Lotus to use Mercedes engines from next season

2015 F1 season

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Lotus have signed a “long term” deal with Mercedes to use their power units, beginning next season.

As part of the deal, Lotus will also use lubricant designed by Mercedes partner Petronas.

However Lotus will continue to manufacturers its own transmission systems.

Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff said it was “strategically important” for Mercedes to find a replacement customer team to take over from McLaren, who will no longer use its engines next year having signed a deal with Honda.

“Lotus F1 Team is an impressive organisation that has delivered competitive on-track performances in recent seasons,” said Wolff. “We are pleased to welcome them to the Mercedes-Benz family and look forward to building a productive and performant working relationship in the years ahead.”

The news brings to an end the team’s use of Renault engines which stretches back to the 2001 season, its final season as Benetton. Following that it became the Renault works team until it took on the Lotus name in 2012.

The Enstone-based team also used Renault engined between 1995 and 1997, and following that raced Playlife-branded derivatives of Renault’s V10s.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Lotus to use Mercedes engines from next season”

  1. Hopefully the chassis is effective enough. Lotus have two drivers who are quick enough to win races, just not with the E22.

    1. let’s be honest Maldonado and Grojean if they can avoid crashing into things could be the fast in competitive car with the Mercedes engine, but so can any other driver. I don’t have to have them makes them “fast”?

  2. Does the teams’ use of Renault engines not stretch back to 1995?

    1. Rebadged as Playlife for a few seasons i admit, but they were Renault units

  3. That is a nice change for them. Alonso to Lotus now?

    1. That’s the idea I’ve been floating around. He knows Enstone very well and he would have the much sought after Mercedes Benz engine. I think it’s a long shot but not impossible

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      9th October 2014, 19:00

      Things in F1 change spectacularly quickly. There’s nothing to suggest that with Mercedes engines, Lotus won’t be right in contention next year. I’d imagine Alonso would prefer a quick Lotus to a quick McLaren.

      1. Unless Lotus have been keeping this up their sleeve, the 2015 car should be well under way, factoring in the engine at this stage is probably a tad late

  4. Former Renault F1 team switching to Mercedes engines… kinda weird

    1. The former works Honda team is now the current works Mercedes team, supplying its engines to the former works Renault team lol

      1. The former works Honda team is now the current works Mercedes team, supplying its engines to the former works Renault team because of the termination of the supply of engines to McLaren team which will use engines from Honda team!

        1. Or… The former works Honda team, which is the current works Mercedes team, is to supply its engines to the former works Renault team because of the former works Mercedes team is becoming the new works Honda team.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            9th October 2014, 19:01

            Thanks for the headache. :D

          2. So you want to say me that a wood trading company is now the works Mercedes team, which supplies engines to the former works Renault team, but was the works Honda team that now supplies engines to the former Mercedes works team? Am I correct?

          3. @deej92 @t4bb3 @nirupam @celicadion23 @nickilism

            Pah, kids… You’re obviously missed the bigger picture.

            The former Tyrell team are selling former Illmor engines to the former Jordan and Toleman teams, the latter who were the former Renault works team, who are now supplying engines to the former Ford works team, who are the sister team of the former Minardi/Scuderia Italia conglomerate.

  5. We knew it was coming but this is a massive blow for Renault. With few customer teams left, If they dont produce a better engine for RedBull next year then they could soon be out of the sport.

    1. Red Bull want this though, now they have Renault’s full attention, and all cars that use a Renault engine also use a Red Bull gear box, making a far greater synergy in the power-train. Horner hinted that the Lotus engine is quite different to their own here: http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/red-bull-barracking-for-lotus-renault-exit/ But obviously if the engine isn’t up to scratch still then I don’t see how long they will maintain the expense…

      1. The Renault engine powering the Lotus car is defintely not the same as the Red Bull one … Just look at the performance difference between the two …

        1. @paeschli @jmc200 Actually, I believe Renault announced a few races back that all their teams are now racing fundamentally the same engine and any performance difference was down to fuels, chassis and aero.

          I think around pretty much the same time, Lotus openly announced that they were exclusively working on their next car and had stopped developing the E22 because they’d found a fairly significant flaw in its design that couldn’t be fixed. This explains the poor performance…

          My guess the ‘fundamental flaw’ was the asymmetrical design, which required them to do double the CFD work (teams with largely symmetrical cars just model half the car and mirror it, according to Scarbs), halving the amount of development they could put in under the CFD processing time rules (max of 30 teraflops, down from 40, mixed with windtunnel work).

          1. I’m just going on what Horner said, but he’s such a slimy character, I don’t usually give him any time. The Lotus also rides like a milkfloat, since the removal of their advanced FRIC system, coupled with whatever the “fundamental flaw” is.

  6. I think McLaren are proof enough having those Merc engines does not guarantee points finishes.

    1. Maybe not consistent points, but they’re still almost a hundred above their next competitor. The only things that were able to beat Mercedes engines this year were the two works teams.

    2. McLaren’s ‘contract’ to run Mobil fuel probably hurt them, given Mercedes spent a good deal of time bigging up Petronas’s fuel performance (which Williams also run). FI also run Mobil and they’re pretty much of a similar ‘performance’ to McLaren.

      The fuel make-up this year has been a HUGE performance differentiator – Petronas and Mercedes saw this and caught Shell, Mobil and Total with their trousers down.

      1. Don’t Williams have Petrobras not Petronas?!

        1. Branding yes @jre_f1, in the car they
          use Petronas for this year. See the thread below where @optimaximal and @deej92 discuss impact of this for next year.

  7. And to think it was only in February that they signed a long-term deal with Renault.

    The Mercedes deal probably means the loss of Total, Grosjean’s backers. Will Mercedes have a say in who gets the seat? I think they might insist on Ocon getting it, or, if not, a few FP1s. With Petronas on board as well, Lotus could end up looking like Mercedes’ B team, not that this is the worst scenario in the world as it means they’ll have a competitive engine and some income from sources other than Venezuala.

    1. *Venezuela.

    2. @deej92 The Total backing was already on shaky ground of PDVSA angling to get as much of their product on the car. My guess is the only reason they couldn’t get their fuel into the engine itself was because Renault forbade it (and with good reason, given the performance enhancements that Shell and Total have delivered to their respective engines across the series after taking a tip from Petronas’s book).

      Will be interesting to see how Williams go next year when they start introducing Petrobras (via Massa & Nasr) alongside the Merc-specc’ed Petronas.

      1. Ah yes, I completely forgot about Petrobras coming in. It will be interesting indeed to see any performance gaps between the two fuel brands.

        You are quite right regarding Total. Their logos are barely visible on the Lotus anymore, while the PDVSA logos are in abundance. I think the Total partnership has been in decline since Renault stopped being a works team after 2011, with Red Bull the focus.

  8. They have to design a good car for the new engine.

  9. However, now with the engine “unfreeze” for 2015 I think that is going to upset the apple cart. We should not expect Mercedes engines to continue to be so dominate starting in 2015 now that the other engines are able to fix their design flaws.

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