McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes a technical partnership deal with Force India will still go through, even though future uncertainty about regulations has complicated matters.
As autosport.com revealed at the Japanese GP, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are in advanced negotiations with Force India about a tie-up that could extend as far as a customer car type deal.
Although it had been thought the deal would be concluded in the days after the Japanese GP, the raft of cost-cutting measures due to be introduced to the sport have led to uncertainty about what McLaren can or cannot do.
In particular, it is understood that the team are waiting for some form of clarification from the FIA about whether or not customer cars are allowed.
Speaking about the situation at the Chinese Grand Prix, Dennis said McLaren were still working on the details of the deal.
"Anything that comes along that impacts significantly on your business has a ripple effect to what you are doing," he explained. "If there is any impact on it, the viability of it, it is more likely to be a delay rather than a cancellation.
"But so far we are not in a binding commitment on either side. We are very open to trying to achieve our goal, which is not to make money or lose money, but to be an absolute supporter of one of the independent teams - who are not the lifeblood of F1 but an essential ingredient of F1.
"That is why we are doing it. We are doing it to assist an independent team. I think it will happen still, but it hasn't happened yet."