Max Mosley says his main regret when his term as FIA president ends later this year will be that the governing body was unable to develop motorsport further in emerging nations such as China and India.
India is set to join the Formula 1 calendar in 2011, and has had some representation in the World Championship via former Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan and Vijay Mallya's Force India team, while China has hosted a grand prix since 2004 but has yet to attract significant spectator figures or produce an F1 driver. Mosley feels the FIA should have worked to put a grass-roots racing infrastructure in places in those countries first.
"If we had organized karting for young people, talent would have emerged," Mosley told Britain's Evening Standard newspaper. "Lewis Hamilton started that way, Ayrton Senna was karting at six.
"Motorsport is a middle-class sport, not one for impoverished Third World countries, but there is a growing middle class in China or India and we could have done more."
Mosley denied that his defeat over plans for budget caps in F1 earlier this year would also be a source of regret. He said he was satisfied that his ultimate goal of substantially reducing the cost of competing in F1 would still be achieved via the teams' own methods.
"Too many teams opposed it," said Mosley. "In the end, we are a democracy. What has happened is teams are going to get to the level of early '90s by the end of 2011 – the same sort of issue as the cost cuts."