Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

British Formula One engine manufacturer

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains is an English-based Formula One engine builder. The company used to be known as Ilmor Engineering. They are owned by Mercedes-Benz. From 1995 to 2014, their engines were used by the McLaren Formula One race cars. McLaren started using their engines again in 2021. For the 2009 season, Mercedes-Benz also supplied the Brawn GP and Force India teams with engines. In the 2010 season Mercedes supplied McLaren, Force India. They also supplied the engines for the new Mercedes-Benz factory team, Mercedes GP, which was formed from the Brawn GP team.

Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines Limited
Company typePrivate
Founded11 October 1983
FounderMario Illen, Paul Morgan
Brixworth, Northamptonshire
United Kingdom
ParentDaimler AG



Ilmor was founded by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan in 1983. It was made as a British Formula One engine maker. The company name was taken from the last names of the founders. It originally started building engines for IndyCars. They received money from IndyCar team owner and builder Roger Penske to do this.[1]

The Daimler-Benz company purchased General Motors' 25% share of Ilmor in 1993. In 2002 Daimler increased its share to 55% and renamed the company Mercedes-Ilmor. In 2005, Daimler became the sole owner of Ilmor and renamed the company Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines.

One division of the company was called Special Projects. Since 2003, Special Projects had been building Honda's Indy Racing League engines. In 2005, Special Projects split from Mercedes-Ilmor and became a separate company named Ilmor Engineering. Ilmor Engineering is owned by Mario Illien and Roger Penske. This new company is totally independent of Mercedes-Benz.


A 2004 McLaren powered by the Mercedes-Ilmor 3.0 litre V10

In 1991 Ilmor entered Formula One as an engine supplier. They supplied engines to the Leyton House team. Leyton House was formerly known as March. In 1992, Leyton House changed its name back to March and continued using Ilmor engines.

Ilmor also supplied engines to the Tyrrell team in 1992. Powered by an Ilmor V10, Tyrrell scored 8 points, and March 3 points in the Formula One Championship.

Ilmor had developed a good name in F1. When the Sauber sportscar-team and Mercedes-Benz were planning to enter Formula One together, they made a deal with Ilmor. However, Ilmor deceided not to put the slogan "Concept by Mercedes-Benz" on the engines. Since the engines were officially called Ilmor, Mercedes backed out of the project with Ilmor.

After an unexpectedly fast performance in 1993, Sauber convinced Mercedes to join officially in 1994. In 1994 Ilmor also supplied the new Pacific GP team of Keith Wiggins with the old 1993 version of the engines. Pacific only managed to qualify seven times in thirty-two tries. The Ilmor engine was not the cause of this poor performance.

Ilmor became the engine partner to McLaren in 1995.[2] The partnership received its first win at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. Mika Häkkinen won the driver's championships in the 1998 and 1999 seasons. The McLaren team won the constructor's championship in 1998. After not winning a single race in the 2006 season, McLaren bounced back and won the driver's championship in 2008 season with Lewis Hamilton.[3]

In 2001, Paul Morgan was killed while landing his vintage (antique) plane at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire.[4] This led to Mercedes-Benz increasing their financial involvement in Ilmor, and renamed the company Mercedes-Ilmor Ltd.


  1. Tytler, Ewan. "Ilmor: Bowmen of the Silver Arrows". Atlas F1. Haymarket Media. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  2. "Since 1994: Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1". marsMediaSite. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  3. "McLaren launch the MP4-23 in Stuttgart". 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  4. "Paul Morgan dies in plane crash". Retrieved 2023-04-27.

Other websites