What Engine Does Williams Use In F1? (2024)

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When it comes to Formula One, Williams is a well-known team among fans and critics. They have had a noteworthy performance in their starting years, so much so that they are the second team to have won the most championships. 

However, in the last couple of years, Williams has seemingly lost their performance capabilities and has landed at the bottom of the Formula One grid. This change in rankings has left many people wondering about the different aspects of ‘what could go wrong with the team Williams?’ 

The forefront of them all is which engine does Williams use? Let’s discuss all that’s about Williams’s engines to have a better understanding of the team’s previous and current performances.

Table of Contents

Key takeaways

  • The team Williams has been participating in Formula One races since the 1970s. This means that they have used the engines of several other companies. The brands whose engines Williams used are BMW, Supertech, Ford Cosworth, Renault, and Toyota.
  • In the season 2014, Williams switched to Mercedes for their powerful engines.
  • The two franchises made a long-term contract in 2019 which extends till the Formula One season in 2025.
  • Currently, there are four brands that manufacture and supply engines for Formula One cars, namely,  Ferrari, Renault, Honda, and Mercedes.
  • Williams has even decided to use gearboxes and other transferable parts manufactured by Mercedes from the season 2022.

Do watch this video to learn more about Williams choice of engine for 2023.

What engine does Williams use in F1?

Since the season 2014, Williams has been using the engine manufactured by the franchise Mercedes. They will continue to do this till the 2025 season as it will be the season when the contract between the two franchises will expire. 

Despite Mercedes engines’ great success among the other teams, Williams has been underperforming since the very season they switched to the above-stated franchise. It is speculated that maybe the team has not been able to unleash the success that Mercedes’s engines hold.

Williams has been a part of Formula One since the 1970s. This means that they have used multiple engine contractors to power their cars. In their starting years, Williams made a contract with and used Ford Cosworth DVS engines. These engines were the most famous and popular engines among the Formula One team of that era. Williams used the Ford engines for quite some time and won their first two championship titles powered by that engine.

In the 1980s, Williams switched to using Honda’s engines and won a further two titles. Then came the most successful era for the team Williams, whose engines at that time were powered by Renault. While using engines powered by Renault, Williams won five championship titles and finished second three times for a French manufacturer in a nine-season spell. 

For a short period of time, Williams also contracted with several other contractors such as BMW, Supertech, Ford Cosworth, and Toyota for their engines, eventually signing up again with Renault for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. However, for the season of 2014 and so forth, Williams made a contract with Mercedes and has been using their engines.

Does Williams make their F1 engine?

No! Since the very start of Williams participating in Formula One races, they have never been manufacturing and using their engines. They have contracted several engine manufacturers such as Ford Cosworth, Renault, BMW, Toyota, Supertech, and Mecachrome to power their cars. For the 2014 season and so on, Williams has been using engines manufactured by Mercedes to power its cars.

williams engine

Which Formula 1 team uses the same engine?

With constant pressure and expectation of performing better at the Formula One races, one could expect there to be many different engine brands from which the teams could choose their engines. 

Read more about all F1 engine manufacturers and suppliers.

However, that is not the case due to the many restrictions placed by the FIA which outlines the specifications of an F1 engine. These specifications are that the engine should be hybrid-electric and 1.6 Litre V6 units with turbocharging. 

With several other fuel flows and energy-recovering speculations, it can be very demanding to make an engine for the cars competing in the F1 race. This is why only four brands construct Formula One team engines, namely, Ferrari, Renault, Honda, and Mercedes, with the latter being the most successful of them all.

With proven performing capabilities on track, Mercedes’s engines have been chosen by a handful of teams to power their cars. Down below, is a list of Formula One cars that use Mercedes engines to power their cars.

Mercedes

It is obvious that a franchise manufacturing and supplying one of the best engines for the Formula One cars would use its own when it comes to performing on F1 tracks.

McLaren

McLaren is among the oldest teams in Formula One. They have secured multiple titles including championship titles over the course of their career. They have switched to Mercedes for their powerful engines since the 2021 season and will continue using them till the 2024 season. 

McLaren is particularly new when it comes to using Mercedes engines, and until now they have received mixed results regarding the performance of Formula One engines.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin gets its engines from Mercedes even though they are a manufacturing company themselves. They have used the Mercedes engine from the 2014 season and continued using them even after returning to the Formula One season in 2021. 

However, Aston Martin is very keen on manufacturing its engine and has declared to make a workable engine till the 2026 season. Hence, it is much more likely that until they manufacture an engine for themselves, they will continue using the ones from Mercedes. 

Williams

Williams has been a part of Formula One since the 1970s. This means that they have used multiple engine contractors to power their cars such as Ford Cosworth, Renault, BMW, Toyota, Supertech, and Mecachrome. 

Since the season 2014, Williams has been using the engine manufactured by the franchise Mercedes. They will continue to do this till the 2025 season as it will be the season when the contract between the two franchises will expire.

Williams has won many championships and constructor titles. However, this all has been limited or put under the radar since they started using Mercedes engines. Although putting the whole blame on Mercedes engine for the team Williams’s underperformance might be incorrect, but, several other teams who have switched to Mercedes for their engines have seen a noticeable decline in their performances, especially for the 2022 season.

Alfa Romeo started off their F1 foray with a bang, snatching the first-ever Formula 1 World Championship in 1950. Guiseppe Farina drove an Alfa Romeo and powered to 30 points across seven races with two pole positions, three wins, three podiums and three fastest laps under his belt that season.

Other F1 engine manufacturers and customers

F1 engine suppliersTeams using the engine
Ferrari engineFerrari
Haas
Alfa Romeo
Mercedes engineMercedes
McLaren
Aston Martin
Williams
Red Bull engineRed Bull
AlphaTauri
Renault engineAlpine

Along with Williams, there are also three other manufacturers who supply Formula One engines to the teams. The manufacturers include Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull Powertrains, and Renault. The teams they supply their engines to are listed down below.

Ferrari

  • Ferrari
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Haas

Mercedes

  • Mercedes 
  • McLaren
  • Aston Martin
  • Williams

Red Bull Powertrains

  • Red Bull
  • AlphaTauri

Renault

  • Alpine

Frequently asked questions

Is Honda better than Mercedes in terms of its engines?

In recent seasons, it was quite clear that Mercedes engines were better than those of Honda as Mercedes engines are more durable and can power cars to generate a faster straight-line speed.

Which is the best engine for F1 cars?

As of 2022, Ferrari has the best engines as the most number of wins were scored by the teams using Ferrari’s engines in the 2022 season.

Why are the Williams cars so slow despite Mercedes and Williams having the same engines?

When it comes to the team Williams's speed in comparison with Mercedes’s speed, William lacks because of some aerodynamic issues and deficits in their suspensions.

Why is the Mercedes F1 engine not as fast as Red Bulls?

The current regulations regarding the engines used in Formula One cars that are stated by the FIA have given Red Bull’s engines an edge over the Mercedes engine. Plus. Red Bull cars have a greater line of speed due to their car's drag level, which ultimately makes their engines faster than those of Mercedes.

Conclusion

Williams has been using Mercedes engines since the 2014 season. In 2019 they signed a long-term deal with Mercedes of using their engines till the season in 2025. Williams has used the engines of many contractors before switching to those of Mercedes. They even intend to use the gearboxes and other transferable parts manufactured by Mercedes.

Despite the team Williams’s blind support and trust in the engines of Mercedes, they too have noticed underperformances since they started using the said brand’s engines, and so is the case with many other teams that started using Mercedes engines. 

However, putting the whole blame on the Mercedes engine for the team Williams’s underperformance might be incorrect as Williams’s car designs have several flaws in their aerodynamics and suspensions.

Article sources

Lisette Holm
Lisette Holm
Lisette Holm is a Formula 1 expert who has not missed a single Grand Prix in the last 4 years. She is one of the founders and her job at Formulapedia.com is to educate others who are interested in F1 in order to raise their level of knowledge. Lisette cheers on Mercedes AMG-Petronas.

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