Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has played down the prospect of Red Bull quitting Formula 1, but has suggested changes to the sporting regulations to close the field up.
On a weekend where Red Bull's frustrations with engine supplier Renault have ramped up massively, its owner Dietrich Mateschitz has met Ecclestone for urgent talks about F1's future and his own plans.
After the get-together, Ecclestone remained optimistic that Mateschitz's disappointment was not enough to drive Red Bull away, but said there were things that needed to change.
"They're disappointed, aren't they?," explained Ecclestone. "What they are saying is it's not our fault that our performance is what it is. That's what their complaint is."
When asked if he thought the team would quit, Ecclestone said: "I don't think so. I know Mr Mateschitz very well. There'd be more chance of him pulling out if he was winning than when he was losing."
He added: "It doesn't mean that because he's falling out of love that he wants a divorce. He just needs a new girlfriend.
"I think Renault understand. It doesn't matter how much money you've got. If we were in the jungle or somewhere and we were ill or something really bad with us and we had all the money in the world, it's no good a guy saying 'we know we need a doctor for our heart' and the guy says 'I know a good dentist'.
"It doesn't help. It's a case of they are looking for a competitive engine."
Sporting regulations key
Ecclestone too has suggested that rather than tweaking the technical rules, it is the sporting regulations that could do with revising.
Motorsport.com has learned that one suggestion Ecclestone has already made to teams is to implement of balance of performance for F1's engine manufacturers, so those with more power have to carry extra weight.
Speaking about what needed to be done, Ecclestone said: "I think we need to have a very, very good look at all our sporting regulations. Don't go over the white line, don't do this, don't do that; if you change your engine you go back 20 places.
"It's not what the public understand. They (the fans) don't understand and when they do understand they don't care basically."
Dismisses 'crap' comments
Ecclestone also played down reports that he had called F1 'crap' as he suggested that the current problems with the sport were no more serious than they had been through history.
"Really? I don't know who said that. Bad quote," he said about his 'crap' remark.
"I think probably in the end there's nothing more wrong than there's ever been. There's some people with a lot of money, some people without a lot of money. It's always been like that.
"There's people always complaining about something. The winners never complain. The losers complain. All I've ever said is that it's a pity that one team is at the moment dominating the sport."
He added: "It would be nice if McLaren was where we always expected them to be, somewhere at the front.
"The product which we produce at the moment is a bit top heavy with one team winning a lot of races, probably too easy.