Former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is worried that F1 will “crash and burn” before becoming a great sport again.
Whitmarsh, who is now involved in yacht racing through America’s Cup challenger Ben Ainslie Racing, added that he is saddened to see F1 in its current state.
“I love Formula 1 and I love McLaren,” he told Reuters. “I was there 25 years. I am saddened by it.
“I am staying away as much as I can, and try not to comment on it, but I'm saddened by what's happening in the sport.
“I think it will crash and burn before it gets turned around, in my view. It will do eventually, but I'm sad to see it go through the process it's going through.”
He also said that the sport hasn’t adapted to changing circumstances well enough, leaving F1 in a “difficult place”.
“If you look at the cycle, you had the sport as it was 30 years ago, then the tobacco era which was the big growth spurt and the automotive era when we had at one time seven of the nine largest automotive companies,” Whitmarsh said.
“Then that went away with the economic crisis and it's diversified but in order to diversify it also has to recognise, which it's struggling with, that it has to be doing it at a slightly different level.
“And it's also got to be a bit more equitable in terms of distribution. It is an ongoing argument and unfortunately at the moment it's led itself into a very difficult place.”
Whitmarsh was in charge of McLaren until the start of last year, and was also formerly the chairman of the Formula One Teams Association.