Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Red Bull’s decision to switch to Honda power from next season is it’s best chance to win Formula 1 world titles in the long term.

Red Bull formally confirmed its Honda partnership last month which will begin in 2019 having been impressed by the Japanese manufacturer’s efforts with sister squad Toro Rosso this year.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained the decision was based on finding the most competitive package as it seeks works’ backing to compete against the factory Mercedes and Ferrari squads.

Wolff has welcomed the deal as he sees it as “better for all of us and better for the sport” and feels over time the partnership has world championship-potential.

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“This is certainly the right step forward, looking from the outside, for all parties. It was important for Red Bull to have a works status,” Wolff said. “Long term probably the best chance to win a championship.

“Maybe short term, more work to do. But long terms, from where I sit, absolutely the right decision. I’m looking forward to tougher fights and tougher battles with Red Bull Honda.”

Wolff is wary to Red Bull’s “technical capabilities” being boosted by the resources provided by Honda in terms of design and power unit improvements and says Mercedes relishes the challenge of heightened competition.

“For us, as Mercedes, it is extremely important that we have top brands in Formula 1,” he said. “Be it original equipment manufacturers that have joined the sport as engine suppliers or be it multinational and global brands such as Red Bull, and the more we can attract the better for all of us and the better for the sport.

“I have also no doubt that they will be competitive. The collaboration will make another step between Toro Rosso, Honda and Red Bull for next year. And with Red Bull’s technical capabilities and resource they will certainly be of great assistance to make the power unit progress.”