Lotus F1 deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has called for Formula 1 to review its business model and has given a stern warning if certain situations continue the sport will drive fans away.
With Sauber and Force India launching a compliant to the EU about the distribution of wealth in F1 and ongoing worries about the US Grand Prix potentially dropping off the calendar due to funding problems, Gastaldi feels the major parties involved in business decisions – the FIA, F1's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 Strategy Group – need to make changes as he fears problems may only get worse.
The Lotus F1 team also has an uncertain future after being threatened with administration by HMRC due to unpaid tax, but are expected to be saved by Renault who is set to purchase the Enstone-based team in the coming weeks.
“I believe it is crucial for Formula 1 to review its business model,” Gastaldi said. “There are so many financial issues throughout the sport, whether for teams or promoters, that it is hard to see where things will go.
“I know that both Mr Ecclestone and the FIA have been trying to change things and I also know that teams aren't always the easiest to work with when we have to join forces. Our agendas and situations differ too much and are almost always preceded with self-preservation.”
The Lotus deputy team principal has also warned if the issues surrounding funding and competition prevail it will be the loyal F1 fans who will also suffer.
“I have said this before we have to do everything that we can – all of us – to help promoters sell tickets. Without fans, where would we be?” he said.