Mercedes have been in talks with the Manor F1 Team about a possible link-up between the two for the 2016 Formula 1 Season.
The team currently use Ferrari power but both parties have admitted talks have occurred, with Manor in with a chance of taking the fourth engine contract should the Lotus F1 Team be taken over by Renault, with Mercedes-Benz’s Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff confirming the talks.
“On the engine, we had some discussions and they’re interested in exploring the competitive environment,” said Wolff to Autosport.
“They have a Ferrari engine today but it’s a young team and a new team and they need to meet with all engine suppliers and make the best deal for yourself.
“This is why we’ve been talking to them. It’s a capacity question [with Manor] and at the bottom we don’t know what is happening with Lotus and Renault and this is why you have to keep all options open.”
Mercedes needed to get special dispensation this year to be able to supply four teams, with Mercedes powering its factory team as well as Lotus, Williams and Force India.
Wolff has also revealed he is eager to see Pascal Wehrlein make the jump into Formula 1, with the DTM race winner possibly moving to Manor if the Mercedes deal happens.
“We haven’t talked to Manor about drivers yet because I think it’s too early,” said Wolff. “I’m a keen supporter of Pascal because he’s doing a great job in the DTM and he was an outstanding kid in F3 as well.
“So I definitely see him having the potential to go into F1. The next step is going to hopefully have Pascal in the right seat.
“Force India was an opportunity and that door closed. Now it’s about looking at the market overall and the other teams, but we are not under pressure. We need to find the right seat for him.”