Mercedes-Benz AMG's head of overall vehicle development and board member Tobias Moers insists he is viewing Erebus in a new more positive light, despite a scathing attack last year on the third-party V8 Supercars team that uses E63 AMG bodies.
CarAdvice spoke with Moers last September at the international launch of the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG in Austria, where he said the racing team run independently by Betty Klimenko must start to win races.
“It’s not really good where we are today in that race series,” Moers said last year.
“There is no sense to talk about we’re happy with that, no we’re not happy.
“They have to [win]. The aim is to win. If you race a car in a race series you have to win, you have to believe that you sometimes can win.”
With the Erebus-AMG contract up for renewal this month, Moers has become more optimistic towards Erebus, despite the team having won only a single race.
Asked if Moers was still unhappy Erebus was not regularly winning in their Benz-bodied cars, the AMG boss replied, “well they have won one race.”
“Give them some time,” he continued.
“They have a good driver, they have a very successful GT racing team … and if they can do the link between GT racing [and] V8 racing, with the potential of the driver and the potential set-up of the car I think it will be okay.”
Asked directly whether the relationship between AMG and Erebus – the latter of which completely funds the V8 Supercars team – had improved since this time last year, Moers answered, “that’s for sure.”
“[There are] very positive discussions. It is a different language to each other, it is not the same story as we had a year ago.”
This is despite in the last year Erebus taking the Mercedes-Benz AMG V8 engine in house to tune it, something that reportedly was not viewed kindly at AMG where the original V8 Supercars engine was engineered but wholly paid for by Klimenko.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has never been fully supportive of the original Erebus contract to run the E63 AMG in the V8 Supercars, but senior communications manager David McCarthy has now backed the comments made by Moers.
The local distributor will be guests of Erebus at this weekend’s Sandown 500 race, after which a contract extension is expected to be signed.
“It is very positive,” said McCarthy of the talks to re-sign. “We will be there [at Sandown] this weekend as their guests, and discussions are positive”.