Toto Wolff says he is ready to let Mercedes reserve Esteban Ocon leave the team at the end of 2019.
Frenchman Ocon, a top member of Mercedes' development programme, lost his Force India seat at the end of last year but is now being strongly linked with a 2020 return.
The 22-year-old is being linked with Mercedes, Renault, Racing Point and Haas.
"He deserves to be in F1, that's clear," Mercedes team boss Wolff told Canal Plus.
"He does a great job for us in the simulator and then at Force India in the last years. He deserves to be in Formula 1."
Wolff is not ruling out the works Mercedes seat for Ocon next year that is currently occupied by Valtteri Bottas.
"We will take our decision in August," he said.
"If we do not have room for him, we'll have to let him go. We cannot block a young driver if we cannot offer him a cockpit."