Williams today announced a new partnership with Mercedes Benz from 2014 onwards.
The deal sees the German marque replace Renault as engine suppliers to the British team.
It is also understood to include the new ERS system replacing KERS for the 2014 season. Next year also marks the beginning of a new era as teams will run a 1.6 litre V6 turbo engine in place of the current V8 units that have been used since 2006.
“I’m delighted to announce our new association with Mercedes-Benz for the 2014 Formula One season and beyond,” said Team Founder Frank Williams.
“Mercedes-Benz has been one of the sport’s most successful engine suppliers and we believe that they will have an extremely competitive engine package. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Renault for their continued hard work since we renewed our engine partnership at the beginning of the 2012 season. We have enjoyed a strong relationship that has resulted in much success over the years, including powering us to winning ways once again last year at the Spanish Grand Prix.”
Williams raced with Renault engines and achieved great success between 1989 and 1997, winning four drivers titles for Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997), and five constructors titles (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 & 1997).
In recent years the team has used BMW, Toyota and Cosworth engines before rejoining Renault for the 2012 season.
Surprisingly, Renault are not too disappointed to have been dropped by Williams.
“Three, or up to four, teams is the ideal for us so the departure of Williams normalizes the situation and makes things much clearer from our side. We will announce the next team within a matter of days, and then confirm the final stage before the end of June. We remain incredibly motivated about the challenge of the 2014 engines.” said Jean-Michel Jalinier, President of Renault Sport F1.
In 2014 Mercedes will power not only their factory team Mercedes AMG, but also McLaren, Force India and Williams.
Toro Rosso announced in the week before the Monaco Grand Prix they will no longer use Ferrari engines after 2013 but will instead switch to the Renault units used by parent team Red Bull.