Ross Brawn claims he was mistranslated in suggesting Mercedes should not supply engines to Red Bull next year.
The Italian magazine Autosprint quoted Brawn, Mercedes GP's team principal, as saying the German marque should think "long and hard" before adding another customer team to its 2011 stable.
The comments were interpreted as Brawn not wanting the best engine in the field to be mated to Red Bull's arguably best chassis.
"I was asked by an Italian journalist whether Mercedes could cope with a fourth team," Brawn explained to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
"I replied that Cosworth should supply any vacancies, because that's the way it was planned by the FIA -- that they (Cosworth) should be in business so that in an emergency there is not the reliance on the manufacturers.
"In the translation from Italian into English someone has added one and one together and come up with Red Bull."
However, competition director Norbert Haug told German reporters in Turkey that it would be "definitely very difficult" for Mercedes to supply a fourth team with engines in 2011.