Mercedes is currently the manufacturer that supplies engines to multiple teams as regards Formula 1. In addition to the factory team, the three-pointed star also guarantees power units to McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams.
Behind Mercedes is Ferrari with 2 customers, Alfa Romeo and Haas, as well as the official Maranello team. Honda, although it left F1 at the end of last season, is supporting Red Bull Power Train – the new division born in Milton Keynes – to make the engines for Red Bull and AlphaTauri. Alpine, on the other hand, is the only one to use Renault engines.
Toto Wolff, team principal of the Mercedes team, told the Financial Times that, due to the new spending rules linked to the introduction of the Budget Cap, Mercedes no longer earns substantial figures from supplying engines to other teams.
George Russell, Mercedes W13, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Formula 1 teams are now subject to a $ 140 million spending cap for this season. Some top teams would like to expand the maximum amount due to rising transportation costs and inflation.
Precisely for this reason Mercedes could shortly reduce the customer teams, from the current three to two.
“In an ideal world, I might well see Mercedes supplying the engines to two customer teams, in order to reduce the effort,” said Wolff.
In fact, the Austrian manager stressed that the motor leasing business is not “exciting and interesting” because of the limit on the amount that can be charged to customers to help smaller teams.
Wolff’s statement also only adds to the rumors related to one of the three teams supplied by Mercedes. McLaren and Williams have often been the center of attention over the past few months as Porsche and Audi will enter F1 starting in 2026, when the new engine regulation comes into effect.
Here is Wolff’s prediction thus becoming more and more concrete. The question now is: Mercedes will almost certainly lose at least one customer team in 2026. But could the farewell of one of them even happen sooner?