British favourite Nigel Mansell has slammed Formula One on eve of the British Grand Prix, claiming he can no longer 'go on defending the indefensible', when people claim it is a load of 'rubbish'.

Speaking to British newspaper, The Times, the 1992 world champion, added that he is 'disappointed' to see F1 in its current predicament.

"I'm sick of people coming up to me and saying what a load of rubbish Formula One is now," Mansell told the broadsheet. "I've tried to defend it because it meant such a lot to me for so many years, but even I can no longer go on defending the indefensible.

"How can you when there is virtually no overtaking on the track and little genuine excitement?

"The important overtaking happens in the pits. What you're left with is three sprint races between the pit stops rather than a proper, competitive grand prix and test of driving ability.

"We've had a few incidents at Monaco and Indianapolis, but overall the entertainment value has simply not been good enough. It saddens me to say it, but I'm just appalled at how the regulations are ruining Formula One. And it's not just the races.

"Fans are bemused and shocked at the way qualifying has been turned into a bore. Even a couple of team owners have told me Formula One is in a mess and they hate it. They don't enjoy going to grands prix any more. I find that amazing - yet significant.

"I still keep in touch with what's happening in Formula One and I'll usually sit down to watch the start of a grand prix, but after a few laps I find I can't watch any more and switch off. It's that bad."

Mansell was quick to point out though that Ferrari are not to blame.

"I have to stress first of all that I am not knocking Ferrari or Michael [Schumacher]," he continued. "They have done a fantastic job, not only this season but for a number of seasons and deserve their success.

"But then the regulations, far from helping the other teams, are helping Ferrari, who have an incredible record of reliability. Michael last had a breakdown three years ago, so which team is likely to be least affected by the one engine rule? Ferrari, of course. And if they do have to change an engine and forfeit places on the grid, they are the one team capable of making up those places. It's a Mickey Mouse rule and what we're left with is not a level playing field. I don't buy the argument about saving money. It's nothing compared with the cost of development and testing.

"A fundamental problem is that the cars are too easy to drive. The most inexperienced young driver can climb into a Formula One car and drive it competently. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport and engineering excellence, but it should be the ultimate test of driving ability. It is no longer that and, as a result, it is almost impossible to evaluate drivers.

"You can't judge anyone until you strip the cars of the technical stuff and put them back into the control of the drivers.

"Then you get a farce such as the one at the Canadian Grand Prix, where the Williams and Toyota cars were disqualified three hours after the race. How does that make Formula One look? Spectators pay good money to see the race. They go home thinking they know the result and then some time later discover it wasn't like that at all. We have to think more about the public and less about minor technicalities.

"The FIA have to address the whole situation sooner rather than later. They could turn it around quite quickly. When you hear that BMW are considering pulling out of Formula One it has to set off the alarm bells. There are only 20 cars now compared with 26 a few years ago. Grand-prix racing needs major manufacturers and new teams to be attracted to it. Formula One should be the greatest spectacle in motor sport and it's so disappointing to see the state that it's in."