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Force India and Mercedes Extend power Deal
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  28 Mar 2013   |  3:48 pm GMT  |  113 comments

Force India have today announced an extension to their engine agreement with Mercedes-Benz, which will see the German firm supply the team with the new powertrain system from 2014.

The deal will see Mercedes supply Force India with the full Power Unit, transmission and all necessary systems for when the new regulations are installed next year.

With 2014 bringing back turbo engines, Mercedes have spent much of their recent years developing the new 1.6 litre Power Unit that is expected to be the leading system in Formula One.

The change to small, turbo charged engines has been driven by the FIA president Jean Todt as well as by manufacturers like Renault and Mercedes, all keen to ensure F1 stands as a catalyst for fast and economical production cars in the future.

Force India have been customers of Mercedes since 2009 and the pair have worked well together. The Silverstone-based squad took their first pole position and podium at the Belgian Grand Prix during their first year together, and went on to qualify in second place with Adrian Sutil at the following race in Monza; both tracks demanding strong engine performance.

Incidentally the recent return of German Adrian Sutil is seen to be instrumental in the contract renewal, opting for the German over Ferrari Academy driver Jules Bianchi.

And for Force India, the agreement indicates the stability of the team as they look to continue their progression up the field.  “Our new agreement with Mercedes-Benz for the coming years is the most significant in the history of Sahara Force India. With new powertrain regulations being introduced next year, I can’t think of a better partner to work with as Formula One enters a new and exciting era. The agreement gives us the long-term stability we require and will enable us to continue our journey towards the front of the Formula One grid,” said Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India.

The agreement will also please Mercedes as it looks to become the strongest supplier on the grid. “It is a significant milestone to announce our first long-term agreement for powertrain supply under the 2014 regulations. Sahara Force India was our first genuine customer in Formula One back in 2009 and we are delighted to enter an expanded, long-term relationship with them from 2014 onwards. This long-term agreement offers excellent value in terms of the balance between price and performance. We hope it will mean Mercedes-Benz and Sahara Force India working together for the entire life cycle of the new powertrain generation,” said Toto Wolff, Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas.

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113 Comments
  1. mhilgtx says:

    Well I hope this means good things for Force India.

    Not sure what it means for William and Mcleran going forward. Williams certaintly need something good to happen.

    For those of us that are fairly new to the sport like me, the archives on the right are full of great information.

    I have been going back and looking at James’ Race Strategy Briefs for 2012 and it has been revealing. Looking forward to the weekend and reading them all, well that’s my goal.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      Welcome on the best F1 website in the world! The only site you really need…

      1. AndyK says:

        On behalf of myself and thousands of others
        +1

      2. Andy says:

        Seconded, although if you do need even more information as it happens in the world try this

        http://connect.jamesallenonf1.com/

    2. Elie says:

      Welcome and keep up the good reading

      1. mhilgtx says:

        Thank you all very much. This is certainly a high quality site and most enjoyable.

  2. Frank says:

    I have been reading a lot about who Ferrari will supply with their engines. Marussia have been mentioned a good number of times, but if Marussia did go for a Ferrari engine what do you believe would happen with their partnership with McLaren?

    1. James Allen says:

      McLaren won’t be using Mercs from end of 2014 onwards. Marussia talking to them too

      1. Sascha says:

        So, mercedes has to protect themselves, from data transfer to Honda next yesr

      2. Quade says:

        2014 could be really rough for McLaren. The guys running Merc these day seem to be hard as nails. We’ve got to expect Merc to employ pretty raw tactics to protect their IP.

      3. Equin0x says:

        How ironic in Jenson Button’s latter years in F1 he will again try to win the world title with Honda, the company that brought him his first win and also developed the car that won him the world championship with Brawn.

      4. Quade says:

        @Equin0x
        I’m a McLaren suporter, but I don’t see the smooth future you are painting.
        Firstly, transitioning from one engine supplier to the next is not going to be a routine task that will go without upheavals. Secondly, Jenson is not much of a driver.
        My prayer is that McLaren can manage the next two years properly, any missteps and the company could crumble or become another Williams.

        The true story about why McLaren is going to Honda. Perhaps, they’ve been spooked enough by Mercs recent cold, steely actions. Who knows?
        McLaren must not take hurried steps. Best to be cautious, especially with the way Merc is bristling.

      5. Formula Zero says:

        It is a bit premature to think about 2014 challenger or beyond at this state. But it is ironic that Jenson will possibly get to work with Honda again. And it will be great if he finishes his career by winning tittle with the team that Jenson put so much into. It is good for the sport that 2014 onwards the teams will have to be more innovative and aggressive in terms of design. McLaren is good at designing cars no doubt, not I am not sure if they will be able to compete with the Mercs & Ferraris because of the engine advantage. And also it will be more difficult when they switch from Mercedes to Honda just after one year of new regulation. In contrast, it might also be catastrophic for the sport if only the engine manufacture have the design advantage & the rest fall apart. We will find out in time.

        I think every F1 fan is somewhat fond of Force India. We have been impressed with the team since Vijay Malay took over the team from very disappointing Spyker F1. I was hoping that Bianchi would get his first shot at F1 with the team, but not meant to be. We know that Sutil is a good driver, but not a championship material,neither will probably get a chance to drive for any of the big teams. On the other hand, Bianchi reminds me of young Vettel in Torro Rosso. However, Mercedes deal to go with Sutil is a pretty sweet success for Force India. Good luck to them

  3. Kris says:

    Am I right in thinking this represents an expansion of scope compared to the current deal? If so, does this threaten the McLaren-FI connection? I understand FI was benefitting from a lot of McLaren IP and resources.

  4. Bones says:

    I have read here and on other websites that Mercedes 2014 engine is expected to be the best and I was wondering is there any data that supports this? How do you know that Renault or Ferrari won’t build a superior power unit.

      1. alex says:

        who would have thought Jungle drums could make a performance difference?!

      2. Bradley says:

        Haha!

        They have to have the right frequency of course, in resonance with the turbo.

      3. Simon Brown says:

        I thought it was Jungle Juice, a la 1980′s turbo era fuels.

    1. vuelve kowalsky says:

      you can be sure renault will make a good engine. Always has. Even if red bull were complaining about lack of power a few years back. 6 straight titles with a bad engine?!! i don’t think so.

      1. Erik says:

        Yeah I agree. The Renault engine team seems to be pulling a group lotus move from the off season, in that whilst the media is beating up the Mercedes engine story (jungle drums?..), they are free to get on with their work without external pressure. Look at Lotus and how quiet they were in the press during testing and Melbourne practice, then Kimi goes and wins it! What?.. lol

        I reckon Renault is pulling the same move, let Mercedes invite the media and take all the unnecessary expectations now, while they pull a swift on on them and get on with building the best power unit in secret. Who was the bigger force in F1 engines when turbos were in F1 last anyway?

      2. Andrew Carter says:

        Honda, who will be back for ’15.

      3. Equin0x says:

        The Renault engine is not bad but the Mercedes and Ferrari are reputedly better, it’s more than just the engine especially when they’re close these days, I mean Marussia is faster than Caterham at the moment and guess what engine is at the back of the Caterham who are the slowest on thw grid.

    2. I know says:

      Nobody knows. The rumour that Mercedes would have an edge were largely related to Lewis’ change from McLaren to Mercedes, assuming that the works team would have an advantage over a customer team when the engine changes so radically. I haven’t heard anyone presenting a good argument why Mercedes would have an edge over, say, Renault.

      1. Quade says:

        Exactly! Predicting F1 is a foolhardy undertaking.
        Last year, the “prophets” nailed it through our ears that Perez was gonna be sailing past Lewis (who would be driving something more ridiculous than a sardine can and committing suicide from the disgrace). However, we see the exact opposite today, maybe even worse, because neither Perez nor Jenson have even been close enough to smell the fumes from Lewis car.

        With the above example of “prophets” gone wrong in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise if come 2014, the Merc engine is turns out a weak wimp with all the strength of a lil girls doll.

      2. Anon says:

        If I recall correctly Mercedes were months away from dyno testing their engine at the end of 2011 so I will be shocked if their power unit turned out to be bad. Especially when you look at how good their KERS has been and recovery systems will have an even greater influence on lap time in 2014.

    3. Formula Zero says:

      Well there is no guarantees in F1. We have seen many times that the customer teams do better than the factory teams. Williams, McLaren & Red Bull the best of all of course. Mercedes is getting a lot of media coverage over the 2014 specs compare to Renault & Ferrari. I think it is because Mercedes has been on the spot light since Brawn sold the company. Everyone wants Mercedes to do well because it is fantastic to have another factory team with a huge brand power back in F1. And also another reason everyone thinks Merc will have the best engine because of the amount of talented people they are gathering in every part of the company. I did not expect Mercedes to invest so much in F1 so soon after being just an engine supplier for decades. But their effort shows that they are hungry for success & wants to win championships. Now having Force India under their belt so early makes them sound like invincible for 2014. But it makes sense for Force India to stick with Mercedes because they have been for 4 years already and doing well together. So it doesn’t make sense to change to something else all of a sudden. The only problem for Merc is that they haven’t even finished in top 3 in the championships yet since returning to the sport, which makes things a bit too premature and more hopeful than reality. So, I think personally i will hold my seat tight and wait until some real evidence comes around. This season is already so exciting that I don’t even care who is make the best engine or car for next year!! Am i the only one?

    4. Kay says:

      Many people, including James himself, thought McLaren were going to be frontrunners before the season started. Turns out it wasn’t the case.

      So the Merc engine going to be good is just purely unsupported speculation.

      1. Anon says:

        But no one expected Mclaren to scrap their old design, I had my doubts over Mclaren when I saw they had come up with a completely new car.

    5. Martin says:

      I’ll throw my $0.02 worth in…

      The engines are being designed to a lot of fixed parameters in terms of fuel flow rates and general architecture. With a capped maximum flow rate the maximum amount of power will be governed by the losses in the engine more than anything else. So more basic factors such as piston and crankshaft friction and the more complex such as the airflow in the crankcase as the crankshaft and the pistons move will be considered. I believe that Magneti Marelli is looking to monopolise the market in the injector and turbo areas in F1, which will further equalise the engines and control costs. So I feel the engines are going to be pretty similar.

      A key design choice will be the compression ratio of the engine. That along with the fuel mixture will combine to strongly influence the exhaust gas temperature. Since the fuel flow rate is capped this drives the amount of input energy to the turbo. The ratio of the use of inlet (no more than 25%) and direct fuel injection will also affect the exhaust temperature.

      If I understood Renault’s Rob White correctly, the amount of energy the turbo chips in to the 33 second of electric motor boost each lap is not capped. The KERS component from brake energy is limited to half that per lap, so it is up to the turbo generator to make as much as possible.

      The turbo is limited to 125,000 rpm, so the generator is acting as a brake on the turbo under throttle. Driveability criteria will determine what speed the generator keeps the turbo to when the throttle is closed. This will be a key input from drivers into the power unit design. I’m not certain but I suspect exhaust blowing will be a minimal feature if allowed at all.

      The big factor that I haven’t mentioned is the intercooler. I’m pretty sure the rules require this to be an air-to-air system add in most cars. The bigger the intercooler the denser the air going into the engine. The intercooler has an aerodynamic impact that is potentially significant. Even with the capped fuel flow rate, Rob White suggested there could be 20 kW in different interpretations on how to make the fastest car rather than the most powerful engine.

      I’m not really expecting big differences in the engine performance, with aerodynamics and tyres likely to dominate. Reliability could be a much larger differentiator.

      1. Quade says:

        I love your post!

        The exhaust for 2014 will exit too far back for any blowing. The rear of the 2014 car has been rejigged to blot out current aero advantages.

        We will likely see the most exortic conducting materials used in the the intercooler to cut down its volume (perhaps, graphene would find its first commercial use). But rather than aero advantage, I see clever use to negate performance variations due to temparature differences. E.g. use huge ones in Bahrain, Malaysia and India and smaller ones elsewhere. They’ll also use heftier ones in places like Sao Paulo that are at high elevation, hence have thinner air.
        No doubt, 2014 engines would be technological wonders, built in ways and with materials we can hardly envisage. The team thats cleverest with new fangled materials would be the one to stand out.

    6. Randy Torres says:

      Wouldn’t it be more sensible to actually wait for all the engines to come out and see which one is better?

  5. vuelve kowalsky says:

    if mclaren goes to honda. does it mean end of tecnichal support from the woking team?

    1. James Allen says:

      Deal is done for Honda

      As is replacement title sponsorship deal

      1. vuelve kowalsky says:

        and james, what the replacement sponsorship it’s going to be? telmex maybe?.

      2. James Allen says:

        No, but Carlos Slim has no doubt played a part in brokering whatever it is

      3. Serrated_Edge says:

        Strong Rumours a few months ago was Coca-Cola.

      4. CarlH says:

        Has this been confirmed or is it inside knowledge?

      5. Aliaksei Kandratsenka says:

        Glad to hear that Vodafone replacement is found.

        Regarding Honda it’s big news then. I mean we’ve seen rumors, but not “done deal” from somebody as reputable as you James.

      6. James Allen says:

        I’ve heard it within F1, but also Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported it last week and that has always been the leaking source of choice for Honda news.

      7. alex says:

        Am I right in thinking McLaren doesn’t have a contract in place for the 2014 engine from Merc. Tricky situation if they don’t. Also for Merc; they wont want to be seen as the bad boys by leaving Mclaren in the lurch but equally will not want Honda engineers pouring over their engine

      8. James Allen says:

        No, you are not. McLaren has a deal to end of 2015, so there’s not much Mercedes can do to protect itself with Honda coming in for 2015.

      9. Andrew Carter says:

        I’ve read specifically that McLaren have options with Mercedes for 14 and 15 and they’ll definitely take up the option for 14.

      10. Dave P says:

        Oooo… I like your positivity James… I guess you feel you have a good insider on the Honda story…

        Is it a big risk for McLaren taking on Honda versus Mercedes???

        I would think it would be difficult for Honda to beat Mercedes..

      11. Erik says:

        Honda has worked with McClaren in the past so it’s a good fit for them. Also they were around when turbos were last in F1 so that’s a positive. Honda can build A good engine, it was the chassis side that was crap when they were running their own team a few years ago.

      12. Peter says:

        Erik, if you scratched the paint on the 2009 championship winning Brawn car you know what you’d find underneath, right? A Honda chassis. With a Mercedes engine.

        Word is that it was the Mercedes engine that transformed it from an also-ran to the class of the field.

        So, are you sure you haven’t got it backwards?

      13. Mike from Colombia says:

        Surprising on the title deal

        Makes you wonder why they need Perez then. McLaren now needs a star driver but where from? Bianchi – tied to Ferrari. Bottas tied to Williams.

      14. Equin0x says:

        Bottas is not doing a great job at the moment and Bianchi will likely replace Massa for next year if not 2015, Perez hasn’t shown anything so far but its to be expected especially as Kobayashi was faster than him.

      15. Jimbob says:

        Hulkenburg.

      16. Adrian J says:

        How about a young English driver by the name of Jenson Button..??

      17. Erik says:

        Hulkemberg/Sutil, although we don’t know yet, new title sponsor could be South American.

      18. Quade says:

        Hulkenburg will be a brilliant choice.
        Its hard seeing Maca trundling around the midfield with two quite ordinary drivers.

      19. DC Corey says:

        James,

        Do you mean that Honda is set to provide McLaren with an engine and be their new title sponsor? Or just that two seperate deals for engine and sposorship have been concluded?

        If it’s seperate deals, any insights into who the new sponsor might be?

      20. FerrariFan says:

        Hi James,
        If Honda id sure to come back in F1. Do you think Kobayashi will make a return to F1 with one of the Honda engine teams?

      21. Simmo says:

        Very interesting point!

      22. Quade says:

        I did suggest some montha ago, that if Honda came back, Jenson would have to vacate the seat for Kobayashi or Sato (or any other Japanese driver). It might not be an immediate thing, but it would happen; Perez brings in money, Honda would bring in engines etc, Jenson would have nothing to put on the table.

      23. Andrew Carter says:

        Kobayashi’s always been a Toyota man.

        Kimiya Sato maybe?

      24. Serrated_Edge says:

        Are the replies here a wind up? Replace a World Champion with Kobayashi or Stato?

        Its not April 1st until Monday!

      25. dimitar kadrinski says:

        That is quite a news you got us here Allen… I really hope this is true!

      26. gudien says:

        Thanks for the information. It will take Honda several years for them to be competitive. Meanwhile Jenson and Sergio will be developing the race car and more strategic personnel will leave the team for the top teams.

        Ron Dennis will be earning his dinero.

        Welcome to the new Team McLaren.

      27. Andrew Carter says:

        What makes you so sure, their engine would have been in development for more than 2 years by the time it gets to it’s first race. No guaruantee that it’ll be the best engine out there, but I’ll be surprised if it’s off the pace.

      28. Timmay says:

        Why should it take any major motor manufacturer years to get competitive in a brand new formula?

        I’d say at worst they will win in year 2. Only McLarens weaksauce driver lineup might prevent this.

      29. Robert says:

        Why would it take Honda “several years”? It’s not like the don’t already supply very similar turbo engines to the American Indy Car series – they do. And it’s not like they don’t have a good history in F1 – they do. And they have two years to develop them, the last one of which they will be able to enter McLaren’s garage and see the Mercedes engine in situ. There is absolutely no reason that Honda can’t waltz in in 2015 or 2016 with a heck of a competitive engine from Day 1.

      30. Wanja says:

        Honda have picked the best possible moment to enter F1. They can start developing now, if they’re not already working on the engine, and they will be able to study the 2014 season and make adjustments to their engine accordingly, while the 2014 season progresses. Even though McLaren will have a bombproof NDA with Mercedes, they will be able to give Honda some parameters of their 2015 car’s design (which will be based on assumptions learned from the Mercedes engine) that will enable Honda engineers to gain rough knowledge about the Mercedes engine, such als weight distribution, space and cooling demands. Sound analysis from the races will furthermore reveal more information about the power curves of all engines. Honda engineers will have a great chance to watch, learn and develop for one year without development and testing restrictions, until they enter Formula 1.
        Two years or three years later the experience gained will be huge and a new manufacturer may have a hard time. Coming one year after the others might just be perfect.

  6. goferet says:

    No question about it, Force India’s partnership with Mercedes is just about the best decision the team has ever made for not only is Force India currently the strongest mid-field team but also, this has enabled the team to make a couple of giant killing drives with Spa 2009 being the most surprising.

    Now considering the fact Force India have decided to stick with Mercedes for 2014 and onwards, this gives credibility to the rumours from the experts that the Mercedes engine of 2014 will be the strongest.

    I mean Force India had a choice between Ferrari and Mercedes and they chose the latter, so yeah.

    And if I were other teams that are struggling such as Williams, I would make the switch before this ship sails.

    1. mhilgtx says:

      That is what I was wondering about Williams. But would going with Merc as what their 3rd or fourth team would they be in the same boat as I have read they are with Renault? I have read the Renault-Infiniti, actually aren’t they really Nissan, engine slower than Ferrari and Merc?

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        The Renault engine is thought to be less powerful but has better fuel consumption than the Merc and better heat rejection figures than the Ferrari.

    2. Miha Bevc says:

      To bad the let Hulk go. He should have stayed at FI.

      1. Simmo says:

        And I bet Williams feel silly replacing Hulkenberg with somebody who is struggling to finish races.

      2. Random 79 says:

        @Miha & Simmo,

        Hindsight’s a wonderful thing :)

    3. Formula Zero says:

      I am sad to say this, but the reality is that I personally do not see any light in the horizon for Williams in near future. They really never had good relationship with Mercedes or Ferrari or Renault. And to top of it all, they don’t make their own engine either. I can’t see Cosworth or Toyota or Honda helping them out. Maybe the new deputy team leader will have some good influence and move to team forward towards the right direction. Good luck to them, because they need it along with some new direction.

  7. Well says:

    People rejoicing about how engines will dominate F1. How is that different to aero or tyres dominating?

    Only a few teams will have the best engine and the rest will just follow.

    We had the best balance of everything in 2010, the most exciting season in decades. Each year they changed something and look at the joke we ended up with.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      I remember 2010 being distinctly lacking in on track action though.

  8. Richardd says:

    James, as you say, the deal is done for Mclaren to use Honda engines, do you know whether they (Honda) already have a development program for the new engines?

    1. James Allen says:

      My question is whether Honda would try to race in 2014 with a team like Marussia, to learn ahead of 2015.

      It doesn’t seem to be going that way, but that’s how Honda always liked to come in in the past

      1. DB says:

        You mentioned McLaren’s contract with Mercedes is good until the end of 2015. Could Honda enter with a smaller team while McLaren holds the deal to the end?

      2. mhilgtx says:

        Caterham, maybe?

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        Caterham are heavily tied in with Renault.

      4. Phil says:

        Surely you lose the benefit of coming in a year later and inheriting the knowledge in the mind of all the engineers you would inherit? Whilst the deal has seemingly been done for some time, they’d still be a good few months behind the other three manufacturers wouldn’t they?

      5. Erik says:

        It’s all very exciting but a bit odd. Honda will technically start a year later than everyone else so what’s that going to do to Mclarens competitiveness?

        Would it not be worth everyone’s while to break the McClaren contract with Mercedes? Honda comes in with the new formula and won’t loose a year and Mercedes stops Honda engineers from ogling at their power units for a whole year at Mclaren.

      6. Quade says:

        The McLaren garage would be a very interesting place come 2014. No doubt, we will witness intrigue after intrigue as oglers battle IP owners. I hope McLaren can skilfully manage the styfling shindig to come.

      7. Jacob says:

        Could Honda provide engines to Marussia next year but under a different name? Would that even be of any be benefit or would the paddock see through it as being the Honda power unit?

      8. Craig in Manila says:

        How about the possibility of Honda entering F1 with Marussia and then it eventually being re-branded and becoming their “Factory Team”….?

  9. The reason why Force India has signed with Mercedes for 2014 and beyond may have simply been a financial decision. FI looked like they were using Jules Bianchi as a lever to try and obtain a better power plant deal from Ferrari, when that didn’t work, they signed Adrian Sutil, Bianchi was placed at Marussia, and FI still has Paul Di Resta, a Mercedes-supported driver.
    From what I have been reading, the increased cost of the power plants for 2014 and beyond is going to be a major drain on the midfield and back of the grid teams, so they need the best possible deals from the suppliers.

  10. Jamie brooks says:

    How are mercedes going to protect the engine secrets from Honda James?

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        If Honda built an engine and found a way to develop over 100hp more than their rivals you think there rivals could claw the gulf in performance back enough to compete?

      2. Random 79 says:

        In time they’ll all max out their power units and we’ll see a (fairly) level playing field again.

      3. Erik says:

        Break the contract with Mclaren early . Honda gets to come in early and won’t lose a year, while Mercedes keeps its secrets.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      In the same way Honda kept their engines from being viewed by outsiders or even Mclaren staff. They came from source in crates, fitted by Honda personnel and run by Honda engineers only

      1. Quade says:

        Crates and Merc personnel sounds like a decent plan. But Honda/McLaren can apply all sorts of audio and other sensors to the car. Honda might also get its mits on the telemetry at Woking.
        IMHO, Merc will also send staff and “minders” to both Woking and the McLaren garage. Its gonna be rough stuff.

  11. Richard says:

    I think it quite likely that the Mercedes unit will be the best. I suppose that begs the question what do we mean by best! It could mean the most powerful, the most reliable, and the most efficient ERS. I wonder if the drivers will like them, and what they will feel like to drive. I presume the ERS is harvesting all the time to make up the power deficit to current engines. My guess is that drivers will not like them as in some respects there is no substitute for cubic capacity. I also think there is a good chance we will see a lot more engine failures because these will be high presssure engines. – Oh goody some fireworks at last to make up for these rather dull tyres!

  12. Deeno says:

    There we go with Jenson and famous Honda engines. (famous for blowing up). I can remember how fed up Jenson used to be when race after race him ( and his team mate) had to retire.
    I think its a risk going with engine supplier who has been out of F1 so long. AND questionable reliability.
    I wonder if its not just to save money.

    1. Robert says:

      The old turbos ran at 20,000 rpm if not higher. The V8s are currently limited to 18,000 rpm, and the new turbos are limited to 15,000. All of that is in the name of increasing engine reliability, and extending the life of the power plant.

  13. Robert N says:

    Can someone explain to me the connection between hiring Sutil and extending the Mercedes deal?

    Which decision influenced the other, if at all?

    1. Random 79 says:

      As I understand it:

      Sutil was backed by Mercedes,
      Hiring Sutil makes Mercedes happy.
      Happy Mercedes continue to supply FI :)

      For comparison (in an alternate universe)

      Bianchi was backed by Ferrari.
      Hiring Bianchi makes Ferrari happy.
      Happy Ferrari supplies FI :)

      FI had options, but in the end they went for experience and the driver they knew very well.

      Bianchi has impressed more than a few people at Marussia, but Sutil has also performed well.

      I tend to think FI made the right call.

    2. Dan says:

      Germany…

  14. Simmo says:

    The thing is, everybody is saying that Mercedes will have the best engine relatively confidently, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

    Please tell me if I’m wrong here, but it is my understanding that we haven’t really seen anything from the other engine suppliers. What this is saying, is that people are believing that Mercedes will have the best engine because that is what people know most about.

    I think we may be in for a shock (a positive one) from Renault and Ferrari.

  15. Phil Shotton says:

    I know a lot of people have been saying that the Merc 2014 engine will be the best, but the best in what terms? As we’ve seen the Renault power unit at the moment is the best one to have, but those cars (well certainly the RBR cars) are almost always the slowest through the speed traps, yet they win a lot of races and qualify on pole position. The Renault engine is purportedly less thirsty than all the others, therefore they start with a lot less fuel at the beginning of a race and therefore accelerate from standing better and should (although not this season, so far..) be easier on their tyres..

    This season is just getting going and 2014 looks like being an excellent one as well!

    :)

    1. Quade says:

      RBR can afford to be slowest in the speed traps (actually its Merc this year), because they’ve got the best aero package by a country mile. However, from 2014, engine grunt will trounce aero by a country mile, so its all change.

    2. Peter Freeman says:

      First truly observant point here!

      I would be surprised if Renault did not have the most economic power plant in F1 next year and judging by their history in extracting power from small engines, will it really not be competitive?

  16. Quade says:

    Good on Force India. The question is, with VJ Malia’s problems, can they pay?

    1. Random 79 says:

      If you believe their PR FI is insulated from his other businesses and so is not affected by his various debts.

      I’m a bit dubious though; when you owe the banks a billion dollars they tend to get a little bit agro :)

  17. All revved-up says:

    James,
    Why does McLaren not build its own F1 engine? After all, the build the engines in the McLaren 12C and McLaren P1 road cars.

    It’s it because the branding benefits from supplying F1 engines are better enjoyed by a larger manufacturer like Renault and Honda?

    On the other hand, I’ve read comments that Renault and Honda never maximized the commercial benefits the way Ferrari does because of the nature of their products – everyday cars vs high performance Ferraris.

    Would love to be educated on this.

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        James, who do you think the tyre supplier will be in 2014?

    1. Zombie says:

      McLaren 12C also uses an engine that is derived from Nissan’s v8 that was further honed and developed by Mclaren. Besides, people pay over 300 thousand dollars for a MP4 12c which covers Mclaren’s expenses and makes them a nice profit. F1 cars dont.

  18. Elie says:

    That’s great news for Force India, at the very least they will have continuity with the team at Mercedes. Mercedes too will have a decent benchmark in performance comparison to a very strong midfield team.

    Even greater news James that your able to acknowledge a deal being worked through between Mclaren and Honda- thanks !. I guess the question lies in how quickly Honda can develop an engine that can compete. I really doubt it can be confident before the start of 2014 even if Mercedes were to release Mclaren. What I see as the biggest challenge for engine manufacturers is the integration of their power units between the V6 turbos and their ERS and making them seemless for the drivers.

    The reason why Mercedes look promising is the fact that their current KERS system is more reliable and more powerful than the Renault system- & yes people the reason Renault are winning is : RBR + Aero genius. Note also that ERS systems in 2014 will form a bigger proportion of power displaced – I would imagine tjis is why Merc are rubbing their hands together along withe ” One team under the one roof” benefits.Ferrari too look very reliable but Im not sure of their power output- seems pretty handy so far.

    On the sponsorship side I don’t see why it would not be a Mclaren/ Honda major partnership- It would be a solid fit at the moment as Honda has been laying low for some time- it could spark a resurgence that they need particularly with hybrid technologies growing in the road car business.
    Great stuff James I will watch this space with eager anticipation !

  19. Quade says:

    I’m wondering if Honda plans to either buy McLaren or buy a huge stake in the company?
    They must be offering something thats so sweet, McLaren is willing to go through a painful transition.

  20. Anon says:

    If the Honda unit is weak in 2015 then Mclaren are well and truly effed. 2013 looks like it will be a tough season as things stand and Mercedes won’t be so helpful towards Mclaren in 2014.

  21. Sounds like there are not many teams left for a potential VW entry!

  22. Gazz says:

    Honda and McLaren dominated the sport for a number of years and will do so again. Honda had a great working relationship with Jenson and they hold him in very high regard. They will relish the chance to come back as a supplier, but wont buy into a team. I find it amazing just how many say, “I’m a McLaren fan but”…… but what, this is probably the best thing for the team in the long run. McLaren have won nothing for over a decade, except one very lucky WDC, won by 1 point, so lets give Honda a chance before running for the hills.

  23. abhi says:

    I would like to know whether Engines supplied by Mercedes to Sahara force india are same what Hamilton has in its car as to what Nico hulkenburg or Perez have ???

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