Former FIA president Max Mosley has warned F1 could “collapse” if it does not sort out struggling teams’ financial problems.
The now 74-year-old Briton left office five years ago having tried and failed to introduce a mandatory budget cap.
Mosley told the German news agency DPA that he managed to get every team “except Ferrari” to agree.
He was replaced by the much lower-profile and conservative Jean Todt, who oversaw a new financial structure where F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone agreed individual commercial contracts with the teams.
Ecclestone also agreed new terms with the now Todt-led governing body.
“I don’t know what’s in the arrangements which have been made but my understanding is that Bernie together with the teams can outvote the FIA,” said Mosley.
“I might be wrong about that and shouldn’t really speculate but I get the impression the FIA is not perhaps in as strong a position as it used to be.”
Another part of the problem, he said, is that F1 is now simply too technologically complex and therefore expensive.
“90 per cent, 95 per cent of what goes on (technologically) is not visible to an outsider and even kept secret within the teams,” Mosley said.
“So it (F1) has changed enormously. Whether it’s changed for the better — I think it’s gone too far.”
Another major issue, Mosley said, is that the commercial revenue is not divided equally among the competing teams.
“At least half the teams simply can’t compete because they haven’t got enough money, and that to me is wrong,” he said.
“You obviously wouldn’t allow one team to run a bigger engine than another team and yet if one team has got five times as much money the effect is exactly the same as if they had a bigger engine. It’s not fair from the sporting point of view,” Mosley added.
And Mosley said the final problem is that the agreements struck with the FIA and the teams means that F1 will now struggle to make changes — even if it wanted to.
“The only way to deal with it is to get everybody to agree,” he said.
“You can sit all the teams down and say ‘Look, collectively we’ve got a massive problem because some of you have got enough money but most of you haven’t and if we go on like this formula one is going to collapse, so I am inviting you all to agree to a change’.
“You can’t do it without unanimity unfortunately. I think that could be done but it needs people to make very clear to them that there is a real problem,” added Mosley. (GMM)