McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale on Thursday called for F1's leading teams to intensify their efforts to stop double champions Red Bull turning 2012 into another procession.
Neale, worried that Red Bull and their outstanding double champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany could carry on winning unchallenged, said: "The reality is the rest of us have to do a better job.
"They are not going to be holding back, but you would write McLaren or Ferrari off at your peril. I have to say - there is every chance that they can do it again."
Neale said he feared that the stability of the regulations for next season would favour Red Bull as they bid to carry forward their title-winning momentum - and that all of their rivals needed to work hard to beat them.
The one major change to the rules governing car design concerns the layout of the exhaust -- and a ban on using gasses to boost down-force by blowing them over the car's rear diffuser.
Neale added: "They've got themselves into a good position with a package that works well under these regulations and on these tyres and clearly they've been able to exploit that in the last two years.
"The one thing that is going to change quite dramatically are the technical regulations that affect the exhaust geometry and blown down-force -- so there will be some car changes from this year to next, but it's always a good boost to finish the season well.
"Our ambition is to be at the front - and so is Ferrari's - but you would never bet against Red Bull being very strong."
He added that he believed McLaren should be competitive in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos following Briton Lewis Hamilton's triumph at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix two weeks ago.
"Both of our drivers want to win this race and we're all looking to a good race - and to the end of what's been a long season as well," said Neale, stressing that both Hamilton and his team-mate compatriot Jenson Button will be fighting for victory.