Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has launched a furious attack on the state of Formula 1, saying it is no longer about racing.
Amid a fresh debate about the impact that Pirelli's more aggressive rubber for 2013 is having on the world championship battle, Mateschitz has expressed his frustration that Red Bull is being hindered by high-degrading tires.
Mateschitz witnessed world championship leader Sebastian Vettel struggle home in fourth place as the top Red Bull car in the Spanish Grand Prix, unable to do anything about the Ferrari and Lotus cars ahead of him. He reportedly then voiced his concerns in a private 45-minute meeting with F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday night, and he later claimed that Pirelli had gone too far with its products.
"Everyone knows what happens here," he said. "This has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tire management.
"Real car racing looks different. Under the given circumstances, we can neither get the best out of our car nor our drivers. There is no more real qualifying and fighting for the pole, as everyone is just saving tires for the race.
"If we would make the best of our car, we would have to stop eight or 10 times during a race, depending on the track."
Mateschitz accepts that Pirelli was asked to spice up the show with more pit stops, but thinks that it has now strayed away from that original mandate.
"Yes, it was the target to get more excitement into the races by more stops for tire changes, but not that much," he said. "This is now a different situation from the original intention."
Red Bull's mounting frustrations at the tire situation were clear after team principal Christian Horner canceled his regular media briefing on Sunday night.
The energy drink firm's motorsports advisor Helmut Marko reckoned the tire situation was now even prompting safety fears.
"Can you really demand from us that we have to tell our two top drivers all the time, 'Be careful, you have to save your tires'?" asked Marko. "We have to change our set-up that way that the tires just get along with it. I wonder when tire failures will result in severe accidents.
"We are at risk this will happen. We only can inform Pirelli about this."
Pirelli admitted on Sunday night that Barcelona's four-stop race had been a step too far and that it was considering changing the tires in time for the British Grand Prix.