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Mercedes F1 Chief Keeps Door Open For Potential Alpine Partnership


Mercedes has expressed openness to potentially supplying engines to Alpine starting from 2025. Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff shared this during the team press conference at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix.

There have been numerous rumors recently that Alpine is considering moving away from Renault engines in the future, with Mercedes being the main team the French squad has been linked to. Acknowledging the speculation, Wolff commented, as quoted by Crash.net:

“You know, I think that’s a complicated situation because we like the thought of, you know, replacing Aston Martin with another team because of the sheer learning you’re doing. I think we’re set up as an organisation that the more power units, the better it is in terms of accelerating some of the developments or the reliability,” he said.

“So this is where it is. I think it didn’t go beyond the point of exchanging opinions or having like, you know, exploratory discussions. I think Alpine would take a decision, do they want to continue with their Formula 1 engine programme or not?

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff of Austria and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 22, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. Toto Wolff reveals he…


Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images

“And only when they have taken that strategic decision, we would dive into our agreements. But we’re open-minded, and that’s what we have told them.”

Currently, Renault-owned Alpine is contemplating halting their engine development project, which could leave room for becoming a customer rather than a maker. Renault has faced ongoing challenges with F1 engine regulations since their inception in 2014, impacting their performance and partnerships, notably losing Red Bull as a customer to Honda in 2019.

The broader implications of Alpine’s decision are significant, with Mercedes slated to supply engines to three teams in 2026: their own, McLaren, and Williams.

Zak Brown, McLaren Executive Director, supported the potential partnership, citing benefits for Mercedes-Benz High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and consequently for McLaren. He commented:

“Yeah, from our standpoint, what’s good for HPP is good for McLaren as far as we’re concerned. They’ve been an awesome partner to work with. So if it adds value to their power unit proposition, then we’re all for it. And as far as decision timeframe, I think the sooner you can make a decision on any decision that you make is just better time for preparations.

“I would imagine they’ll probably want to make a decision before the summer break to give them as much lead time to learn about the power unit and ways of working.”

Williams boss James Vowles agreed with Wolff and Brown’s comments, explaining:

“I think Zak and Toto said it eloquently. The more power you have in circulation, the more learning you have. There’s no doubt about that in the current season. But I think it’s also fair to say I’m not sure where McLaren and Mercedes are.

“But from our perspective, we have been working alongside HPP in order to get the concept right for ’26 already for many, many months. And so whatever you do, you’re going to be six to 12 months behind the three other teams. That’s quite penalising in the grand scheme of things.

“It doesn’t mean it’s unachievable, but there’s going to be areas where you’re going to be compromising on. There’s a tremendous amount of work getting ’26 right. And the smallest decision on layout can actually have quite a large impact.”