To say Red Bull Racing is caught between a rock and a hard place in the wake of its increasingly messy divorce from Renault, would be quite the understatement.

As it stands, the four-time championship winning team - along with its sister Toro Rosso outfit - face exiting the sport having been left without an engine supplier for 2016, its decision to sever ties with Renault coming before Mercedes and then Ferrari refused to offer the factory-level specification power unit Red Bull wants.

It was a story that had tongues wagging throughout the Russian Grand Prix weekend, with almost everyone offering their own two cents about the drama. However, one of the more interesting quotes to emerge came from Bernie Ecclestone, who - despite admitting to his worry about the situation - also suggested that he has 'sorted' the problem. Quite what he means by 'sorted' though isn't immediately clear...

Many had linked Red Bull to some involvement with Volkswagen-Audi over a potential collaboration from 2018, but with the embattled manufacturer making headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons, at the moment any project of this nature is set to slip onto the back burner at the very least.

At surface level, Red Bull's options seem limited to none if Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda cannot supply engines... yet there is reason to suggest a bit of leftfield thinking could well be the answer to the engine question.

This week's engine summit is believed to have dismissed the notion of these alternatives, though with no Bernie or Red Bull in attendance, there remains some debate still to be had potentially.

So what are these options?

Ecclestone has long suggested that he would like the return of the old fashioned 2.4 litre V8 engines, not least for their low cost and very high volume! So how realistic is that as a potential solution? Some rumours doing the rounds have suggested two potential sources for these old specification engines. Firstly, there is Renaultsport, with whom Red Bull clinched all of its Formula 1 race wins using the Renault RS27 V8 engine.

However, this as a remotely feasible option would firstly require Renault's co-operation and, well, that's rather how this situation started. In reality though the RS27's were prepared by a separate company Mecachrome, which also supplied the Renault V10 engines under its own name and later as 'Supertec' & 'Playlife'. It would be possible for Red Bull to get around the poor relationship with Renault by working directly with Mecachrome on the obsolete engine.

But the V8 programme at both Renaultsport and Mecachrome has faded away to almost nothing, just enough to give Red Bull enough de-tuned V8 engines to operate its running showcar programme. It's unlikely that the company could source enough useable components in the time available to be ready for the season, as it is already engaged on other projects - not least the 2016 Renault F1 V6!

The other option thought to be popular with Ecclestone is the return of Cosworth. The English company designed a power unit for the 2014 season but was unable to find any takers so the project remains on the drawing board. Whilst it could conceivable to revive the project, it is unlikely that it would have enough time to do so. Still, it is possible that the company, which has been relatively quiet in 2015 in terms of racing engines, could prepare enough of its high revving CA V8's in time for 2016.

Wilder - but potentially feasible - rumours doing the rounds relate to Bernie Ecclestone's access to a 3.5 litre V6 twin turbo engine, which equipped with a mild hybrid system could be a match for the current F1 1.6 turbo power units. Though I know of no such engine being available, certainly not in the timescale and not in that exact specification, here are three possible engines that could be built to that specification in the available time, and one of them is built by Cosworth.

Nissan's LMP1 V6 engine is a twin turbo direct injection unit. A three-litre unit which could be scaled up without great difficulty, and with the disruption of that project in 2015 there could be a range of spares available. Red Bull is already heavily sponsored by Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti which is known to be keen on have a more direct motorsport programme. However this could be at odds with the Renault-Nissan alliance.

The next contender is Honda, which has a 2.8 litre V6 twin turbo engine which it uses in LMP2 and GT300 racing. Conceivably that too could be scaled up to suit the Red Bull demand, but as Honda has ruled out supplying additional teams it seems unlikely. Still, this decision not to supply more teams was based more on the fact that its new facility in Milton Keynes is still under construction and the firm will not be ready to supply additional power units in 2016... 2017, on the other hand...

In reality, the real solution may have already been revealed. Shown off at Monza a few weeks ago in the back of a new GP3 Dallara car, Mecachrome has built a brand new bespoke 3.4 litre V6 engine for the GP3 series and it made little secret of the fact that it intends to use it in turbocharged format in the GP2/F2 series in 2017.

Without too much effort, this engine combined with the rumoured mild hybrid system could quite easily put it on a par with the Formula 1 power units, and in reality most of the design and engineering work for this has been done to conform with the Formula 2 requirements for the 2019 season. Indeed, at Austin last year Ecclestone said he wanted the smaller teams to have access to cheaper, simpler and louder power units, recalling the DFV era.

With the ready availability of the new Mecachrome V6, and companies like Toyota, Zytek, Magneti Marelli and GKN all offering turn- key motorsport hybrid systems, and Ecclestone's financial involvement with the GP2 organisation I believe that this is how he has 'sorted' Red Bull's situation (or at least it is one of the main options).

It may seem unlikely that other Formula 1 teams would allow a single team to run a different spec engine but it has been done before and indeed done by Red Bull. The first ever Toro Rosso - a Rob Taylor and Mark Smith designed STR1/Red Bull RB1 was powered by an obsolete three litre V10 during the 2006 season while all other cars ran a 2.4 V8. Parity was achieved via a rev limit and air restrictor, so it is possible that Red Bull could be permitted a similar dispensation again.

So where are we now and how does this fit into this week's much discussed 'engine summit', attended by the FIA and the four engine suppliers...?

Reports claim that during this meeting it was agreed that the supply of year old power units could be possible after all, despite having been ruled out just days earlier. Additionally, according to one source, the option of using an old 2.4 litre V8 or the new GP2/F2 V6 was also ruled out.

This leaves Red Bull the option of a year old Ferrari engine which will not be as competitive they want (and Ferrari wants Toro Rosso to have the supply, rather than Red Bull Racing anyway). Furthermore, this puts Ferrari under its own pressure to keep up with supply, stretching its resources and leaving it with a no-win situation in that either demanding new customers (Red Bull) or faithful ones (Sauber, Haas) get shuffled down the priority line.

Either way, the bottom line remains that no team in F1 is willing to see Red Bull exit the sport, even if their compassion ultimately stops short of sympathy. If Bernie really has 'sorted' Red Bull's engine dilemma, it isn't likely to be the end of the conversation...