Toto Wolff is adamant Mercedes’ new engine deal with McLaren is not the start of a works relationship, rather it is a “customer” one.
McLaren announced on Saturday at the Sochi circuit that they would return to Mercedes power from 2021 until at least 2024.
The deal, it was said, has the potential to be a long-term arrangement.
This led to some speculation that the return of McLaren-Mercedes could herald the departure of the Mercedes works team from the Formula 1 grid.
Wolff has denied that this is the start of a works deal.
“The relationship is pretty strong because of these days,” he told Autosport.
“But for us it is important to make it clear that there is a works team today, and this is a customer power unit relationship, and not the start of a works deal, and us not being there any more.
“As it stands we are keen in understanding how F1 goes forward, how it develops, and continuing preferably as a works team.”
The Mercedes motorsport boss added: “We have a strong set-up as engine supplier which goes back a very long time, and we have a works team that has been doing well, and both have merit, jointly and independently.
“So to avoid any misunderstanding this is not a point where we can spread our bets and say we may stay as an engine supplier, and not as a works team.
“This is not what I’m saying. We enjoy being a works team.”
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