Lotus lose their Mercedes power unit supply contract


October 1st appears to be a day of resolution. Jenson is in at McLaren for next year and Manor F1 have announced they will be supplied by Mercedes with power units for 2016.

“Following the conclusion of a multi-year supply agreement, Manor Marussia F1 Team will race with Mercedes-Benz Hybrid power from the 2016 season onwards,” a website statement reveals.

“Since the introduction of the new Power Unit generation in 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid has set the competitive benchmark in the sport, claiming to date a total of 27 wins and 2,208 world championship points”.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Manor Marussia F1 Team will be supplied with Mercedes-Benz Power Units by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) based in Brixworth, UK.

The Power Unit will use Fluid Technology Solutions developed by PETRONAS, the technology partner of Mercedes-Benz. Under the agreement, Manor Marussia F1 Team will be supplied with current-year Power Units throughout the term”.

Given the talk of how important harmonic fuel/fluid solutions are in optimising the engine, this will be particularly interesting as Williams will now be the only Mercedes powered car not using Petronas as the fuel and fluid supplier.

John Booth, Team Principal, Manor Marussia F1 Team says: “I am delighted to announce our new Power Unit partnership with Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 season and beyond. Although there were many factors governing our selection of an engine partner to help power us towards our long-term ambitions, ultimately the strength of the Mercedes-Benz package speaks for itself.

“2015 has been a rebuilding year in every aspect of our operation. Although we have not been able to make the incremental strides in competitiveness that the team has enjoyed in previous seasons, we have put in place a strong foundation from which to progress. Together with the potential we are seeing with our 2016 car in the wind tunnel, the Mercedes-Benz Power Unit will assist our return to aggressive performance development with effect from next season.

Manor F1 have been using a 2014 Ferrari engine this year and given the gains Ferrari have made in their power unit been at an extreme disadvantage to other teams.

The team will continue to acquire transmission and suspension components from Williams Advanced Engineering.

“We are very excited about the strength of our new powertrain package and what it means for the long-term future of our team,” concludes Booth.

Given the current FIA regulations, a power unit manufacturer can only supply four teams. Toto Wolff explains, the uncertainty of Lotus’ current situation has led Mercedes to decide on supplying Manor F1 instead of the Enstone team.

“Mercedes-Benz has a clear Formula One philosophy based around our works Silver Arrows team and supplying benchmark Power Units to independent customer teams. We believe this approach provides Formula One with greater strength in depth and ensures a deeper level of competitiveness throughout the field.

“In anticipation of Renault’s takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, we are pleased to announce Manor Marussia as a new customer of Mercedes-Benz. It is a tenacious team with a fantastic competitive spirit, and we are all excited to see what step forward they can make next year with their new car coupled with the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power Unit.”

22 responses to “Lotus lose their Mercedes power unit supply contract

  1. great news for Manor, but more pressure for McHonda, now they are up against it ;-).

    So a midfield spot opening up for Pascal so? KMag in at Renault? And what about Vandoorne?
    Still plenty of non-racing to keep us interested anyway (just as well).

  2. Yeah renault will use renault engines… and therefore my money is on the fact that even red bull will still be using a renault engine next year. Mark my words

    • Either Renault will have to supply more than just their works team or the rules will have to be re-written.

      If Merc and Ferrari supply 4 each and 1 each from Renault and Honda that still leaves one team without engines…

      RB have apparently terminated their contract, but have Torro Rosso? They haven’t given Renault reason to terminate so could we end up with Red Bull running Ferrari and Torro Rosso still with Renault?

  3. I reckon the Manor might not be a shabby car to be in next year for a newbie, they did a lot design wise with nowt, and with a canny engine in, it could be a sound little platform. Heres hoping anyway.

  4. Given that an engine supplier can only service four teams, isn’t either TR or RB SOL for next year? Mercedes is full. Renault will only supply their works team (Lotus). Ferrari already supplies themselves, Sauber and HAAS.
    By my calculation that leaves only one team available to Ferrari. Unless one of them takes the Honda boat anchor.

    • I think it’s actually 3 unless you have approval of the FIA, which Mercedes got for supplying Williams last year, after they departed from Renault. So FIA would probably approve 4 also for Ferrari (RB?)

      I read somewhere that a FIA official said that they would ask Honda to supply STR since they only were exclusive for McLaren for one year to lure them back into the sport. As I understand it is the intention of the FIA to divide the engines equally over the teams again in 2017 by refusing to allow to supply to more than 3 teams each (if there are still 4 manufacturers).

  5. Mercedes-Benz has a clear Formula One philosophy based around our works Silver Arrows team and supplying benchmark Power Units to independent customer teams that we know we can beat or at least trust to sandbag a bit if we’re having an off weekend.

    We believe this approach provides Formula One with a greater degree of opacity and ensures a of deeper level illusory competitiveness throughout the field.*

    *we intend to dominate the sport out of existence.

    • When your closest customer team consistently make poor strategic decisions and have a habit of botching pit stops – not to mention handicapping their own strong point from last season – you don’t need them to sandbag…

    • Thank goodness you can translate Totoease, it’s a lot like Ronspeak but I can’t understand it with the thick accent.

    • Its why, as horrific as the current situation at McLaren might seem, and as appalling as it is to admit… Ron is right. You need to be the primary or works team.. end of, and to that end, for them it is Honda or accept podium and a cheeky win here or there at best.

  6. Will the change in the wastage/exhaust regulations for next season go some way to giving Honda a token-free means of redesigning their turbo layout ?
    Or not ?

    • Yes according to Scarbs https://twitter.com/ScarbsF1/status/649309120525373440
      I also seem to remember that Honda requested a design change for it’s turbo during the summer but that was denied by one of the other manufacturers (no idea who). So it sounds like Honda has a new Turbo design ready to go and other related fixes for it’s energy recovery systems. My guess is Honda will have a few tokens to spare if they need to do further work on the ICE/combustion side of things. So after a dreadful year, Honda might do better in 2016. But these Power Units are complex so who knows. However it seems Button’s been convinced McHonda will be better in 2016. While it’s fun to bash Honda (and Renault), for the good of sport we have to hope (perhaps foolishly) that both can get on top of their problems and can push on in challenging Mercedes and Ferrari.
      As far as McLaren goes ? It’s Honda or bust.

      Some photos of the 2015 Honda Power Unit – http://forums.autosport.com/topic/199497-mclaren-honda-mp4-30-vi/page-60#entry7323401

      • Honda are curiously still pretty adamant that their ICE *is* now competitive, whereas their energy recovery systems are nowhere near.
        I suspect they are more likely than Renault to be in the mix next season.

  7. Still trying to find where it says in Toto Wolff’s statement, Lotus have had their engines taken away from them, effectively ‘losing’ them. Could you point me in the right direction Judge 13, perhaps this isn’t the whole statement, and I’m missing a bit?.
    From the statement I have read it says that, “”in anticipation of the Renault takeover”, which might mean Mercedes may actually know that Renault will be purchasing the Lotus team? . After all the joint statement between Renault and Genii/Gravity saying they are going through buyout negotiations, may lead people to believe this is going to happen. Could it be Lotus/Renault and Mercedes have come to a agreement to part ways on good terms, with everyone involved happy with the outcome, just a thought.
    Perhaps I’m reading it completely wrong and Mercedes have announced that they are unhappy with Lotus, and they are taking they engines away from them, to give them to Manor. You are obviously more in the know than me.
    Just one thing though, why do you think other news outlets are saying, this is now a clear indication that Renault are buying Lotus, but you are just reporting that Lotus have lost their engines. I think you must know more than the others, when do we get to find out? I love all this suspense. Please don’t tell me its just an eye catching headline, as that would be really disappointing.

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