Mar.12 (GMM) Red Bull is not yet one of F1's 'big two' teams, according to Pedro de la Rosa.
The HRT driver admits his own Spanish employer is the "worst" in the field at present, but at the other end of the grid, he insists the "best" - Red Bull - is not yet one of the greatest.
"Formula one is in that respect very similar to the Spanish football league," he is quoted by Marca sports daily.
"There are two big clubs, Madrid and Barcelona, and (in F1) I would say they are Ferrari and McLaren.
"Red Bull, not yet. They are one of those teams that can win the cup, but I would dare to predict that in 20 years the big two will still be the big two," added de la Rosa.
Until now, de la Rosa was McLaren's highly-respected reserve driver, with a new long-term contract.
"I thought (boss) Martin (Whitmarsh) was going to shout at me, so I found it difficult to tell him and he cut me short, saying 'Pedro, what do you mean?'
They are one of those teams that can win the cup
"I told him I wanted to go to HRT, that I wanted to race again -- there was a long silence and he said 'You must be mad, but I love that my reserve driver is that way -- it means we had the right guy'."
De la Rosa, 41, will drive the 2012 car for the first time on Friday, in Melbourne. His teammate Narain Karthikeyan managed a few laps during a filming shakedown.
"When he got out, I asked him what it was like and he looked at me with his eyes sparkling and said 'It is better than last year'," beamed de la Rosa.