Lotus F1 Team and Mercedes AMG have announced a long-term supply agreement which will see Lotus F1 Team utilizing the Mercedes-Benz Power Unit from the start of the 2015 season until the end of the current Power Unit generation.
Perhaps obviously, the Power Unit will use Fluid Technology Solutions developed by PETRONAS, the technology partner of Mercedes-Benz. Apparently Pastor Maldonado’s supporter, PDVSA, is fine with this combination.
Lotus F1 Team will continue to design and manufacture its own transmission at its Enstone base so it’s power unit only relationship.
Matthew Carter, CEO, Lotus F1 Team:
“We are pleased to have been chosen by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in a significant long term deal. We intend to return to the front of the field with the goals of winning Grands Prix and being a strong championship contender once more and we see this new agreement as one step towards this aim. The Mercedes-Benz Power Unit has shown good performance on track and it is our goal to marry this motive force to Enstone’s chassis expertise. It is our desire that the E23 Hybrid, powered by Mercedes-Benz, heralds a new era of success for Enstone. At this juncture we would also like to thank Renault, who have been so closely associated with the team over its history and for the joint success we have achieved together.”
Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes AMG HPP:
“We are delighted to welcome Lotus F1 Team as a customer of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains from the 2015 season. Lotus F1 Team is a strong technical group with excellent facilities and I am confident that together we will deliver a step forward in track performance next year. In 2014, the organisation at Brixworth has demonstrated that it can support three customer teams to the high standards expected of Mercedes-Benz, in addition to our focus on the works Silver Arrows. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to continuing doing so from 2015, as we seek to make further gains in both performance and reliability.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“It was strategically important for Mercedes-Benz to continue to supply three customers throughout this generation of Power Unit, in addition to the primary focus on our Silver Arrows works team, and it was therefore clear that we would be looking for a new customer from 2015. Lotus F1 Team is an impressive organisation that has delivered competitive on-track performances in recent seasons. We are pleased to welcome them to the Mercedes-Benz family and look forward to building a productive and performant working relationship in the years ahead.”
Having said all of that, let’s be honest about the old adage that if you can’t beat them, join them. Mercedes is the class of the field with regards to power units and Renault are struggling to keep pace. This leaves red Bull as the main customer for Renault Sport F1 and while that may sound bad, sometimes having to please only one large customer finds you making things more bespoke to their chassis so who knows? this could be an opportunity for them.
Regardless, it is an opportunity for Lotus as they have a talent such as Pastor Mal…I mean Romain Grosjean and to be honest, if they are moving into the waters of superior performance, they may seriously consider their line up from a driver perspective. Who knows? Maybe the prodigal son, Fernando Alonso, could be lured home with a new Merc lump?