Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has admitted that he is in two minds about whether it would be a good idea for the German manufacturer to supply Red Bull in the future.
Amid ongoing uncertainty about the future of Red Bull's current partner Renault, the Milton Keynes-based team has been evaluating its engine options for after its current contract ends next year.
Ferrari has made an informal offer – which according to Motorsport.com sources would be for the same specification power unit as the works team – while Red Bull has been hoping to convince Mercedes to ends its long-term resistance to a partnership.
It is widely known that Mercedes management has been strongly resistant to any kind of partnership with Red Bull in the past.
Brand value important
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Wolff said on Thursday that there was an argument that there could be benefits of a tie-up in the future – but also equally big drawbacks for the Mercedes team.
“However, if I wear the hat of Mercedes-Benz motorsport and I speak on behalf of Formula 1, I must say that it is an attractive option because it would tie a brand that has appeal among young people with one that is winning.
“But of course, as head of the team, it's not really ideal to strengthen a competitor who knows how to build winning cars.”
Renault is currently evaluating its future options, and is seriously considering a takeover of the Lotus team to create its own works outfit.
In spite of those plans, it intends to honour the engine contracts it has with Red Bull and Toro Rosso for 2016.