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. The company has supplied Sauber during the 1994 season, McLaren from 1995 to 2014, Force India since 2009, Brawn in 2009, the Mercedes factory team since 2010, Williams since 2014, Lotus in 2015 and Manor Racing in 2016. Their engines have won six Formula One Constructors' Championships and seven Drivers' Championships.
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 General Motors' 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 co-develop, arrangement, preparation and tune up Honda's IndyCar Series engines until 2011, 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 Tyrrell Racing 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 Drivers' Championships in 1998 and 1999, and the team won the Constructors' Championship in 1998. After a winless 2006 season, McLaren bounced back and won the Drivers' 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 a 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. Since the introduction of the new engine formula, there have only been seven occasions where a car with a non-Mercedes power unit achieved pole position. Similarly, as of the 2018 Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes-powered cars have won 63 out of 80 races during this period.
|Constructor||Season(s)||Total wins||First win||Last win|
|McLaren||1995–2014||78||1997 Australian Grand Prix||2012 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Brawn||2009||8||2009 Australian Grand Prix||2009 Italian Grand Prix|
|Total||1994–2018||86||1997 Australian Grand Prix||2012 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Bold indicates current engine deal.