Williams team boss James Vowles has revealed that the team are open to moving away from a Mercedes Formula 1 power unit supply for the 2026 season, when new technical regulations kick in.
The Grove-based team have been supplied Mercedes power units since 2014, the start of the turbo-hybrid era, which powered them to numerous podium finishes across 2014-2015.
With the performance difference across PU suppliers equalising in recent seasons, along with changes to the technical regulations happening in 2026, it is anticipated that some teams will switch suppliers after 2025.
Audi will join the sport, and a power unit supply from Renault, Honda or Ferrari are all currently available for 2026, with varying degrees of likelihood.
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With power unit manufacturers permitted to supply three Formula 1 teams per season (more with approval from FIA), Mercedes are likely to have to lose a team from their four-team supply (Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams) for 2026.
“We are at the moment still in the process of making sure we understand all the options available to this team,” commented Vowles when asked by RacingNews365.com if Williams are locked into a Mercedes supply for 2026.
“The rules contain some lines which state that theoretically, as taken in 2025, this is the number of teams a PU manufacturer can supply. Same rules, by the way, that should have limited this year down to less PU supplies than they currently have.
“I think that's an ongoing discussion, but no, we're not locked into Mercedes, and we're still in the process of reviewing. But we have to, as all teams will do as well, come to a decision fairly shortly."
When asked by RacingNews365.com when a decision is likely to be made, Vowles responded:
"I think end of the year would be late. So a little bit before then."
The former Mercedes head of strategy also insisted that his historical ties to Mercedes would not influence the team's decision on power unit supply.
“As you would imagine, it would be foolish to simply just go with where I'm comfortable and what I know," added Vowles.
“If you go and get your house painted, you get three quotes - I would highly recommend you do that if you don't - and it's the same here, I want to make sure I understand what's available to us."
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