the same way McLaren still are and sport Mercedes’ badges on their cars? If they are, then we could well see silver being incorporated into their livery next year. But if they aren’t, like Force India, I can just see it being much the same as it is now (as much as I hope it isn’t).

  4. So Williams will buy the complete powerplant-ERS solution, but they will provide their own transmission/gearbox (as opposed to FI who will be buying the complete set). A bit sad to see WHP now is no longer involved, although the guys might be very much interested in having a good look at what Mercedes supplies them next year!

  5. I kinda wish this new Mercedes engine bombs quite badly. I mean, everyone seems to be taking it for granted, way too much, that this will be something light years ahead of Ferrari and Renault, as if they have already done a season with it.
    This is F1 after all. If any team could be that sure of their success, one year in advance, going into a completely new set of rules, we would never see the kind of head scratching and similar “correlations stuff” or failed updates we are seeing on a daily basis.

      1. Since Mercedes re-entered the sport in 1995 (in the midst of Renault dominance with Benetton and Williams) the wins breakdown is 92 vs 95 (Mercedes vs Renault). They have been incredibly even over that entire time. In recent years Renault have clearly been more successful, but largely because Red Bull have gotten their act together so well.

        1. Mercedes entered in 1994 with Sauber. Which means, probably some 8-10 more wins for Renault.
          The thing is, Mercedes has an even weaker record with delivering the titles (of course, not saying it’s up to them, just pointing out statistics).

          Since Renault left after 1997 and returned few years later, you could even count 1992 and 1993 for Renault, which would make Mercedes even poorer. :)

          That would be 10 WDCs and 11 WCCs. They even had run of 6 consecutive WCCs from 92-97.
          It’s hard to tell how much difference will an engine mean next year, but since 2006 or 2007 it was not that much of a difference. Renault actually had a masterstroke with their cold blowing with Red Bull, too.

          Hard to see how come so many believe Mercedes will be THE engine, when noone can me certain, nor do statistics speak in their favor.

          1. “Hard to see how come so many believe Mercedes will be THE engine”

            Probably because energy recovery will be far more important next year, and they seem to have had the best KERS system for a while.

            Interesting that Daimler has an investment in Tesla motors (and a license to their tech).

  6. Mercedes engines have won 2 world championships in the past 10 years (2008, 2009), Renault engines have won 5 world championships in the past 10 years (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012), so why the change to Mercedes? lol

        1. Yes, and if we think Mercedes currently qualifying well and falling back in the race is bad, think about how those original Renault turbos fared…brilliant in qualifying, but usually blew up halfway through the race.

    1. The engines have been frozen for the past 10 years so they are not much of a differentiator. most of it is down to aero. Red Bull would have won all those championships with a merc engine as well. Its not the Renault engine that won them the trophies.

      Plus everything will change in 2014, so it makes no sense for Williams to make their decision based on the last 10 years, is it? They expect Merc to produce a better V6 engine thats all.

      1. Not necessarily. I recall reading that the renault engine had less power but was lighter, or occupied less space than the Mercedes one. This can influence aerodynamics. Of course a great designer like Newey is key, but Red Bull developed the aerodynamics around the engine. There should be more to engines than just raw power, I think.

  7. Wonder if they’ll get better engines than McLaren do with their “short-term” deal…

    This deal has Toto Wolff’s hairy palms all over it, I feel a bit uneasy about that for some reason.
    What’s the “technology transfer” – just racing drivetrains, or could it involve hybrid power, flywheels and other areas Williams are diversifying into?

  8. I thought Williams was one of the leaders with their KERS product. Thought they were even selling it to teams outside of Formula 1, so I’m surprised they would take Mercedes’ KERS over their own.

    1. Williams helped developed the Porsche Flywheel Kers system, a different system then the one used in F1, plus with the addition of the energy recover from the turbo it is probably easier for them to just buy the Mercedes package, at least to start with while they have other more important issues to sort out.

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