Wolff denies Mercedes under pressure to supply Red Bull

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has said that there is no chance the company will be pressured into changing its mind about supplying engines to rival team Red Bull in 2016.

"We have made it pretty clear after careful analysis that it is not a route we would like to pursue," Wolff made clear last week.

"We have waited so long to have success with our own works team from when Mercedes decided to go into Formula One and not continue only as an engine supplier.

"Obviously this had a rationale and that rationale is still valid today and this is why we took the decision some weeks ago not to continue."

Rumours circulated at Suzuka that Red Bull were trying to reopen talks with Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, but Wolff said that any such discussions wouldn't amount to anything

"When we see him in there we try to drag him out again!" said Wolff about Lauda's recent closed-door meeting at Red Bull. "This is obviously a political situation that has been going on for a while."

Instead, Mercedes has inked a contract with grid backmarkers Marussia for 2016 meaning that along with Williams, Sahara Force India and the championship-winning works team, Mercedes will be powering four of the eleven cars on the grid which was quite enough for them to handle, even if it ends up meaning Red Bull walks away from the sport.

"[Formula One] needs players and it needs a competitive environment and it needs competitive teams," Wolff said. "That was part of our consideration. Red Bull is a hip brand and it’s good for Formula One that Red Bull is in here.

"But it is also an environment where you need to look at yourselves and the team’s performance with the priority.

"When it comes up to the decision, would you rather go with the platform and the good sport or would you rather go with the team’s perspective?

"It’s clear from our point of view that you need to prioritise your own competitiveness."

Honda has also ruled out taking either Red Bull or Toro Rosso on as a client for its new power unit next season, with Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai insisting that the first priority for the manufacturer is to get its own house in order first before looking to expand.

"It is difficult for them to come to us," Arai told F1i this week. "It is difficult, looking at the maturity of the power unit it is very difficult. We have to put ourselves in the right place first."

Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone said this week that "things need to come together quickly" if Red Bull is to be persuaded to stay in the sport.

"I am doing everything I can to make sure Red Bull stay with us," Ecclestone told The Times newspaper on Friday. "[Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz] is serious when he says he will quit if things don't improve."

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