One of F1's worst kept secrets was revealed yesterday as the struggling Lotus F1 team finally confirmed it's deal with Mercedes for the supply of engines until the end of the current engine regulations.
The Lotus F1 team has been powered by Renault engines since the Lotus team took over the Renault works team at the beginning of 2011. A very difficult 2014 season however has seen Lotus openly courting Mercedes engines for several months now. The Lotus team will be taking over the third Mercedes customer entry vacated by long time Mercedes partner McLaren, who are defecting to works Honda engines for 2015.
Lotus CEO Matthew Carter had this to say on the long awaited announcement "We are pleased to have been chosen by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in a significant long term deal,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."
He later also added "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."
Finally managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains made this statement regarding the news "We are delighted to welcome Lotus F1 Team as a customer of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains from the 2015 season,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."
The team are clearly hopeful a change to the dominant power plant of 2014 will enable the Lotus team to return to the front of the grid, much like their form in the second half of the 2013 season. Do you think a change to Mercedes engines will enable them to make a big rise up the grid next year?