Mercedes and Williams, the two teams on the top and bottom of the Formula 1 food chain, just got a little closer with the announcement on Tuesday of an expansion of the two F1 teams’ technical partnership beginning in 2022.
Mercedes-Benz power units have powered Williams Racing since the hybrid era began in 2014. Beginning in 2022, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team will also provide gearboxes and related hydraulic components to Williams.
According to Mercedes, Williams has built its own gearboxes and hydraulics in-house. The increased partnership will enable Williams to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process in-house in the long-term, allowing the team to focus its resources more effectively in other performance areas.
Williams will continue to design and manufacture other chassis parts in-house.
“For Williams, it makes sense to acquire the integrated powertrain after running our power units since 2014 and for our team, it makes sense in terms of economies of scale to supply another team under the new rules,” said Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff. “This is a project we have been discussing with Williams for some time, and I am glad we have been able to bring this extension to fruition.”
Mercedes is in the midst of a historic run of success in the sport with seven consecutive F1 Constructors’ Championships. Williams, on the other hand, hit bottom in 2020 with a scoreless season and last-place finish in the standings.
“I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” said Simon Roberts, team principal at Williams. “Williams is an independent team, but Formula 1 is always evolving, and as a team we must be agile to react to the current climate in order to put the team in the best position to be competitive on track.
“This long-term agreement with Mercedes is a positive step and forms part of our strategic objectives for the future whilst we will still retain our design and manufacturing capabilities in-house.”
So, should the mid-pack teams be concerned that Williams is getting a few parts from Mercedes? Is this going to be another controversy, not unlike the Racing Point/air ducts fiasco from 2020. Join in the conversation.
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