The Lotus F1 Team will switch from Renault to Mercedes power from 2015 after it was confirmed that the Enstone team would run with the German power units.
Lotus had been linked with a change of engine supplier since mid-season, and the deal with Mercedes means the German power unit will continue to power four teams next year, alongside Sahara Force India, Williams Martini Racing and of course Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS.
Lotus F1 Team CEO Matthew Carter was pleased to be able to announce the partnership with Mercedes, an hopes the alignment will enable them to move back towards the front of the field having struggled for pace in 2014.
“We are pleased to have been chosen by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in a significant long term deal,” said Carter. “We intend to return to the front of the field with the goals of winning Grands 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.”
Andy Cowell, the Managing Director of Mercedes AMG HPP, welcomed Lotus to their customer ranks, and is confident the team can make a big leap next year with their power units driving them forward.
“We are delighted to welcome Lotus F1 Team as a customer of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains from the 2015 season,” insisted Cowell. “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 continuing doing so from 2015, as we seek to make further gains in both performance and reliability.”
Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff insisted they wanted to continue running three customer teams alongside the main Mercedes outfit, and after the defection of McLaren to Honda, Lotus were a good replacement.
“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, and it was therefore clear that we would be looking for a new customer from 2015,” said Wolff. “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 working relationship in the years ahead.”
So far only Pastor Maldonado has been confirmed as a driver for the Lotus F1 team for 2015, although Romain Grosjean is highly likely to remain with the team despite the poor results of 2014.