Niki Lauda has admitted that it is "possible" Mercedes will quit Formula 1.
The team - along with Ferrari - is at loggerheads with Liberty Media over the plans for 2021, featuring different engine rules and a proposed budget cap.
Lauda told Wirtschaftswoche: "There is a limit for the top teams.
"It's possible that one or the other will get out if it goes in the wrong direction."
Mercedes has announced that it will join Formula E in 2019.
"Only three years ago I would not have given Formula E a chance," team boss Toto Wolff told Bild. "But times have changed."
However, he said F1 remains Mercedes's top ticket.
"Formula 1 is the only global platform that transports our brand," he said.
The current F1 season continues this weekend in Monaco.