F1's teams' organisation must remain united in the face of adversity - that is the shared view of both McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh and Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo as FOTA faces the dual threat of RRA rebellion and dissatisfied backmarkers.
While di Montezemolo warns of the damage a split may cause, Whitmarsh, who combines his McLaren role with the FOTA chair, remained confident that unity could be achieved, despite the recent departure of Hispania Racing.
"If the teams know how to remain united and work in constructive fashion, as part of the virtuoso triangle alongside the FIA and the commercial rights holder, than this organisation has a future," he told journalists during Ferrasri's traditional pre-season Wrooom
event in Italy.
"When I was president, it was a different more difficult time, whereas now the atmosphere is calmer. [However], the fact remains that F1 has to be the highest level of this sport, therefore there cannot be too big a gap between the big and small teams in terms of how competitive they are."
Although the teams' body remained united in the face of FIA-led regulation changes in 2009, cracks have begun to show in recent weeks, with HRT leaving amid claims that FOTA focuses to heavily on the monied outfits at the front of the field, and tension over suggestions that double champions Red Bull Racing broke the FOTA-negotiated Resource Restriction Agreement [RRA] by over-spending in pursuit of its success.
To make matters worse, RBR is also reportedly opposing a revised version of the RRA, which will take the sport through to 2017.
"I have heard these stories, but I don't know if they are true," di Montemezolo continued, admitting that the question marks over RBR underlined concerns that the RRA could not be adequately monitored.
"If they turn out to be correct, then it shows that our long-held view that we are against an artificial cap is the right one," the Italian commented, "It is impossible to run checks when, for example, there are companies involved which can manufacture in various countries.
"However, there are always polemical situations in F1. I am pleased to see that, after the Brawn GP comet and its titles which, might I say came with some technical 'drug taking', we then had another team taking both titles last year, one that is maybe not yet in the habit of winning. It's part of the game and it's great, but maybe, when others have won ten per cent of what Ferrari has won, then they can also have their say."