Williams F1 strengthens Mercedes tie-up with gearbox deal

Williams Racing has expanded its technical tie-up with Mercedes-AMG, with it set to use the German team’s Formula 1 gearboxes and hydraulics from 2022.

Williams has run Mercedes-produced hybrid powertrains since 2014 and gives Mercedes junior driver George Russell a racing seat, but it has historically used its own gearboxes.

However, from 2022, the British team will join Aston Martin F1 – formerly Racing Point – in not only relying on Mercedes equipment for its car’s power but transmitting it to the track as well.

The move will enable Williams to streamline its in-house manufacturing process and focus its resources more effectively, according to Mercedes.

Mercedes-AMG F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff said: “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.”

“Williams is an independent team, but Formula 1 is always evolving,” said Williams team principal Simon Roberts. “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.”

In 2019, Williams formalised its intention to run Mercedes engines in its cars for another five years, taking their partnership through to 2025.

Williams also allowed star driver Russell to fill for an unwell Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in last month’s Sakhir Grand Prix. The youngster earned universal applause for his performance, being robbed of victory by a tyre puncture.

As well as Williams, Mercedes has ever closer ties to Aston Martin, having taken a major stake in the firm in October. Aston Martin can now use Mercedes’ electric and hybrid powertrains in its road cars as part of its future expansion plans.

Will Trinkwon

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