Red Bull says Formula 1 chiefs are not realising the potential impact on the sport if its two teams are pulled out of grand prix racing at the end of this year.
With Red Bull ramping up the pressure on Ferrari to agree a deal that will guarantee performance parity with the works team, its motorsport adviser Helmut Marko has made clear how serious it is about walking away.
In an interview published on the Formula 1 website on Wednesday, Marko made clear that company owner Dietrich Mateschitz is ready to shut down his two F1 teams if it cannot get the deal it wants from Ferrari.
"Yes, that is a scenario," Marko said. "If we don't have an engine that allows us to compete at the very front we will prefer to stop."
When asked if it was something that F1's stakeholders were aware of, Marko responded: "It is known - but I think not everybody recognises what impact it would have."
"If it were a few horsepower less we would not be concerned. But in the end you can check that very easily with the GPS data and other parameters to see what you really get," he said.
"The truth is that the engine - the hardware - is not the real issue. That is the software and the same fuel."
He added: "If we don't have a competitive engine there is no future in F1 for Red Bull Racing. The curtain may go down after Abu Dhabi.
"That is [Red Bull owner] Mr Mateschitz's opinion. He knows that it costs the same amount of money to race at the front or, like we are now doing, in the 'premium midfield' - and he is not willing to do that for another season."
No Audi progress
Marko also said that there was no progress on a potential longer term deal with Audi, despite speculation in Singapore that the German manufacturer was close to buying the team.
"I don't think that they have a ready engine concept in their drawers," he said. "Yes, the rumours are there - and, of course, it would be great if another engine manufacturer would join.
"But right now that is all crystal ball reading."