It is understood that current F1 minnows, Manor Marussia, are currently in talks with Mercedes over a engine supply deal for the 2016 F1 season.
Manor, who have been competing this season with 2014 spec Ferrari engines in order to cut down on running costs of the team, are believed to have held talks with Mercedes personal at last weekends Italian Grand Prix about switching to Mercedes power in 2016, possibly in the wake of a Ferrari engine deal with Red Bull and Toro Rosso which could possibly see Manor pushed further down Ferrari's pecking order.
However, with the Renault take over deal of Lotus seemingly imminent, and the possibility of Red Bull using Mercedes engines next year now seemingly firmly off the table, this opens the door for Mercedes to supply one new team; replacing their current engine deal with Lotus.
Mercedes' head of motorsport Toto Wolff has said that "on the engine, we had some discussions (with Manor) and they're interested in exploring the competitive environment... 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."
The rumour gains even further weight when you consider that Wolff, amongst others at Mercedes, are eager to promote test driver Pascal Wehrlein onto the F1 grid.
Wolff was quoted as saying that he's "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". However he did also confirm that it was too early to open formal talks with Manor over potential drivers for 2016, but now that a Force India seat is off the cards for Wehrlein that Mercedes are looking at " the other teams."
Do you think a Mercedes will help Manor finally break into the midfield? Or even just put them ahead of McLaren? Share you opinion below!