Williams has announced that they will be running with Mercedes engines in a long-term partnership starting from the 2014 Formula One World Championship. They’ll be one of four teams in 2014 to use the German manufacturer’s power, joining Mercedes’ works team, Force India and McLaren (who will then switch to Honda for 2015).
Per their agreement, Mercedes will supply both engines and energy recovery systems for Williams, but the team will continue to build its own transmission. Next year’s championship will see the implementation of new regulations, including the debut of turbo-charged, 1.6-liter V6 engines.
“I’m delighted to announce our new association with Mercedes-Benz for the 2014 Formula One season and beyond,” said team founder and principal Sir Frank Williams in a statement. “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.”
Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said that Williams “proud heritage” made it a good partner for his company, but also noted that the deal helps shore up its engine roster for the future.
“It is a win-win situation for both HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrains] 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,” Wolff said. “We look forward to enjoying much success together over the coming years.”
Going to Mercedes may give Williams some much-needed stability in the engine department. They currently use engines from Renault, which is its fourth different engine supplier in less than a decade. Since leaving the BMW ranks after the 2005 season, Williams has also relied on power from Cosworth on two separate occasions (2006, 2010-2011) and Toyota (2007-2009).
“The announcement of this partnership is exciting news for Williams,” said deputy team principal Claire Williams. “Securing the right engine supply partnership is a key milestone in the implementation of our strategy for long term success.”
Renault recently announced that they’ll supply Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2014.