Lotus has today confirmed that the team will run Mercedes engines from 2015 onwards.
With the team having evolved from the Renault F1 team – with whom Fernando Alonso won both of his world championships – the news marks the end of a long association between Lotus and Renault. Under the terms of the agreement, Lotus will be supplied with Mercedes-Benz Power Units by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.
“We are pleased to have been chosen by Mercedes in a significant long term deal,” Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team’s CEO said of the announcement. “We intend to return to the front of the field with the goals of winning Grand Prix and being a strong championship contender once more and we see this new agreement as one step towards this aim. The Mercedes-Benz Power Unit has shown good performance on track and it is our goal to marry this motive force to Enstone’s chassis expertise. It is our desire that the E23 Hybrid, powered by Mercedes-Benz, heralds a new era of success for Enstone. At this juncture we would also like to thank Renault, who have been so closely associated with the team over its history and for the joint success we have achieved together.”
Having been accustomed to winning races and scoring podiums in the last few years, Lotus have suffered a slump in 2015 and have scored just 8 points in 2014. In 2012 and 2013 the team finished fourth in the constructors championship with over 300 points.
For Mercedes the move is an important deal having lost long-term customers McLaren to Honda for 2015. “It was strategically important for Mercedes-Benz to continue to supply three customers throughout this generation of Power Unit, in addition to the primary focus on our Silver Arrows works team,” Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff explained. “It was therefore clear that we would be looking for a new customer from 2015. Lotus F1 Team is an impressive organisation that has delivered competitive on-track performances in recent seasons. We are pleased to welcome them to the Mercedes-Benz family and look forward to building a productive and performant working relationship in the years ahead.”
Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains’ Managing Director, Andy Cowell, echoed Wolff’s sentiments. “Lotus F1 Team is a strong technical group with excellent facilities and I am confident that together we will deliver a step forward in track performance next year. In 2014, the organisation at Brixworth has demonstrated that it can support three customer teams to the high standards expected of Mercedes-Benz in addition to our focus on the works Silver Arrows. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue doing so from 2015, as we seek to make further gains in both performance and reliability.”
Lotus will join Force India and Williams as Mercedes-engine customers from 2015.