The Mexico City Grand Prix perfectly highlighted the problem Red Bull faces as it looks towards 2024.
Max Verstappen dominated the race but there have been hints that Mercedes has been inching closer, as have McLaren.
Red Bull is clearly the class of the field, but is it a position it will enjoy in 2024? There's a chance, of course, but there's no guarantee.
With this season all but over, doing what it can to guarantee performance next year is, therefore, key.
That extends to all areas from design philosophy, execution, and perhaps most notably, driving talent.
And that's the problem – and potential solution – that was on clear display throughout the weekend in Mexico.
In just his fourth race back, Daniel Ricciardo delivered AlphaTauri's best result of the season with a superb seventh place.
That has seen the team move off the foot of the constructors' championship, which is a significant development.
Ricciardo had a brilliant Sunday in Mexico, following an even more impressive Saturday that sensationally saw the Australian on the second row of the grid after qualifying.
It was a weekend performance that demonstrated the eight-time race winner still has the ability to deliver on a single lap and convert that into a result when it matters on Sunday.
Now, that in itself is nothing extraordinary, any driver at F1 level should be able to do that as a matter of routine, but after Ricciardo's tribulations at McLaren, it was proof absolute that he has not lost that ability.
It's the sort of performance that builds confidence in a driver and more than catches the eye of management.
And that's despite slipping from fourth to seventh on Sunday – those that finished ahead would typically be expected to.
Nonetheless, the net result was six important championship points in a confident, composed, mature, and inspiring drive.
One of the key abilities they will be looking for is an understanding of the broader context of the situation.
The Japanese driver was driving well and had charged his way forward after starting at the rear of the grid – a result of engine penalties and not driver error.
His Sunday effort was aided by the mid-race red flag but, even still, he did well to claw his way into a position where he could deliver a valuable points haul for the team.
Rooted to the foot of the constructors' championship, points are critical and to be protected at all costs.
That said, Tsunoda was right to engage Piastri in battle in the pursuit of more.
He is a racing driver and is employed to deliver the best result possible, but his approach highlighted why he is not a suitable replacement for Perez.
His touch with the McLaren driver at Turn 2, which saw Piastri slide wildly, was unnecessary and jeopardised both the car and the potential points he already had one hand on.
But rather than learn from that and adapt his approach, he followed it up with further contact which left him in the grass and out of the points.
Regardless of whether it's a racing incident (as deemed by the stewards) or not, it's wholly unacceptable to have put himself and the car at risk like that.
Had he been nerfed by Piastri it would be a different matter, but he should never have been in a position to have a clumsy bashing of wheels.
The risk-reward calculation in that scenario was wildly wrong, and the team paid a potentially hefty price for it.
What is more, if that is the desperation in a battle for seventh, what would happen should a podium be on offer?
Running eighth at the time, he stood to score four points and potentially six if he managed to clear Piastri.
The McLaren driver's pace slowed in the latter stages to such an extent that Lando Norris was waved through.
Tsunoda is blindingly fast, certainly fast enough to drive a Red Bull with success, but that impatience and aggression are why he is unlikely to be given the chance.
Rather than attacking with such aggression, he needed to remain calm and be patient.
That does not appear to be in Tsunoda's nature, his radio outbursts demonstrate a fiery driver – a stark contrast to his placid personality out of the car.
But compare that with Ricciardo who remained calm despite losing places through the race and being in a position to make contact.
He came within a whisker of wheel-to-wheel contact with Norris in the latter stages but there was no panic, no drama, and instead, the McLaren driver was forced to pull off a brilliant overtake to take sixth place.
In Ricciardo's pursuit of George Russell in the final laps he kept a level head and, though he tried, he adopted a risk-reward level that was appropriate for the situation and above anything else delivered points.
Both instances demonstrated a considered approach that showed an understanding of the needs of the immediate situation and of the team more broadly.
As a result, he delivered six points. He was frustrated it wasn't more but he handed the team a result that could well be worth tens of millions of dollars.
And now consider Red Bull, where in Mexico Perez crashed out at the opening corner in what can be considered a racing incident.
It was unfortunate, and the Mexican can consider himself unlucky, though he did put himself in a vulnerable position – a point Verstappen noted.
Red Bull needs two drivers capable of delivering strong results in 2024.
In Verstappen, it has its superstar, but it needs a second driver able to deliver race wins and, most importantly, be a nuisance for rivals who will likely have closed the gap.
Red Bull needs a driver with speed, composure, maturity, and an understanding of the broader situation.
Tsunoda demonstrated in Mexico that he is not ready and, now in his third season of F1, it begs the question as to whether he will ever be ready.
Perez can do the job but has failed to fire in a season when his team-mate had rewritten the record books.
His performances have been substandard for much of the year and that is a critical concern for Horner and Marko ahead of 2024.
And then there's Ricciardo, who has perhaps still not vanquished all the ghosts of the past but demonstrated why Red Bull promoted him to the AlphaTauri race seat.
Of the four drivers at Red Bull's immediate disposal, the pick of the crop are Verstappen and Ricciardo.
With three races to go, Perez desperately needs to find form. As for Tsunoda, his future is another fascinating question.