Williams has announced an expansion of its existing technical partnership with Mercedes, under which it will purchase certain transferable components such as the gearbox and related hydraulics from 2022.
The two teams have had a partnership since 2014, which has included Williams using Mercedes power for the entire hybrid era. That supply deal previously only related to the power units, with Williams manufacturing its own gearbox and hydraulics in-house, but from the start of the next set of technical regulations it will receive those components from Mercedes.
Williams says the move will allow it to focus its resources in other areas of performance, and team principal Simon Roberts is confident it will lead to a stronger car overall.
“I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” Roberts said. “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.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the deal makes sense for the constructors’ champions as Formula 1 teams start working under a budget cap from this year onwards.
“We are pleased to expand our technical cooperation with Williams through this new agreement,” Wolff said. “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. 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.”
Confirmation of the deal comes following a change of ownership at Williams back in August, with the family stepping aside four months ago after the takeover by Dorilton Capital. The new owners have since installed Roberts as team principal on a permanent basis, reporting to new CEO Jost Capito.