Williams have announced that they are expanding their technical collaboration with world champions Mercedes from 2022, with the team set to use gearboxes supplied by the Silver Arrows in addition to other transferable components.
Williams have enjoyed a strong relationship with Mercedes since the dawn of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, running their power units and, for the last two seasons, Silver Arrows junior George Russell. But the Grove-based team had traditionally always designed and built their own gearboxes in-house.
That will change with F1’s shift to a radical new rules set in 2022, when the team – which is no longer run by the Williams family having been sold to Dorilton Capital in August – will use Mercedes gearboxes and other related hydraulic components in a move that somewhat mimics Haas’s relationship with Ferrari.
Williams say the increased partnership with Mercedes, who have won seven straight constructors crowns, will “enable them to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process in-house in the long-term, allowing the team to focus its resources more effectively in other performance areas.”
The team added that they will continue to design and manufacture other chassis parts internally, with Williams Team Principal Simon Roberts and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff saying the move made sense for both parties.
“I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” said Roberts. “Williams is an independent team, but Formula One 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.”
Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal of Mercedes added: “We are pleased to expand our technical cooperation with Williams through this new agreement. 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.”