Toto Wolff has played down speculation Mercedes has stepped in to assist Honda with the development of its much maligned V6 Hybrid power unit as pressure mounts on the Japanese firm to prove it can be competitive in F1.

High level paddock rumours have indicated Honda will receive undisclosed assistance from Mercedes to speed up development of the engine, which continues to be beset by reliability issues in its third season of competition.

Though Wolff initially refused to be drawn on the speculation by saying 'no comment', he eventually expanded to say there is no co-operation taking place at this current moment.

"I understand your standpoint. We are not doing anything for Honda. That is the current status quo. So, unless that situation changes, I don't want to contribute to rumours out there, that are false and I think are damaging for Honda and create hardened standpoints from teams or from other stakeholders. We'll see what happens."

Should Mercedes proceed with a deal, however, it could run into trouble with its own customers after Force India's Bob Fernley firmly declared his opposition to any rival assistance.

"As a team that's not only paid for its engines but contributed to the development of them I would certainly be very negative towards sharing that technology with another team that it a competitor of ours."

 

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