Following the results of the Formula 1 season, the McLaren Formula 1 and Mercedes-Benz teams announced the extension of the contract for the supply of power units until 2030. This means that German engines will be equipped not only in McLaren cars, but also in cars of this brand.
The McLaren F1 team will continue to use Mercedes-AMG engines from 2026 to 2030, becoming the brand’s first customer under the new powertrain regulations for the 2026 season alongside the factory team.
Let us remind you that McLaren has been working for Mercedes-AMG since 2021, and previously continuously from 1995 to 2014. Thus, 2026 will be the 26th year of cooperation between the two brands. “The long-term nature of this contract reflects our shared trust and commitment to our future strategy for the units. “We look forward to building momentum towards 2026 and ushering in a new era of electrified powertrains in Formula 1,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Chief Technology Officer.
Competition will become tougher
In 2026, Formula 1 will welcome two new power unit manufacturers from its current four. There will be huge changes in technical regulations. The new drives will operate at 50 percent capacity. combustion energy and 50 percent electrical. This will be achieved by increasing the efficiency of the electrical unit and balancing the performance of the combustion unit. The maximum power output will be more than 1000 horsepower.
In addition, the new drives will work 100 percent. sustainable fuel. The power unit’s electrical systems will be upgraded to a higher performance level and will be equipped with one 350 kW electric motor, which will be almost three times more powerful than the current MGU-K. This is where the problem arises: the engine will require the development of a suitable high-performance battery system.
In addition, the development of the next generation of powertrains will be carried out in accordance with the marginal cost regulations, designed to limit the maximum technical costs of the project and strengthen the investment case for supplying powertrains to the sport.
Work is already underway
According to Mercedes-AMG, work on the new power unit has been underway since mid-2022 at the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains facility in Brixworth, UK. This research and development center produces all Mercedes-AMG F1 powertrains and is also a state-of-the-art development center for the wider group of companies when it comes to electric drive technology.
McLaren has returned to its partnership with Mercedes-AMG in 2021. The team has since won the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, the latest victory for any customer team in Formula 1. McLarens have achieved 15 Grand Prix podiums over the past three seasons, as well as pole position in the Formula 1 Sprint in Brazil and pole -position. and winning the Formula 1 sprint in Qatar last season.
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