Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Williams insists it hasn’t questioned Mercedes engine parity

2018 F1 season

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Williams has not cast any doubts on the parity of equipment it receives from Mercedes, the team has stated.

A statement issued on behalf of deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “Contrary to comments made recently in the press, we refute any suggestion that we have questioned the parity of the power units provided by Mercedes-AMG HPP.

“We are absolutely confident that the power units used by Mercedes, Force India and ourselves are identical in terms of both hardware and software.

“We have an excellent professional and personal relationship with Mercedes, and our focus is firmly on continuing the good work that we have started, as we prepare for the final test in Barcelona this week ahead of the new season.

The FIA issued a directive ahead of the new season requiring manufacturers to ensure their power units “must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way” by their customers. It said the rules are intended “to ensure that all power units supplied by one manufacturer are identical in all respects.”

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Keith Collantine
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16 comments on “Williams insists it hasn’t questioned Mercedes engine parity”

  1. Gone really quiet round here after the frankly ridiculous claims that a company that (the only one mind) provides a written contract of parity, is somehow keeping it all secret when really a team purchased fewer engines and thus had less access to demanding modes had to get permission based on data to run outside of its range…


    1. That was a bit of a long winded way of putting it but yes I agree.

    2. I was under the impression that the contracts are written as being for a year’s supply, not that the teams are buying X number of engines. For example, when the Renaults started blowing up 3/4 of the way through the year, I doubt Renault could ask for more money to continue supplying engines. That’s Renault’s cost to eat.

      1. @repete86
        I don’t think so, because that would be a terrible deal for engine manufacturers, and open a gigantic loophole for backmarkers like Sauber. Sauber, Haas, Williams, Force India – all these customer teams used exactly 4 units of the most important components. But it stands to reason that they could’ve improved their performance by taking strategic penalties in certain races to be able to use more aggressive engine setting in others. But they didn’t. Lance Stroll limped around the track with an older spec Mercedes engine with enormous mileage in the last couple of races, after his 4th engine had gone up in smoke. He didn’t make it past Q1 on both occasions, so Williams could’ve simply changed his engine to give him a bit of a boost. But they didn’t. And the only plausible reason for that is money.

  2. Williams doesn’t want to do anything that would risk its mercedes engine contract. Just a step down to renault would bring catastrophic performance decrease possibly dropping williams back of the grid with toro rosso. Ferrari engine would be also a downgrade and ferrari sure as hell would not want williams to beat their alfa romeo junior team. And honda would be a total catastrophe. Mclaren had the financials to survive those years with honda, williams doesn’t. The strolls would buy their seats elsewhere. Without maldonado/stroll money and without the fastest engines williams would be bankcrupt in two seasons.

    Parity is also a funny word. When people say engine parity what do they mean? Does it mean you get the same engine modes, same cheater oils and fuels and same software? Or does it mean you get all the identical physical parts but maybe not all the little happy secrets that make the car 1s per lap faster in qualifying and gives a turbo boost mode in races when you want it?

    I think both toto and claire are happy that there is “enough parity” for both of them. Merc gets enough performance increase for themselves that the runt of the litter teams don’t bother them on track while williams gets the best engine which makes their slow cars little faster.

    1. @socksolid
      Paddy Lowe has said multiple times that EVERYTHING is the same. He knows the inner workings of Mercedes and sure would have known what the customers got while he was working for Merc.
      Im more inclined to believe paddy lowe a man with stupid levels of credibility than multiple online doom mongrels/Red Bull fan club conspiracy spokesmen.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        5th March 2018, 18:51

        @ldg95 – I’d maybe believe them if either Mercedes or Williams could actually say “we have the same hardware and software and are allowed to run the engine in the same modes.” Instead they keep stressing that they have the same hardware and software which is something that wasn’t really in doubt….

        1. @ Peter Baldwin so you believe Horner instead because what?…….because he wants parity for Williams and Force India? Don’t be so naive.

        2. @petebaldwin
          Give it up already peteboy, i’ve come across your kind on other sports forums.
          No matter how much your theories get disproved, your kind always look to push it one step further because you need something to complain about.
          When this engine modes issue ends up being a none story, you’ll end up looking for the next little thing to latch on too in a way to explain why Mercedes are better than their customers.

          You people are hilarious honnestly:
          If Red Bull are much better than all Renault teams, its becuse Red Bull have a better chassis.

          If Mercedes are better than Force India and Williams, its because Mercedes are hiding engine modes from its customers.

          You can’t make this stuff up. Its absolute comedy to me and whats even funnier is that people like you are unaware what you’re doing.

  3. Pretty sure this statement was unnecessary given the context in which Horner made his comment. He was being pretty glib and was just trying to stir something up.

  4. This “sounds” bad. I fear that Williams is doing everything possible not to lose the best engine on the grid. They were really mediocre overall last year even with the best engine, they could be even worse if they loose this engine. Just came to my mind that the 2014 McLaren car must have been pretty bad too since they did worse than Ferrari, yet in 2014 McLaren had a significantly better engine.

  5. I saw a tweet from AMuS that they have confirmation this rule is mostly due to the Renault / STR late 2017 season spat. The Lotus@Spa2015 stuff might have gotten it started, only for STR’s troubles to make it get pushed through. Makes sense too with Horner pointing another way to deflect attention, in my opinion.

  6. @bosyber That was McLaren’s final year with McLaren. Mercedes certainly pulled a lot away from that engine supplied to McLaren including the close support McLaren obviously had previously.

    1. According to most in the paddock the reason Mclaren couldn’t get as much out of the Mercedes engine in 2014 was due to the fuel it was running with their partnership with ExxonMobil. Rumours at the time was the Petronas fuels were worth an extra 50hp so a massive difference, plus the 4-29 wasn’t a particularly great car.

      While I have no doubt that Mercedes did what they could in order to prevent it’s trade secrets from being passed on to Honda in some way or form I highly doubt if as been confirmed multiple times by so many in the team, Williams have a contractual right to the same hardware and software as the works team that Mclaren wouldn’t have had the same terms. Rob Smedley also confirmed last season that Mercedes have no control of the power modes for the engine in terms of getting customers teams to turn their engines down during racing with the works cars. They can however advise on how much high power mode the engine “safely” has left in it’s millage, or in operating temps at the time, but again it’s only a recommendation and why the team doesn’t usually disagree they aren’t contractually obliged to do as the Mercedes PU engineers say.

      This is pretty much just a smoke without any fire, being waved by a bored/frustrated Horner, who has on many occasions tried to do anything he can to either distract from his own teams woes or attempt to through a spanner in works at a rival team. For a while he did it purely as part of training when he was muted as the next Bernie, training that very much failed.

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