Max Mosley has warned that Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA risk losing control of Formula 1 if they do not find an independent engine supplier.
The former FIA president suggests that the current dominance of engine supply by a few engine manufacturers has put the power in the hands of the car makers, something he thinks should not happen.
"The difficulty is that you have to have an independent engine supplier that can [supply teams] on a commercial basis," said Mosley in an interview with German TV channel ZDF.
"The great strength of F1 from the late 1960's until quite recently was that we had Cosworth, Mecachrome and other people making engines, and so you were not in the hands of the manufacturers.
"The moment you have one or two, or even three, manufacturers and they are involved at board level, so Mr. [Dieter] Zetsche can talk to Mr [Sergio] Marchionne or Mr [Carlos] Ghosn, then they control F1 – you don't control F1.
"At that point the need for an independent engine supplier becomes acute."
Engine rules key
Although the idea of more road relevant engines for F1 came from Mosley, he thinks the way the current turbo V6 rules have been framed has not been right, because it has led to a costs explosion.
He believes that action needs to be taken to find a way that more manufacturers or an independent supplier can come in and compete.
"If you designed or restricted the engine in a way that you could produce it economically, and Mercedes do what they liked, like in the old days with the old ordinary engines, manufacturers could come in and [no one] could dominate."
Mosley backs a suggestion of Bernie Ecclestone that the role of the driver in F1 needs to be increased, but says costs cannot be ignored.
"Off the top of my head, I would want the cars changed so that the driver had to take complete control of the car, including the gearbox," he said. "I would even insist on the gear changes because that is part of racing
"At the same time, I would bring in regulations about the cost which would mean all the teams could spend the same amount and could not spend more, so the cleverest engineer would make the best car, not the richest engineer.
"A combination of those two things would make a radical difference.
"It is something if I was still in charge I would want to listen to people's views, talk about it and think about it."