Williams expands partnership with Mercedes ahead of 2022 F1 rule changes


Mercedes and Williams will form a closer alliance for the 2022 F1 season that will include a greater supply of parts

George Russell, 2020 Bahrain GP

Williams will use Mercedes gearboxes from 2022

Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Mercedes will now have a closer technical partnership with Williams after both teams announced a new deal that will include use of transferrable components from 2022.

Williams will use Mercedes gearboxes from ’22 as part of the agreement that keeps the Grove team aligned with the world champions in its customer-supplier alliance that began back in 2014.

Having been a power unit customer of Mercedes since the beginning of the hybrid era, the new deal will run until the 2025 F1 season.

Traditionally, Williams has built all of its hydraulic components and gearboxes in-house, but with the new technical agreement will instead use items provided by Mercedes alongside other parts within the new ruleset.

“I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” Williams team principal Simon Roberts 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.

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“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.”

From 2022, a wealth of changes designed to cut costs and improve competition between teams will come into effect, including more standardised parts. As part of these changes, gearbox design will now be frozen to lessen research and development spending.

Since finishing third in the constructors’ championship in the first hybrid season in 2014, Williams has gradually slipped to the back of the field but fresh investment from Dorilton Capital has injected funding into the team in the hopes of climbing back up the grid.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that the expanded agreement with Williams made sense under the new rules.

“We are pleased to expand our technical cooperation with Williams through this new agreement,” 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.

“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.”