Despite Ferrari's win in the Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull's Helmut Marko believes Mercedes' overall supremacy will remain intact until 2021, and suggests F1 intervene to install engine parity between the sport's manufacturers.
Mercedes has made no secret of the progress over the winter of its already dominant power unit. But adding insult to its rivals' injury, the German team also enjoys a surplus of power in qualifying thanks to a little button on the Silver Arrows steering wheel which activates the engine's 'party mode'.
For Marko, it's a depressing state of affairs, not only for Mercedes' rivals but also for F1 fans who were hoping for a closer battle in 2018.
"Mercedes is playing with everyone," said Marko.
"They can decide with their power modes how far ahead they are. But this time they apparently got it wrong and are too far ahead.
"I said to Ferrari: Mercedes is five tenths ahead and they said no. But everyone has been asleep," he added.
"With that engine, no one can beat Mercedes," Marko insisted. "They're in a different world.
"We have a very good car and that's why we're close. But with these engine regulations, it will be the same until 2021."
In a bid to rein in Mercedes' superiority, Marko believes the FIA and F1 needs to step in before 2021 to install engine parity between Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.
"Even Ferrari is waking up now," said the Austrian.
"They begin to realise that they will never catch Mercedes with these engines.
"We need engine parity, which was always promised," Marko continued. "But these engines are much further apart than 3 per cent apart. So the FIA has to act now."
McLaren-Renault boss Eric Boullier agrees: "Mercedes designed a very competitive engine from the beginning and it seems difficult to reach them.
"I think now we need Liberty and the FIA to be sufficiently restrictive to close the gap and have more cars fighting on the track," he is quoted by Marca.