Mercedes says it is planning to run Nico Rosberg's damaged engine during free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix in the hope it will limit his chances of a penalty in the final rounds.

The updated power unit was installed for the Italian Grand Prix, but had to be replaced when it developed an issue in qualifying, forcing Rosberg to revert to a five-race old engine in Monza, which subsequently failed and forced him to retire.

With Rosberg now on his fourth and final engine of the season, he would ultimately face a grid penalty if Mercedes was unable to salvage the damaged unit and the German wasn't able to run his current unit to the end of the year.

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With this in mind, Toto Wolff says the plan is to get it out on track again during free practice at Suzuka with a view to potentially using it again.

"We put it in the car on Thursday and we switched on the engine and ran it and it looked okay," he said. "We didn't want to ruin Nico's Friday in Singapore by eventually having a problem on the engine.

"So we took it out and put the new one in and as it looks like at the moment, we are going to run it on Friday in Suzuka, but it is not 100 per cent."