The Lotus F1 Team has announced that it will run with Mercedes power units next year after signing a ‘long-term supply agreement’.
Depending on which historic interpretation you take, it will mark the first time in either five or twenty years that the constructor has not been powered by a Renault engine. The last car called a Lotus not to do so was the Lotus Racing Cosworth T127 in 2010 (the team is today known as Caterham), but the last car produced by the Enstone team – following its Renault/Benetton/Toleman ancestry – was the 1994 Benetton Ford Cosworth B194.
The move to Mercedes engines has long been rumoured, and comes as little surprise given Renault’s poor pre-season build-up that was hampered by shocking reliability.
With McLaren moving to Honda power next year, that freed up a position for another team to secure a Mercedes power supply deal, with Lotus being the lucky team to get its hands on what has easily been the most competitive powerplant in the field.
“We are delighted to welcome Lotus F1 Team as a customer of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains from the 2015 season,” Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains MD, Andy Cowell, said.
“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.”
“We are pleased to have been chosen by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in a significant long term deal,” Lotus CEO Matthew Carter added.
“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.”
Mercedes’ other customer teams are Williams and Sahara Force India.
Image via XPB Images
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