In recent years, the Mercedes AMG F1 Team has been the most successful team on the grid. Since their return to the sport in 2010, they have won 8 World Constructors’ Championships. Given their success, you may be wondering what engine Mercedes uses in F1.
The Mercedes F1 team uses their own engines, which are branded as Mercedes AMG engines. The current engine is a 1.6-liter turbo-hybrid power unit. Ever since the start of the hybrid era in 2014, it has been the benchmark for other engine suppliers to beat, winning 8 WCCs in a row.
Mercedes have always built their own engines, and they will continue to do so with the support from their engine build facility in Brackley, in the UK. Mercedes are experts in the engine department, and we’ll take a closer look at just why they have been so successful below.
Does Mercedes Make Their Own F1 Engine?
Mercedes build their own 1.6 liter V6 turbo hybrid Formula 1 engines at their factory. The Mercedes AMG F1 Factory is located in Brackley, in the UK. The factory is fully equipped with an engine research, development, and building facility, which has allowed Mercedes to build their own Formula 1 engines since they rejoined the sport as a works team in 2010.
Ever since the team started their journey in Formula 1 in 1954, they have been building their own engines. Mercedes built one of the strongest power units in Formula 1 at the start of the hybrid era in 2014. This was as a result of years of research and development along with their rich history and experience in Formula 1 as an engine supplier.
How Does Mercedes’ F1 Engine Compare To Other Manufacturers?
Mercedes have been the strongest team in the hybrid era since the overhaul in the engine regulations in 2014. The switch from naturally aspirated V8 engines to the V6 turbo hybrid power units helped the team reach the top 8 times in a row from 2014 to 2021.
Even during their time supplying engines to McLaren, the Mercedes engines were always powerful enough and capable of winning races, setting fastest laps, and even winning championships.
However, in 2022, the German automotive giant built an engine that was subpar compared to what they had in their cars before. From the very moment the cars hit the track at preseason testing, it was clear that the Mercedes engine was not what it used to be. Even the Mercedes customer teams, such as Aston Martin, McLaren, and the Williams F1 team, were struggling with the performance of their engines.
This drop in performance could not have come at a worse time either, as the 2022 season also brought in an engine freeze. This would prevent teams from developing their engines until the 2026 season to help them stay under the budget cap. This means that Mercedes are likely to be stuck with their underperforming engine for the near future.
Mercedes F1 Team Engines Over The Years
|1954||4||WDC (no WCC at the time)|
|1955||5||WDC (no WCC at the time)|
|2014||16||WDC + WCC|
|2015||16||WDC + WCC|
|2016||19||WDC + WCC|
|2017||12||WDC + WCC|
|2018||11||WDC + WCC|
|2019||15||WDC + WCC|
|2020||13||WDC + WCC|
The Mercedes works team has had a short but rich history in Formula 1. Their first appearance in the sport was in 1954 with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel. Fangio won the World Championship with Mercedes in both 1954 and 1955, but they did not win a Constructors’ championship, as it was only introduced in 1958.
Right from the start, Mercedes were a successful manufacturer in Formula 1, with the team taking a total of nine victories in their first two seasons. What’s even more impressive is the fact that they only competed in 12 races during the same timeframe, giving them a 75% win record before leaving the sport at the end of the 1955 season, due to a fatal incident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Splitting From McLaren
Mercedes returned to F1 to supply engines to McLaren from 1994. They continued to do so until the first cracks in their relationship appeared in 2007, when McLaren were caught in the ‘Spygate’ scandal. It was found that McLaren had stolen crucial confidential documents from Ferrari and had copied some of the designs from their cars.
This led to an investigation into the British team, with the team eventually being disqualified from the Constructors’ Championship. Mercedes are an incredibly prideful brand, and having such a scandal, something they had no part in, associated with their name was the beginning of the end of the McLaren-Mercedes relationship.
On top of the bad reputation and cheating, Mercedes were thrown even further under the bus when they had to pay a percentage of the $100 million fine that McLaren received in the wake of the scandal. Not only had McLaren dragged Mercedes’ name through the mud, but Mercedes were also responsible for paying a portion of the fine for a mistake that they did not make.
In the late 2000s, McLaren revealed that they would be reentering the road car market by revealing the McLaren MP4-12C. This car would directly compete against Mercedes’ road cars, which gave the anti-McLaren board members at Mercedes and their parent company Daimler more than enough ammunition to initiate their split with McLaren.
At the same time, the Brawn GP team went up for sale, and Mercedes, who were already supplying their engines, seized the opportunity to buy their own Formula 1 team and enter the sport again as a works team for the first time since 1955. The Silver Arrows hired two German drivers in Nico Rosberg and the legendary seven time World Champion Michael Schumacher, who made his return to the sport.
The team started out well with some solid midfield performances and even a pole position and a few podiums. In 2012, Nico Rosberg gave the Mercedes team their first victory in the sport since 1955. The team was on an upward trajectory when Michael Schumacher announced his second retirement from the sport at the end of the 2012 season.
Lewis Hamilton was hired to replace Schumacher for the 2013 season, and the Briton joined the team as McLaren were losing their winning ways. In what seemed like perfect timing, Mercedes’ performance improved as they took three victories during the 2013 season. However, the new hybrid era would change everything for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
The Hybrid Era
In 2014, the Formula 1 engine regulations got a massive overhaul. The cars would move from naturally aspirated V8 engines to 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrid engines instead. Mercedes managed to make the most of this change as their hybrid engines showed the most potential, and were more powerful, efficient, and reliable than the rest of the grid.
While other teams struggled with the reliability and the performance of their engines, the Mercedes works team thrived with its new power unit. The change in performance was drastic, as the team scored 16 wins over the course of the 2014 season, and secured the championship before the final race.
This was an omen of what was to come, with the team going on to win another 7 World Constructors’ Championships and 6 more Drivers’ Championships as well. This rocketed them from being outside the top 10 in terms of Grand Prix wins to sitting third, behind only Ferrari and McLaren.
KEY POINTS• Mercedes have had two stints in Formula 1 as a works team
• Both have been incredibly successful, netting the team many championships
• The German brand has also supplied engines to other F1 teams over the years
Which Teams Use Mercedes Engines In F1?
The teams that use Mercedes engines in F1 are:
- The Mercedes works team
- McLaren (2021 – present)
- Aston Martin (2009 – present)
- Williams (2014 – present)
Following the successful development of their hybrid power unit, Mercedes became a popular option as an engine supplier for several different teams on the grid. Mercedes are currently supplying engines to McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams.
McLaren took on Mercedes engines in 2021 after hopping from one engine supplier to another, trying all but Ferrari. McLaren has a long history with Mercedes, and decided to return to the German automotive giant despite their relationship-destroying split over a decade ago.
Aston Martin also uses Mercedes engines. The Silverstone-based team has a longer history with the German automotive giant, first taking on their engines as far back as 2009 when they were branded as Force India. The team has undergone massive changes over the years, but their engine supplier has remained constant since 2009.
Williams have been a loyal customer team to Mercedes since the start of the hybrid era in 2014. When the engine rules were overhauled, the British team made the switch to Mercedes power units and hasn’t looked back since. Despite their decline in performance over the years, the British team has remained part of the Mercedes engine family.
Mercedes F1 Customer Team Engines Over The Years
|1998||Mercedes||McLaren||9||WDC + WCC|
|2009||Mercedes||McLarenBrawn GPForce India||10||WDC + WCC (Brawn GP)|
|2011||Mercedes||Mercedes McLarenForce India||6||–|
|2012||Mercedes||Mercedes McLarenForce India||8||–|
|2013||Mercedes||Mercedes McLarenForce India||3||–|
|2014||Mercedes||MercedesMcLarenForce IndiaWilliams||16||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2015||Mercedes||MercedesForce IndiaWilliamsLotus||16||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2016||Mercedes||MercedesWilliamsForce IndiaManor||19||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2017||Mercedes||MercedesWilliams Force India||12||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2018||Mercedes||MercedesWilliamsForce India||11||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2019||Mercedes||Mercedes WilliamsRacing Point||15||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2020||Mercedes||MercedesWilliamsRacing Point||13||WDC + WCC (Mercedes)|
|2021||Mercedes||MercedesMcLaren Aston MartinWilliams||10||WCC (Mercedes)|
|2022||Mercedes||Mercedes McLarenAston MartinWilliams||0||–|
The Mercedes F1 team uses Mercedes engines, and they have done in both of their stints in Formula 1. They have been using Mercedes hybrid engines since 2014, and have won 8 WCCs as a works team. They also supply 3 other teams with engines, in McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams.