FIA president Jean Todt has warned that while F1 is one of the 'most important sports on the planet', it would be unwise to ever take anything for granted.
Todt has now been head of F1's governing body for just over a year and while some are not keen on what he has done, a number have come to his defence recently in the face of behind-the-scenes dissent – including Martin Whitmarsh and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone [see separate story - click here
Speaking at the Korean Grand Prix
last weekend though, Todt told the Press Association
, that the sport should never rest on its laurels: “We now have 12 teams participating in F1, which I feel is a good number,” he said. "Hopefully we are at the end of the big economic crisis, and I think 12 teams in F1 is quite an encouraging result.
"[But] we live in a fragile world, so we must never take anything for granted. And with all the respect and passion I have for F1, it is not essential for society.
"So we have to be careful because you have other things that could be more essential, and that is why you have to find the right limits to be applied.
"I'm sure F1 has a very strong future because let's not forget it is amongst the most important sports on the planet. It is extraordinary what F1 means, and the fascination around it, but as I've said we cannot take it for granted.
"Bernie and [commercial rights holders] CVC know that, and on behalf of the FIA, we know that."
F1 has been through a turbulent spell in recent years, with threats of a breakaway, as well as other big scandals such as 'Spy-gate' and 'Singapore-gate'. Furthermore the loss of three manufacturers - Honda, Toyota
and BMW, due to the economic slump was a big blow.
But Todt thinks things are now on the up and he reckons the new teams are a good addition and will improve as time goes on.
"They are doing well for the first year, even if none of them have scored points, but they are respectable teams.
"They have been very brave to get into this business, but lots of teams and drivers have started by being uncompetitive before going to an upper level," he summed-up.