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.