Williams and McLaren are stuck in "a void" according to Sky F1's Martin Brundle. The former McLaren driver-turned commentator believes that without serious backing from a manufacturer who is exclusive to the team, they will be stuck in limbo for the foreseeable future.
McLaren's reunion with Honda turned into a nightmare very quickly after the hopes of the iconic relationship reviving the fortunes of the Woking-based team evaporated quickly.
The disappointment led to the team turning to an underpowered Renault power unit to steady the ship but with Honda's progress in 2018 even that could turn out as a foolish move.
Meanwhile, since the beginning of the hybrid era in 2014, Williams has been on a steady decline having finished third in the first season of the new formula. Brundle believes that without a new partnership with an engine manufacturer or 'B-team' relationship akin to Toro Rosso-Red Bull and Haas-Ferrari, they will continue to flounder.
"The problem with Williams and to an extent McLaren is they are outside where you need to be these days in Formula 1," Brundle said at the Autosport International show.
"You either need to be a manufacturer team or a Haas and Toro Rosso-style B-team with the hand-me-downs.
"That leaves a void in the middle where Williams and McLaren find themselves because they're not works teams and they're certainly not B-teams.
"Let's wait and see if that works for them. I hope it does, in a way.
"But it's tough for them when they're fighting a team like Haas, that has a completely different business model, and they're getting a lot of stuff from Ferrari and Dallara."
Both teams will be hoping for a revival of sorts in 2019 with all-new driver line-ups for both squads. Williams will hope Mercedes junior George Russell and the returning Robert Kubica will spark change whilst McLaren will have Carlos Sainz and rookie Lando Norris begin a new era for them.