Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
|Founded||11 October 1983|
|Founder(s)||Mario Illen, Paul Morgan|
|Headquarters||Brixworth, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom|
Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (previously known as Ilmor Engineering and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines) is a British Formula One engine manufacturer, owned by Mercedes-Benz. Since 1995, their engines have powered McLaren's Formula One cars. For the 2009 season, Mercedes-Benz also supplied the Brawn GP and Force India teams with engines. Since 2010, Mercedes supplies McLaren, Force India and the new Mercedes-Benz works squad, Mercedes AMG Petronas (formed of the Brawn GP team, which Mercedes bought after the end of the 2009 season).
Ilmor was founded by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan in 1983, as an independent British Formula One engine manufacturer. The company name was taken from the surnames of the founders. It originally started building engines for IndyCars with the money of IndyCar team owner and chassis manufacturer Roger Penske.
Daimler-Benz acquired Chevrolet's 25% share of Ilmor in 1993. In 2002, Daimler AG increased its share to 55% and renamed the company Mercedes-Ilmor. In 2005, Daimler became the sole owner of Ilmor and renamed the company first to Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, then to Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines. In December 2011, the company was renamed to Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains along with the renaming of Mercedes GP to incorporate the Mercedes-AMG brand.
At the same time, the small Special Projects part of the company, which between 2003 and 2005 had been contracted to design and build Honda's Indy Racing League engines, split away to become a separate company, owned by Mario Illien and Roger Penske. This new company, which is totally independent of Mercedes, is once again known as Ilmor Engineering Ltd.
In 1991, Ilmor entered Formula One as the engine supplier to the Leyton House team (formerly March). In 1992, Leyton House changed its name back to March and continued using Ilmor engines. Ilmor also delivered engines to the Tyrrell team in that year. Powered by an Ilmor V10, Tyrrell scored 8 points, and March 3 points.
Ilmor already had a good name in F1, and so the Sauber sportscar-team and Mercedes-Benz that were planning their Formula One entrance together signed a deal with Ilmor to produce racing engines for them. However, Mercedes stepped back from the project with the engines only carrying the slogan "Concept by Mercedes-Benz" and the engines were officially called "Saubers".
However, after an unexpectedly fast performance in 1993, Sauber convinced Mercedes to enter officially in 1994. In 1994, Ilmor also supplied the new Pacific GP team of Keith Wiggins with the old 1993 spec engines. Pacific only managed to qualify seven times in thirty-two attempts, although the engine was not implicated in this poor display.
Ilmor became the engine partner to McLaren in 1995. The partnership took its first win at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. Mika Häkkinen picked up driver's championships in 1998 and 1999, and the team won the constructor's championship in 1998. After a no-win 2006 season, McLaren bounced back and won the driver's championship in 2008 with Lewis Hamilton.
In 2001, Paul Morgan was killed whilst landing his vintage aeroplane at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire. This led to Mercedes-Benz increasing their financial involvement in Ilmor, with the company being renamed Mercedes-Ilmor Ltd.
The new Formula One regulations in 2014 saw Mercedes produce a hybrid 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engine, which features both Kinetic energy recovery system and a heat energy recovery system. The Mercedes engine started the season with a clear advantage, with Mercedes-engined cars scoring the majority of the points.
Formula One engine deals (1994-present)
Bold indicates current engine deal.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
- Tytler, Ewan. "Ilmor: Bowmen of the Silver Arrows". Atlas F1. Haymarket Media. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Company Details". Companies House.
- Benson, Andrew (9 April 2014). "F1: McLaren can catch Mercedes says race chief Eric Boullier". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 April 2014.