Williams driver George Russell is the leading contender to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.
Hamilton has been forced to withdraw from the race in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid-19.
Mercedes have guided Russell's career since 2017 and have approached Williams to see if the team would release him.
The fall-back position is for Mercedes to use their reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
He raced for McLaren in 2017 and 2018.
A Mercedes spokesman said the team "did not comment on speculation".
Russell was Mercedes reserve driver in 2018 before they released him to Williams on a three-year contract from the start of the 2019 season, and is highly rated by the team as a candidate for a potential future drive.
Hoovie: ignore this section - it will disappear shortly
Feb 26, 2018 19:05:16 GMT
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