May Williams and Mercedes half methods with new PU rules looming?

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The Grove-based staff has been equipped by Mercedes because the begin of the turbo hybrid period in 2014, however their contract will expire earlier than the beginning of F1’s subsequent engine cycle.

Mercedes at present provide three groups – Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams – with energy models, however could should half methods with certainly one of their prospects.

Certainly, the PU 2026 rules state {that a} producer can solely provide three groups per season, together with its personal manufacturing facility staff, “until in any other case agreed by the FIA”.

A last resolution on whether or not to provide Williams from 2026 continues to be pending and a Mercedes breakaway has not been dominated out by new staff boss Vowles.

“We’re nonetheless ensuring we perceive all of the choices accessible to the staff,” Vowles stated.

“There are some traces within the guidelines that say that theoretically, as taken in 2025, that is the variety of groups a PU producer can provide. By the way in which, the identical guidelines ought to have restricted (Mercedes) this yr to fewer PU provides than they at present have.

“I believe it is an ongoing dialogue. However no, we aren’t locked in Mercedes. And we’re nonetheless reviewing.

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“However we now have to, as all groups may even do, decide pretty shortly. I believe the top of the yr can be late. So slightly earlier.

What different choices does Williams have?

After shedding Alfa Romeo Sauber to Audi in 2026, Ferrari could have an accessible buyer slot, whereas Renault at present solely powers the manufacturing facility staff Alpine.

The aforementioned Audi would even be a possible choice, as would Purple Bull Ford.

In the meantime, Honda’s future in F1 past its partnership with RBPT – which is because of conclude on the finish of 2025 – is unsure.

The Japanese producer has signed up as certainly one of six F1 energy unit suppliers for 2026-2030, however at present has no provide settlement in place.

McLaren is claimed to have already had talks with Honda and Williams is one other apparent candidate.

Vowles insisted his historic ties to Mercedes wouldn’t have an effect on Williams’ last resolution.

“As you may think about, it could be silly to simply accept the place I’m comfy and what I do know,” stated the previous Mercedes chief strategist.

“If you are going to have your home painted you get three quotes, I extremely suggest you try this should you do not.” And it is the identical right here, I wish to make sure that I perceive what’s accessible to us.”

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