In recent days, Lance Stroll's father Lawrence has confirmed that he has discussed the possibility of a closer relationship between Williams and Mercedes.
Williams is resisting that move, but now Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that a 'customer team'-type arrangement is possible in the future.
"We've seen that the system between Ferrari and Haas is working for both sides," he is quoted as saying by Globo.
"It is profitable for Ferrari, good for Haas and in terms of synergy, there is a lot that can be made to work.
"So far the partnership has been successful and of course our thinking goes in that direction, either with Williams or with Force India.
"But right now we are in the middle of a tough fight for the championship, so we need to prioritise."
Wolff suggested that although a collaboration could get started for 2019, it might take longer to bear fruit.
"We can do something by 2019, we have that ability," he said. "The problem is in the details. It's not just about increasing production, but doing it in a way that does not hinder anything.
"It would be a long-term project and not something with an immediate impact in 2019."
Mercedes currently trail leaders Ferrari by four points in the 2018 constructor standings.