Lotus silent on reports 2015 switch of engines from Renault to Mercedes afoot

Enstone team currently only eighth in Constructors' Championship

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 01/07/14 4:05pm

  • Share:
Lotus: The Enstone team have a long-running association with Renault

Lotus: The Enstone team have a long-running association with Renault

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Lotus have refused to comment on reports they have reached a deal to be powered by Mercedes engines in 2015.

According to Joe Saward, a doyen of the pitlane, Lotus ‘will shortly announce that it will become the fourth Mercedes team, replacing McLaren, and joining Mercedes GP Petronas, Williams F1 and Force India using the German firm’s V6 engines'.

A spokesman for the team, who are currently powered by Renault, declined to comment on the claims on Tuesday morning.

However, if true, the news would see Lotus replace McLaren on the roll-call of Mercedes-powered teams and represent a much-needed boost for the Enstone team. After finishing fourth in the Constructors’ Championship last season, the cash-strapped outfit lost both their star driver, Kimi Raikkonen, and team boss Eric Boullier over the winter. The team have scored points in just two of this year’s eight races, with Romain Grosjean’s pair of eighth-place finishes in Spain and Monaco representing their best results of the season.

While Lotus have undoubtedly paid a price this year for the parlous state of their finances, the Renault engines have been a significant contributing factor to the team’s decline. By common content, the Renault units lag far behind both those of Mercedes and Ferrari with the Silver Arrows’ power plant believed to boast a considerable advantage over the rest of the field. In the Austrian GP at the power-hungry Red Bull Ring last month, Mercedes-engined cars claimed seven of the first nine places.

Were Lotus to switch supplier, it would leave Renault powering just Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham next year. Although Red Bull’s frustrations with the Renault package have been publicly pronounced on numerous occasions this year, the World Champions have committed to continue with the French manufacturer for next season.

But changes are afoot. Honda will return in 2015 to power McLaren and introduce a fourth supplier to the sport and it’s thought the embryonic Haas outfit have held talks with Ferrari, who already supply both Sauber and Marussia, about being their engine providers for when they join the grid in 2016.

Who powers who in 2014

Ferrari: Ferrari, Marussia and Sauber.

Mercedes: Force India, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams.

Renault: Caterham, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Red Bull.

Watch the 2014 British GP live on Sky Sports F1. Extensive coverage of the Silverstone race weekend begins with Friday Practice from 9.45am on July 4.

  • Share:

Related

F1 Transfer Gossip

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen: Staying at Ferrari

Ferrari to keep Alonso & Kimi

Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci has confirmed to Sky Sports F1 that Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will be retained for 2015.

Alonso: 'Judge Max on pace'

Fernando Alonso says Max Verstappen's readiness for F1 should be judged on his performances in 2015 rather than his age.

Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne

Verstappen makes F1 history

Toro Rosso have announced Max Verstappen for the 2015 season making him, at just 17, the youngest driver in F1 history.

Most Popular

Features

Maldonado retained

Maldonado retained

Lotus confirm that Pastor will stay on for 2015 despite wretched first season with the Enstone outfit.

Market trading

Market trading

Which teams already have drivers under lock and key - and which ones could have vacancies - for 2015?

'Merc to power Lotus'

'Merc to power Lotus'

Lotus set to switch engine suppliers for 2015 by swapping Renault for Mercedes power next year.