Red Bull has issued troubled engine supplier Renault with an ultimatum -- improve or be dumped.
Although the reigning world champions have emerged from the depths of a winter crisis, Dr Helmut Marko insisted Renault has a long way to go if it wants to stay under the engine cover of the team's Adrian Newey-penned cars.
Indeed, Marko has claimed the credit for much of Renault's improvement since the winter, revealing he installed a crisis team comprising Red Bull and Toro Rosso engineers at the French marque's Viry headquarters.
Now, he told Germany's Bild newspaper his patience is running out.
"If there is no noticeable improvement in two or three months, we will definitely be talking about an alternative," said Marko, who is famously close to Red Bull's team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
Until then, he said Red Bull is working on compensating for an 80 horse power deficit through car changes -- and hoping for trouble at the front of the grands prix.
"We cannot put additional horse power in the engine ourselves," said Marko. "But we can hope for trouble between Rosberg and Hamilton and drive past them."
He is referring to the internal battle between Mercedes' 2014 driver duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, who so far in 2014 have traded easy race wins.
Mercedes' Toto Wolff admits he is aware of the potential for problems.
"We are spending quite some time discussing those things, discussing scenarios and discussing situations," he said when asked about the prospect of the driver relationship boiling over.
"It's Mercedes and it's the team that comes first, but one day it (the situation) will be rubbish," Austrian Wolff told the Mirror newspaper.
"What makes a difference is that these guys have known each other for such a long time and they have a fair relationship with each other.
"But it doesn't mean that they are not extremely competitive and that they will try to use every advantage they can," he added.
F1 legend Moss backs Massa over team order
F1 legend Sir Stirling Moss says he would have behaved just as Felipe Massa did in the Malaysian grand prix.
While some sided with the Brazilian in the wake of his tenure as Ferrari 'number 2', others referred to the long history of 'team orders' in formula one.
But although cited as a player and proponent of F1's 'team orders' history, 84-year-old Briton Moss said he too would have refused to let Valtteri Bottas past at Sepang.
Told by Motorsport Magazine that he surely would have given up the position, Moss answered: "Not a chance, boy.
"If it's not written into the contract that you must let your teammate through, you're racing him as much as anyone else on the track -- and if it were in the contract I wouldn't sign it," he added.
"I only made an exception for one person and that was for (Juan Manuel) Fangio and out of respect."
Moss said Williams was not justified in telling Massa to give up a position so early in a world championship campaign.
"There might be other grounds, later in the season if only one of you has a shot at the title -- but this was race two!" he exclaimed.
"In his shoes I'd have done exactly the same as Massa."
Ferrari sponsor eyes 'ten more years' with Alonso
Ferrari's major sponsor Santander is going nowhere.
Emilio Botin, the Spanish banking group's chief, said this week: "We want to continue in F1 for at least ten more years," Marca sports newspaper quoted him as saying.
And Botin said Santander wants to remain hand-in-hand with Fernando Alonso for the same time period.
"I am convinced that, in ten years, Fernando Alonso will be as good as he is today," he insisted.
Also present for Botin's speech was Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, who said: "I agree."
Botin also revealed why he allowed Santander's sponsorship with McLaren to lapse.
"There is only one Ferrari team, period," he said. "We were interested in being with McLaren still because we have a bank in England, but it was a small sponsorship.
"When (Lewis) Hamilton was there it was justified. (Jenson) Button is a great driver, but it's another matter," Botin explained.
He suggested that a difficult start to the 2014 season for Ferrari is not swaying Santander's loyalty.
"The partnership with Ferrari is the best we have had throughout our history," said Botin. "It is the key for Santander being known around the world."
Botin did, however, ask Domenicali when real improvements for Ferrari's 2014 car will arrive.
"China," the Italian answered. "Good, good," Botin replied.
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