Toto Wolff has tipped Red Bull to commence a process of rebuilding as the brand races back to the front in formula one. The energy drink company's premier F1 outfit dominated the sport with every title between 2010 and 2013, faltering only when engine supplier Renault struggled at the commencement of the new 'power unit' era.
That new era has been dominated from the first lap by Mercedes, who this year ruled out supplying Red Bull with its impressive turbo V6 technology for 2016.
So 2015 ends with a sense of palpable tension between the two camps, with Red Bull's Christmas card featuring Mercedes boss Wolff being mowed down by Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat driving a foot-powered Flintstones car.
"If everything is peace, love and pancakes, that's just not formula one," Wolff is quoted by the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.
He insisted sport is not the most important thing in the world, so "You have to take it with humour".
And he warned that Red Bull, although to be powered by Tag Heuer-branded Renault engines next year, regards 2016 as a transitional year on the road back to recovery.
Wolff suggested that it might be a good move by Red Bull ahead of the sweeping rule changes for 2017, as there is an advantage to gain "the earlier you start" on new rules. "One must never make the mistake of writing off Red Bull," he added.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing