Ever since F1 woke up to the new hybrid era in 2014, Williams have been racing in the sport with a Mercedes power unit underneath. However, the team never showed much interest in opting for other components while working under the ruling of the Williams family.
Now, following a change of hands, the new owners are looking more optimistic about strengthening their ties with the German racing giants.
Following talks, the former constructor’s champions decided to opt for gearboxes and other hydraulic components from Mercedes, starting from the upcoming season. However, the team clarified that they will continue to build and design other chassis parts internally.
Simon Roberts sounded rather delighted with the team’s strengthening of relationship with Mercedes. “I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” he said.
“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.”
This decision by Williams will definitely bolster their chances of scoring some points over the 2021 season. 2020 turned out to be one of their worst seasons ever. Hence, Williams will be aching to chip in a handful of points and end their non-scoring drought.
Toto revealed that Mercedes and Williams had been discussing the expansion of their ties through this new project over the past few months.
“We are pleased to expand our technical cooperation with Williams through this new agreement,” the Austrian 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.
“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.”
Considering the upcoming regulation changes, Williams’ decision to receive the powerful Mercedes gearbox will obviously help them in some performance gain.
However, the bigger question is, will this be enough for the British team to join the mid-field battle? Or despite such significant plans, will they continue to remain the slowest team on the grid?