As an armchair motorsport enthusiast, I find it difficult to see Red Bull Racing’s explicit threat to quit Formula 1, made this week by the company’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, as anything other than sour grapes.
Since the story broke, Marko has distanced himself from the comments - which were carried by many respectable F1 news outlets - but it isn't the first time Red Bull's future in the sport has been the subject of speculation. For years, the team endured a crushing run of success and now it is having a difficult period, stymied by an uncompetitive engine from Renault.
I know Red Bull is still a relative newcomer to Formula 1 compared with Ferrari, Williams and McLaren, but are its chiefs really so naïve as to not appreciate the cyclical nature of the sport? No run of success can be sustained indefinitely; all three of the teams mentioned above can attest to that.
Don’t get me wrong: I strongly believe the sport would be better for Red Bull Racing’s presence at the sharp end, taking the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari, but no team has a divine right to be there.
Enzo Ferrari used to be the master of the quit threat in Formula 1. In the 1980s he went as far as to build an Indycar as a way to convince F1 rule makers that they might want to let him run a V12 engine, lest he decide to take his toys and play with them on the other side of the Atlantic.