Mercedes has ominous message for rivals: 'PU feeling is similar to 2014'

F1 News

Can Mercedes bring in Verstappen with new F1 engine 2026
21 May at 12:00
  • Nicole Mulder

Toto Wolff makes no secret of the fact that he hopes to pinch Max Verstappen away from Red Bull Racing. Mercedes may have an ace up their sleeve to achieve that goal: the engine for 2026. Technical director James Allison states that the feeling about the new engine is the same as at the start of the hybrid era, in which the German Formula 1 team dominated.

The previous major rule change in F1 in 2014 led to an unprecedented era of success for Mercedes. The team was the absolute benchmark when it came to power output and hopes to become so again when the new engine regulations are introduced. Meanwhile, Red Bull Powertrains faces an immense challenge with building their own engine - for the first time - in partnership with Ford.

Allison: 'Feeling about new Mercedes engine the same as in 2014'

Allison, who joined Mercedes in 2017 in the middle of the team's dominant period, talks about the state of development of the new engine for 2026. "I wasn't in the team in the run-up to 2014 when the new generation of power units were being concocted and the enormous push to make them a reality was taking place," says the technical director, who was at Ferrari at the time.

"But those of us in the team who were, tell me that the feeling is very similar," he adds. "There is a massive shove going on in HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrains] to make a success of that because it will set the course of anyone who's lucky enough to have that in the back of their car for some seasons to come. We're lucky that we will be on the receiving end of all the good investment they are making on our joint behalf."

Wolff: 'Mercedes still the benchmark in terms of engine'

Toto Wolff expressed similar words to GPblog and others. "We have an engine department that is good as it can be with a top leadership. There is not a millimetre in HPP that I wish would be different in terms of organisational set-up, in terms of the people that work there that I am lucky to interact with, it's just a perfect organisation," the team boss said.

The 52-year-old Austrian believes Mercedes is still leading in terms of the powerunit and sees that as a good omen for 2026. "They have are just delivering and have delivered for a long time. Since 2014 we have been pretty much the benchmark or with maybe another engine the benchmark, so that hasn't changed."I really can't wait for 2026 to come and see the different levels of performance of the power units," Wolff said.