Lotus-Mercedes deal reportedly signed, awaiting announcement

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The deal for Mercedes to supply Lotus with engines from the 2015 season has already been signed according to reports in the British Grand Prix paddock.

It was reported earlier this week that the British team was refusing to comment on rumors that it would be making the move away from Renault power units, which have proved troublesome at the best of times this season. However, according to British publication Autosport and veteran journalist Adam Cooper, the deal has already been signed.

In fact, the deal was due to be announced in the paddock at Silverstone this weekend, but both parties opted to bide their time before going public.

This new deal will work out for Mercedes, who did look set to drop down to just two external clients upon McLaren’s move to Honda engines in 2015. However, this contract with Lotus will make up for it.

It will also remove the last Renault connection at Lotus. The team emerged out of the Renault works team which won both F1 world championships back in 2005 and 2006, and the relationship at Enstone dates back to Michael Schumacher’s days with Benetton.

The deal will undoubtedly be good news for the Lotus team, given that the Mercedes power unit has been by far the most dominant so far this season.

2015 F1 engine contracts

Mercedes – 4 (Mercedes, Lotus, Williams, Force India).
Ferrari – 3 (Ferrari, Sauber, Marussia)
Renault – 3 (Red Bull, Caterham, Toro Rosso)
Honda – 1 (McLaren)

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”