Oct.1 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mercedes on Thursday confirmed speculation the British backmarker Manor will use the German marque’s ‘power unit’ from 2016.

A statement said Manor, currently powered by a year-old Ferrari unit, has now entered a “multi-year supply agreement” with Mercedes.

“Under the agreement, Manor Marussia F1 Team will be supplied with current-year power units throughout the term,” Mercedes added.

Manor chief John Booth admitted 2015 has been challenging in the wake of last winter’s near collapse, but “Together with the potential we are seeing with our 2016 car in the wind tunnel, the Mercedes-Benz power unit will assist our return to aggressive performance development with effect from next season”.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Scuderia Ferrari for their support for our team over the past two seasons,” he added.

Booth also revealed that Manor will resurrect its earlier “technical partnership” with the similarly Mercedes-powered Williams team, comprising the supply of gearbox and suspension parts.

“We are very excited about the strength of our new powertrain package and what it means for the long-term future of our team,” he said.

Engine chief Andy Cowell explained that, with the Manor deal, Mercedes will probably keep its number of customers at three, which is an indication Lotus is definitely set to tie up with Renault from next year.

Cowell said three customers, set to be Manor, Force India and Williams, “is our ideal level in terms of technical and logistical capacity”.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explained: “In anticipation of Renault’s takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, we are pleased to announce Manor Marussia as a new customer of Mercedes-Benz.”