As recently reported by Motorsport.com, Mercedes has opened talks with Honda to see if there is scope for it to offer assistance to its rival to help it overcome its performance and reliability problems.
Force India boss Robert Fernley is hoping rumors that Mercedes will lend a helping hand to struggling Formula 1 power unit provider Honda are incorrect.
Joint ventures between manufacturers are common in the auto industry.
It was a straight question Mercedes team boss and shareholder Toto Wolff initially declined to comment on: Is Mercedes, or will it be, assisting Honda in the development of its troublesome power unit?
"We are not doing anything for Honda", he said when pushed on the matter. "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..."
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"As a team that is not only paying for its engines but contributed to the development, I would certainly be very negative towards sharing that technology with another team that is a competitor of ours", said Fernley while sitting next to Wolff in the afternoon press conference in Barcelona ahead of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. "We'll see what happens", he added.
Force India finished a best ever fourth overall last season while former champions McLaren, the only team now partnered with Honda who are due also to supply Swiss-based Sauber next year, were sixth.
His vehicle broke down again on Friday at his home race with an oil leak and the Spaniard was slowest of all in the afternoon session.
"Honda is an important factor in F1, a massive and very successful company, and I have no doubt they will eventually be where they expect to be", said Wolff.
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