Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has confidence new engine customer Manor can elevate itself into Formula 1's midfield for the 2016 season.
After being hauled out of administration just before the start of this campaign, Manor has had to content itself with using 2014-spec Ferrari power units.
But for '16 Manor has secured a supply from Mercedes, one that sporting director Graeme Lowdon has claimed will improve his team's lap times by two to three seconds.
"I think they are able to step up," Wolff told Autosport.
"Certainly they have been running this year with the constraints of last year's administration, using a 2014 Ferrari engine.
"With the additional time they've been given this year and the lessons they've learned - and with our power units and with Williams's input - they are certainly able to step up into the midfield."
Wolff feels Manor's supply deal with Mercedes, and the one to secure transmission and other components from Williams, underlines the team's intent to become a serious player in F1.
"It's pretty impressive how Manor has managed to recover from such a difficult situation, and it certainly shows they are serious," said Wolff.
"With the structure they have set up for next year, with the Williams technical collaboration and the rear end, it made it simple for us to provide the engine.
"We just need to fit it in the same way as we do with Williams.
"But there is a good bunch of racers in the team, and this is why it will be exciting for us to see them progress.
"It continues our philosophy of supplying independent racing cars."
Whether Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein becomes a part of Manor's driver line-up for 2016 remains to be seen.
Autosport understands a simple commercial arrangement is all that exists between Manor and Mercedes, with Wehrlein not part of any arrangement.
Regarding Wehrlein's future, Wolff said: "I can say we've had preliminary discussions with Formula 1 teams, but not to a stage where I would be able to confirm he's going to go into Formula 1."