Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits there is a chance that one of Formula 1's current front-running teams could make a hash of the 2014 rules and end up stuck in the midfield.
With teams preparing for the switch to all-new regulations next year – when 1.6-liter turbo V6 engines are introduced – there is no guarantee that current competitiveness will flow through into 2014. When asked about coping with the threat of being shuffled down the order – either through getting the car or engine wrong – Horner said: "I think that for sure 2014 is going to be a risk for everyone.
"Nobody knows where anybody is with their respective engines at the moment, and you can see within Viry [Renault's engine headquarters in France] there is a lot of determination and a lot of good work going on.
"Renault has a tremendous track record and we have a lot of faith in the engineers at Viry. You can see where they are with their program, while Mercedes and Ferrari are also pushing extremely hard as well.
"The racing in F1 next year could be quite different, and there could be more focus on economy than absolute performance. It will be an interesting challenge. We have confidence in our engine partner, but we will only know in 2014."
Although it has been suggested that manufacturer teams Mercedes and Ferrari will have an advantage for 2014 because of the increasing importance of integrating the engine and chassis, Horner is not so convinced. He believes that the close ties that Red Bull has with Renault are enough to ensure that his team is not left behind.
"I think we have an extremely good relationship with the guys in Viry," he said. "And we have a clear [works] status with Renault.
"There has been an awful lot of exchange of design ideas, and the way you integrate your chassis and your power plant into your chassis is a clear element. Whether it is Mercedes in Brackley [UK] dealing with Brixworth or Milton Keynes [Red Bull's UK factory] dealing with Viry, that relationship I would assume is reasonably similar."