Felipe Massa has warned it is possible Brazil will fall out of formula one altogether at the end of 2016.
Bernie Ecclestone has warned that the Interlagos race is endangered, while F1 veteran Massa himself is out of contract at Williams.
Also ending is fellow Brazilian Felipe Nasr’s deal at Sauber, including the struggling Sauber team’s deal with his major Brazilian backer Banco do Brasil.
“In my opinion, it would be sad not having any Brazilian drivers in F1 anymore nor a Brazilian grand prix,” Massa, 35, told UOL Esporte.
“I hope it doesn’t happen but if it does, it will of course be sad not only for Brazil but also motor sport,” the former Ferrari driver added.
Massa said the biggest blow for Brazil would be the departure of local drivers to cheer on in F1, because the country is fiercely patriotic.
“Brazilians want to see sports with other Brazilians participating,” he explained.
“To tell you the truth, I had never watched surfing in my life but today I watched it because a Brazilian was there. We’re like that,” Massa said.
He said the problem is the economic situation in Brazil and how it has affected the development of motor racing.
“We’ve known we have a crisis in motor sport for a long time, and if it happens this will be the end result. The base is always important for any country.”