Toto Wolff has played down claims he is turning the F1 backmarker Manor into a Mercedes junior team.
The outfit, already powered by a Mercedes engine, now has both of Mercedes’ junior drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon in the cockpits.
Referring cheekily to rival Red Bull’s own junior team, Bild newspaper said Manor is effectively becoming ‘Toto Rosso’.
Asked if that is accurate, Wolff insisted: “No.
“However, after what happened with Max Verstappen we were convinced we could not miss the next talented driver just because we have no place for him.
“Our attitude to Manor has changed, but we do not support them and we do not plan to buy shares in them. We can deepen the partnership, but we do not plan to go beyond that,” he added.