Mark Webber has expressed his frustration at not being able to go to the British Grand Prix and make the most of what is likely to be the final visit to Silverstone because the FIA-FOTA row continues to hang like an omen over Formula One.
The Australian makes no secret of his love of the Northamptonshire venue, or his disappointment that Formula One is unlikely to return there within his career span, but insists that any chance he and his fellow drivers will have to savour the last blast around the famous runways is being forced to take a backseat because the governing body and teams' organisation FOTA cannot reach a compromise on the future direction of the sport.
"It's a great shame that, for the second year in a row, we're not even going to able to go to Silverstone and concentrate on a great venue and a great race," Webber noted in his regular BBC
column, making reference to last year's eve of race announcement that Donington Park is to host the British GP for the foreseeable future.
"Friday is the day of the latest deadline in the political row that's going on in F1 at the moment, and the papers are going to be full of all that nonsense, when it should be about [Jenson] Button and the drivers competing in the British GP."
For Webber, a major figure in the Grand Prix Drivers' Association [GPDA], appears to side with FOTA in the row, insisting that the governing body is doing its best to meddle with what is, on the face of it, a solid product - and he underlines that he is not alone in his beliefs.
"It's disappointing that it has ended up this way, with the teams in a stand-off with the FIA over its plans to change the rules next year and introduce a £40m budget cap," he reflected, "Collectively, everyone has played a role in trying to help and protect the sport and you just see all that effort down the years being devalued or diluted through some pretty radical ideas.
"It's good to have some stability, to be able to predict what's going to happen, not have different things going on every six months. All the drivers share the same view. We want to drive for the best teams and race against the best drivers. If it's not the FIA Formula One world championship, so be it. It'll still be the most prestigious championship."
Picking up on recent happenings - and major financial outlay in other sports - the Red Bull Racing ace insists that F1 is risking losing its biggest asset and other pillars of the sport in a row that, in his opinion, need not have escalated to the level that it has.
"It doesn't have to be this way, but it's been pretty predictable," he claimed, "There have been lots of little ding-dongs going on over the last few years, [but] it's now got to a point where £80m is paid for one player to play football but you're asked to run a whole F1 team and travel the world for £40m. How can you do that overnight?
"It's incredibly disruptive and not that easy to achieve. The positions Ferrari and Toyota, in particular, have taken in trying to address costs in the future have been incredible, from what I hear. Other teams say that's why they're in FOTA, because the position the big teams have taken is incredibly reasonable and very good. Hopefully, they are going to reach a good solution.
"Ferrari are crucial. Everyone wants to beat them and McLaren. They're awesome teams and big set-ups who've taken years to get into that situation, they are respected and we want to beat these guys. It's the first time ever pretty much all the teams have the same view. For the sake of the sport, the main constructors and people who have the real vision believe they need to take a stand."