Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the pairing of Red Bull chassis and Mercedes engines would pose a real threat to the future Silver Arrows championship aspirations.
With Red Bull thought to be on the brink of divorcing current engine partner Renault after a season blighted by poor performance and reliability, Mercedes has emerged as a potential partner for the four-time world champions, especially if Lotus reverts to Renault power under the regie's ownership.
While the thought of a Red Bull-Mercedes is mouth-watering for those looking for someone to step up and offer credible opposition to the Brackley squad, the same prospect is clearly not so appetising for Hamilton, who told Sky Sports that he didn't think it a good idea for the Three Pointed Star to get into bed with its biggest rival.
"I think if we're serious about winning world championships, [it's] probably not [a good idea]," the reigning world champion conceded, "Red Bull is a great team and it's like giving Ferrari our engine. We're here to win, so we don't really need it. There's no financial benefit really in it, so I think we're good where we are."
The alternative is that Red Bull tries to access Ferrari power or leaves the sport altogether, a threat already issued by several amongst the company's hierarchy disenchanted with bumping along in the lower reaches of the top ten. With the very future of F1 on the line, and with the sport's big guns being accused of self-interest above all else, it may be a bullet that Hamilton has to bite.