Manor-Marussia is closing on a deal that will see it run Mercedes power units next season, a move Toto Wolff hopes will see the backmarker team make a stride towards competitiveness.

After securing last minute investment to compete in 2015, the Manor F1 team was given dispensation to run year-old Ferrari engines, a deal that has kept it on the grid but has contributed to a fairly lonely season spent at the back of the grid for drivers Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and new signing Alexander Rossi.

However, with Ferrari set to supply Haas and Sauber next season, as well as potentially also Red Bull/Toro Rosso, Manor has turned to Mercedes for its 2016 engine supply, effectively taking over from Lotus in the wake of Renault's potential buyout.

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Though this still hinges on Lotus getting out of its current Mercedes contract, Wolff suggests the deal with Manor to supply 2015-specification engines is all-but-done. With this in mind, he is interested to see whether the engines will mark a significant step towards the mid-field for the minnows.

"We like Manor a lot because there is a competitive edge to the whole story if Manor gets the right chassis and the right engine it would be a pretty interesting narrative about how the team develops.

"For us at the moment we are a little bit on standby because we need to understand what happens at Lotus as one of our customers and move from there. This is where we are.

Pushed on when the deal will be announced, Wolff admits it will need to know of Lotus and Renault's formal intentions soon for the sake of its Manor deal.

"We are not in a position to give Renault or Lotus a deadline. But there needs to be a moment where Manor needs to know what is happening and we need to know to whom we are supplying engines. We are very close to that moment and that decision. If they don't take the decision, we will decide."