Ross Brawn believes the decision by four of his rivals to quit the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) was short-sighted, and fears all the sport's competitors may live to regret it.
With Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Sauber and Scuderia Toro Rosso all having quit FOTA in the wake of ongoing wrangling over a Resource Restriction Agreement, there have been questions raised about the future of the organization. However, the remaining members of FOTA are wholly committed to it, and Brawn says he hopes that circumstances do not play out – such as in imminent talks over a new Concorde Agreement – where teams wish they had stuck together.
"We are very committed to FOTA, we believe it's a great shame that we've lost some of the members from FOTA because I think we may live ultimately to regret that," said the Mercedes boss. "When there was outside pressure, it pushed FOTA together. Now there is not so much [pressure], the natural competitiveness of the teams is pushing it apart a bit.
"I think we're very short-sighted with not recognizing that FOTA has a very important role to play. I think it is, unfortunately, the nature of F1 that we all seem to find it difficult to come together with these much bigger issues.
"I am a great believer in FOTA, but I am disappointed with what has happened in the last few months. I hope we don't regret it in Formula 1, because one of the objectives was to find the right solutions for F1, not just for individual teams."
Mercedes has been involved in talks with Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing to try and reach agreement on the RRA, following disagreements about various aspects of the deal teams are currently working to. Those discussions have not produced a positive outcome, but Brawn thinks it vital that efforts are ramped up to try and get the matter sorted.
"The RRA is very important," he said. "We have to find some means of restraining the costs in Formula 1, as technical and sporting regulations can only go so far.
"The concept is very important, but it does need everyone to commit to it and work together to find the best solution to having an RRA system. We are committed to it, and we are going to persevere to try and make sure it is applied properly and is part of the future of F1, because without it we are at higher risk."