This week has been win one, lose one for engine supplier Renault in F1. After securing a deal to supply Toro Rosso with engines from 2014, customer Williams jumps ship to Mercedes-Benz. Both parties have announced the signature of a “long-term engine partnership” from 2014 onwards.

Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will be supplied with a Mercedes-Benz power unit (engine plus Energy Recovery System) by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) based in Brixworth, UK. Williams will continue to manufacture its own transmission.

2014 regulations will set the sport’s engineers the challenge of completing a 300 km race distance on a fuel load of just 100 kg. To do so, teams will switch from the current naturally aspirated 2.4 litre V8 engines to 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged hybrid power units. To achieve power outputs comparable to current levels from the new power unit will require a 30% increase in energy efficiency.

This step forward will be largely achieved through an Energy Recovery System (ERS) that will be able to deploy ten times more energy than the current KERS. The new ERS will recover energy from both the exhaust turbine and the rear axle, as well as deploying energy back to both.

These new technical developments will offer significantly greater opportunities for technology transfer from F1 to real-world applications in areas such as battery technology, turbocharging, energy recovery and combustion efficiency, so much so that Honda is making a return to F1.