Williams has announced an expansion of its technical collaboration with Mercedes that will see it use the Formula 1 world champion team’s gearboxes from the 2022 season.
As part of the new arrangement, Williams will be supplied with Mercedes gearboxes and other associated hydraulic components that are transferable under F1’s regulations, in addition to the power units it already receives.
It marks a significant change of policy for Williams, which has traditionally prided itself on building its own gearboxes and hydraulics in-house at its Grove factory. The team was sold to new owners Dorilton Capital last year following the departure of the founding Williams family.
“I’m pleased to see our great relationship with Mercedes extend beyond the supply of engines,” said Williams team principal Simon Roberts.
“Williams is an independent team, but Formula 1 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.”
Williams will continue to design and manufacture other chassis parts internally, but the increased partnership with Mercedes will enable the team to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process to enable it to focus its resources more effectively in other performance areas.
Mercedes protege George Russell, who has been tipped for a future seat with the reigning world champion squad after deputising for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix, is entering the final year of his current deal to drive for Williams.
“We are pleased to expand our technical cooperation with Williams through this new agreement,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added.
“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.”
It marks a further close alliance between independent outfits and manufacturers, with the likes of Haas and Racing Point also strengthening their technical collaborations with Ferrari and Mercedes in recent seasons, while AlphaTauri takes a number of customer parts from its sister Red Bull squad.