Former grand prix driver Anthony Davidson thinks motor racing as a whole needs Formula 1 to be successful and feels the negative press the sport is getting is largely unjustified.
Amid a wave of criticism in recent weeks over the decision to change the qualifying format for this year, and then failing to revert to the previous one after events in Australia, Davidson reckons Formula 1 is still putting on a great show for the fans.
The Toyota driver believes F1 could learn from the positivity of the World Endurance Championship.
"It [F1] gets a lot of negative PR, but the cars are still phenomenal," Davidson told Motorsport.com. "It draws a massive crowd, no matter where you go in the world.
"Even somewhere like Bahrain, for example, where they are going to next. You get a big crowd in Bahrain. On this tiny island you get always people in the grandstands. It's a big show, don't get me wrong, it's a big show and it's a big deal.
"What we have is a great championship in WEC and there's a great harmonious atmosphere. And there's a lot of positivity, even from the media side of things. There's never a bad word said about WEC. That's something maybe F1 could learn from.
"Because they kind of shoot themselves in the foot sometimes with bad things that are said about the series. But at the end of the day it's massive. It's the biggest motor racing category in the world and that's a fact.
"And I think the rest of the racing world needs it to be successful to keep the juices flowing for motorsport in general," added the Briton.
Qualifying change not needed
Davidson accepts, however, that Formula 1 did not need to change its qualifying system, and admits the elimination version used in Australia made no difference.
"Did the new qualifying format dramatically change the predictable or eventual outcome of qualifying? No. So was it better? Probably not. Did it make Sunday even better? No.
"So why change it? If it suddenly spices things up to the point where we had all kinds of action going on on Sunday, well that's good. But it didn't, so. You have to look at in a pure black and white way.
"Don't get drawn into the politics, don't get drawn into the strategy. Because we're not strategists. Even the die-hard fans at home that think they are, they're not. They haven't got computers running the simulation tools like the teams do.
"It's easy to judge and pass comment on these kind of things. If you look at it in a more simple view, it didn't really change anything apart from we had a Red Bull out in Q1, which we sometimes saw before.
"A big name driver going out in Q1, we've seen that before. It didn't add anything but it didn't really take away that much either."
Interview by Erwin Jaeggi