Aug.3 ( Mercedes has reportedly targeted ousted Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa.

In May, as Ferrari grappled with its new 150 Italia car, the famous Maranello based team said the Italian had stepped down.

It emerged a few days ago that Costa has left the carmaker completely but is on what is known in F1 as “gardening leave” until the end of the year.

The specialist Italian magazine Autosprint reports that Mercedes, headed by another former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn, has targeted Costa.

We reported recently that the Brackley based team is on a recruitment drive to boost its staff numbers to the height of big three teams Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

Autosprint said Brawn told Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche at the Nurburgring that Mercedes’ struggles in 2010 and 2011 have been due in part to the team’s comparatively small size.

“So he (Brawn) received the go-ahead for the recruitment campaign,” said the report.