Manor partnership excites Mercedes

Date published: September 30 2015 - Editor

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff admits that linking up with Manor will be "pretty interesting" for both parties.

With Renault confirming on Monday that they plan to buy a controlling stake in Lotus with the intention of running it as a works outfit from 2016, it leaves Mercedes with a vacant customer spot.

And it appears it's only a matter of time before the German manufacturer is confirmed as Manor's new engine suppliers as talks are believed to be at an advanced stage.

"We like Manor a lot because there is a competitive edge to the whole story if Manor gets the right chassis and the right engine it would be a pretty interesting narrative about how the team develops," Wolff said.

Manor's current drivers Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi all come with big sponsors, but if the Merc deal goes ahead then the Brackley-based squad's reserve driver and DTM race Pascal Wehrlein could get a seat.

"That is a possibility, but it needs many pieces of the jigsaw to come together, and it might well not happen," Wolff said. "It could be an interesting scenario but the harsh financial realities mean Manor has to refinance themselves and raise the budget.

"I'm not sure we would be prepared to place a driver with budgets. They could probably raise [a budget] in the driver market if we were to supply engines as that could be an attractive offer for young drivers.

"It is a bit of a tricky situation. We haven't got a dedicated young driver programme. We've got Pascal who is with us, whose main focus is DTM and I don't want to take him away from that.

"He has done a great job in testing for us and he is a very exciting young driver but I'd rather like to see how DTM pans out."