Mark Webber says Red Bull may simply have to accept not having engines that will allow it to fight for the Formula 1 world championship next year, with a 'guillotine' now hanging over the team.
While efforts are ongoing to find Red Bull the competitive engines that it says are essential for it not to turn its back on F1, former driver Webber accepts that there is a real danger of it leaving.
But he is hopeful that a solution can be found to end its threats to quit F1, even if it means Red Bull has to face another season of compromises.
"The guillotine is ready," Webber said in an interview with Red Bull's Speedweek website. "But I hope it doesn't get used.
"I think Red Bull stays in F1. Maybe their 2016 solution won't be good enough to fight for the title, but at least both teams would be able to continue."
The Italian outfit says it does not have the time to provide 2016 engines, something that Red Bull is demanding.
Webber has said he does not know what the ultimate solution will be, but does acknowledge that things are getting late for the team to prepare for next season.
"Who will partner them engine-wise? No idea. Their biggest issue is time as it works against Red Bull at the moment.
"I feel for Dietrich Mateschitz: There's nothing as bad as a situation that is out of your hands."
Downbeat on F1
Webber also said that he remained far from impressed with the speeds and challenge of current F1.
"Last night I was at a Hotel at Graz and I watched a race from [Ayrton] Senna from his cockpit camera," he said.
"Why would I do such a thing? It's because today's F1 doesn't feature characters anymore.
"It's too technical. It doesn't inspire the fans anymore. The crowd wants to see a hero and gladiators, but F1 doesn't deliver that anymore.
"You buy a ticket for 500 Euro and you see Lewis Hamilton exit a corner. After that, GP2 takes to the track and Mitch Evans exits the corner with the same speed as Hamilton did before. But for that, nobody wants to spend 500 Euro.
"When guys like me that were in the middle of the action for quite some time don't understand the sport anymore, then how is your regular Joe supposed to understand what's going on?"