Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Ferrari's inability to secure the world title is exerting massive pressure on his former driver Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel joined the Scuderia in 2015 after an incredible period of prosperity with Red Bull Racing that yielded his four successive world championship titles.
Upon his arrival at Ferrari, the German driver set about bringing the championship back to the House of Maranello but after four seasons that achievement has yet to be realized, while chances of a crowning this year now appear remote given Vettel's 62-point deficit to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings.
For Horner, the pressure associated with his environment is slowly but surely getting to Vettel.
"With us, Sebastian was like a metronome when he was in the lead of a Grand Prix,” Horner told Press Association Sport. "He was always so strong in that position.
"He obviously looks a lot more under pressure these days as he is carrying the hopes of Ferrari in what looks like a pressure-cooker environment.
"To get the best out of people, you have got to deliver the right environment for them – that is so important."
With frustrations ramping up, pundits have suggested that Vettel could call it a day on his career in F1 although the 31-year-old denied any vague desires of throwing in the towel.
But Horner isn't dismissing such an outcome if Vettel no longer sees "the fun" in racing at the pinnacle of motorsport.
"Sebastian is very much his own man," said the Brit.
"He is a fan of the history of the sport, and like anybody, when you enjoy what you are doing, you do it that much better.
"Certainly the years that we had at Red Bull were always a lot of fun. Even when we were competing hard against formidable rivals there was always a fun factor to it."