Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has said it will take a DNF from Sebastian Vettel for the World Championship to stay with the Silver Arrows.
Mercedes' dominance in the sport is being put under immense pressure by Ferrari, with Vettel 25 points clear in the Drivers' Championship and the Scuderia 17 points ahead in the Constructors' Championship.
And Lauda believes it will already need something drastic to happen to Vettel like an early retirement if Mercedes are to keep their stranglehold on Formula 1.
"We need to find a solution for the tyre window," Lauda told Kronen Zeitung.
"And one thing is clear: Vettel needs to retire at least once, otherwise it's over.
"Ferrari has got a momentum going. If it stays like this the gap will become huge – alarming."
Experience the full coverage of the FIA Formula One season throughout 2017 on FOX Sports Play, where you can watch LIVE races from angles unlike any other, highlights, interviews, behind the scenes and many more. Don’t miss it!