We’ve discussed the issues of Mercedes and McLaren for some time now and the most prescient concern is whether or not the Woking-based team will remain with the German car maker for engine supplies through 2014 and beyond. The recent poaching of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton and technical director Paddy Lowe has many wondering if Mercedes has worn out its welcome in Woking.
Mercedes could be losing McLaren as a customer if rumors of Honda entering Formula One as an engine supplier for the team are true but Force India announced today that they have inked a new long-term contract with Mercedes that should put serious shove behind their racing program. Here are the details:
Sahara Force India and Mercedes-Benz are delighted to announce the signature of a long-term agreement for the Silverstone-based team to use a full Mercedes-Benz powertrain from the 2014 season onwards.
The agreement will see Mercedes-Benz supply Sahara Force India with a complete Power Unit (Internal Combustion Engine plus Energy Recovery System), transmission and all associated ancillary systems under the new regulations for 2014.
Mercedes-Benz entered the era of customer engine supply in 2009 with the Silverstone-based team and this close working relationship is now in its fifth season. These historic links and the growing competitiveness of Sahara Force India helped pave the way for an expansion of the existing partnership to also include the supply of the gearbox and hydraulic systems.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “Our new agreement with Mercedes-Benz for the coming years is the most significant in the history of Sahara Force India. With new powertrain regulations being introduced next year, I can’t think of a better partner to work with as Formula One enters a new and exciting era. The agreement gives us the long-term stability we require and will enable us to continue our journey towards the front of the Formula One grid.”
Toto Wolff, Executive Director of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS: “It is a significant milestone to announce our first long-term agreement for powertrain supply under the 2014 regulations. Sahara Force India was our first genuine customer in Formula One back in 2009 and we are delighted to enter an expanded, long-term relationship with them from 2014 onwards. This long-term agreement offers excellent value in terms of the balance between price and performance. We hope it will mean Mercedes-Benz and Sahara Force India working together for the entire life cycle of the new powertrain generation.”