James Vowles insists it is not clear cut that Williams Racing will continue its power unit partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team beyond the current contact, with the Team Principal of the Grove-based team insisting all avenues will be evaluated before a decision is made.
New engine regulations are coming into force in 2026, and Williams may not continue with Mercedes into the new era, particularly with five other power unit manufacturers being on the grid.
Audi Sport and Ford Red Bull Powertrains will join Scuderia Ferrari, Renault Sport, Honda and Mercedes as power unit supplies in 2026. Williams have had passed history and success with Honda and Renault, while more recently they have been powered by Mercedes.
Vowles, who replaced Jost Capito as Team Principal at Williams during the off-season, insists that they will be looking at all options for their future, with a continuation with Mercedes not a guarantee.
“We are at the moment still in the process of making sure we understand all the options available to this team,” Vowles is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“The rules contain some lines which state that theoretically as taken in 2025 this is the number of teams a PU manufacturer can supply. Same rules, by the way, that should have limited [Mercedes] this year down to less PU supplies than they currently have.
“I think that’s an ongoing discussion. But no, we’re not locked into Mercedes. And we’re still in the process of reviewing.
“But we have to, as all teams will do as well, come to a decision fairly shortly. I think end of the year would be late. So a little bit before then.”
Despite his obvious links with Mercedes, Vowles insists it would be foolish to just continue with them without analysing what is best for the team.
“As you would imagine, it would be foolish to simply just go with where I’m comfortable and what I know,” Vowles added. “If you’re going to get your house painted, you get three quotes, I would highly recommend you do that if you don’t.
“And it’s the same here, I want to make sure I understand what’s available to us.”