Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes held talks with McLaren regarding supply of 2018 Formula 1 engines, but a deal couldn’t be struck on time.
McLaren grew disenchanted with engine partners Honda after it became clear that the Japanese manufacturer has fallen further behind its rivals this season.
With little progress made during the early part of the year, it started negotiations with other engine suppliers before signing a three-year deal with Renault.
Wolff has now admitted that Mercedes was willing to supply McLaren for the first time since 2014, but the deal was delayed to a point that it was no longer technically feasible to produce extra engines in time for next year.
"We wanted to give McLaren an engine, the problem is that it dragged on for a long time and we just didn't have the structure in place and the capacity to supply them an engine for 2018," Wolff told ESPN. "It was simply too late."
Asked if Mercedes would be open to a similar deal in the future, Wolff said: "You must never rule out supplying anybody in the future and this is why McLaren or anyone else in the future could be a partner."
Much like McLaren, Red Bull too has felt that it has been let down by its engine supplier - in this case, Renault.
But unlike the Woking-based squad, Red Bull has been a lot more critical about the French manufacturer, preventing Wolff from supplying the Austrian outfit.
"It is exactly because they are saying it like this and undermining their current partner that they are not having one!,” he said.
"In Formula One, like everywhere else in life -- be it your private life or business life -- it's about compromise and acknowledging your partner's strengths and weaknesses and helping each other out.
"That is very much the culture we have at Mercedes and that has made us successful in the last few years. Respect is a super important part of our values and this is why we have chosen the partners we have."
by Rachit Thukral