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Mercedes and McLaren extend F1 power unit partnership

The two F1 teams announced an extension of their current partnership ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Final Practice Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

McLaren has been the star of the second half of the Formula 1 season, rocketing up to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship. Since the Austrian Grand Prix, only Red Bull has scored more points than McLaren, and with one race to go, the team is on the cusp of locking down fourth place in the Constructors’ in the season finale at Yas Marina.

Now, they’ll have the power unit that aided that charge on their side through the 2030 season.

McLaren has been a customer team of Mercedes since 2021, and Daniel Ricciardo’s victory at Monza in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix remains the most recent F1 victory from a customer team. Ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the two teams announced the extension of their current agreement through the 2030 season.

“It has been a cornerstone of our motorsport strategy to work with strong customer teams. This has many advantages: it gives a clear competitive benchmark, accelerates our technical learning, and strengthens the overall F1 business case for Mercedes-Benz,” said Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff in the joint statement. “McLaren have been fierce and fair competitors since 2021, especially in the second half of this season. McLaren’s strong performances underline the importance of transparent and equal supply to all customer teams in the sport, if we wish to achieve the goal of ten teams capable of fighting for podium finishes.”

Under this timeline, Mercedes will be the supplier for McLaren’s power units under the new F1 regulations, which will go into effect for the 2026 season. These new power units will consist of 50% internal combustion and 50% electrical power. They will also run on 100% sustainable fuel, essential to F1’s sustainability goals, and overall fuel consumption will be reduced.

In addition, the next generation power units will feature a reimagined electrical system, using a single 350 kW electric motor — which is nearly three times more powerful than the current MGU-K — and will require the development of a suitable high-performance battery system.

“Mercedes-Benz have been a brilliant and reliable partner of the McLaren Formula 1 team. The extension signifies the confidence that our shareholders and the wider team have in their powertrains and the direction we’re taking with them into the new era of regulations ahead,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown. “We have been successful together, both in the last three seasons and when they previously powered the team, so we look forward to the success to come as we continue our journey to fight consistently at the front of the grid.”

With this matter settled, the two teams can focus on the task at hand. Both McLaren and Mercedes are locked in tight battles for their current position on the grid with one race remaining. McLaren leads Aston Martin by 11 points in the Constructors’ Championship, while Mercedes’ advantage over Ferrari is down to just four points.