Toto Wolff says Mercedes are “open-minded: about supplying Alpine with F1 engines from 2026 amid suggestions the French outfit could abandon their own power unit project.

Alpine are reportedly considering ditching their own power unit project to become a customer from 2026.

Alpine, which is owned by Renault, have struggled with F1’s engine rules since their introduction in 2014.

Renault have consistently been on the back foot with their engine, ultimately losing Red Bull as a customer to Honda in 2019.

With new engine rules coming in for 2026, Renault might feel that Alpine’s best hope of succeeding is becoming a customer team, like McLaren.

Speaking in the FIA press conference at Silverstone on Friday, Wolff was asked about the possibility of supplying Alpine with engines from 2026.

“You know, I think that’s a complicated situation because we like the thought of, you know, replacing Aston Martin with another team because of the sheer learning you’re doing. I think we’re set up as an organisation that the more power units, the better it is in terms of accelerating some of the developments or the reliability,” he said.

“So this is where it is. I think it didn’t go beyond the point of exchanging opinions or having like, you know, exploratory discussions. I think Alpine would take a decision, do they want to continue with their Formula 1 engine programme or not? 

“And only when they have taken that strategic decision, we would dive into our agreements. But we’re open-minded, and that’s what we have told them.”

As it stands, Mercedes will supply three teams for 2026 – their own works team, McLaren and Williams.

Aston Martin currently runs Mercedes engines but will join forces with Honda for the new rules.

(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director; Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director;

(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive…

As a result, Mercedes have the possibility of supplying a fourth team like Alpine.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown is fully supportive of Alpine becoming a Mercedes customer if it benefits the German manufacturer’s development with the engine.

“Yeah, from our standpoint, what’s good for HPP is good for McLaren as far as we’re concerned,” he added. “They’ve been an awesome partner to work with. So if it adds value to their power unit proposition, then we’re all for it. And as far as decision timeframe, I think the sooner you can make a decision on any decision that you make is just better time for preparations.

“I would imagine they’ll probably want to make a decision before the summer break to give them as much lead time to learn about the power unit and ways of working.”

Williams boss James Vowles added: “I think Zak and Toto said it eloquently. The more power you have in circulation, the more learning you have. There’s no doubt about that in the current season. But I think it’s also fair to say I’m not sure where McLaren and Mercedes are.

“But from our perspective, we have been working alongside HPP in order to get the concept right for ‘26 already for many, many months. And so whatever you do, you’re going to be six to 12 months behind the three other teams. That’s quite penalising in the grand scheme of things.

“It doesn’t mean it’s unachievable, but there’s going to be areas where you’re going to be compromising on. There’s a tremendous amount of work getting ‘26 right. And the smallest decision on layout can actually have quite a large impact.”