SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda is concerned about the direction Formula One is taking under its new ownership.
As its first season in charge comes to an end, Liberty Media -- which took control of the sport in January this year -- is starting to outline its vision for when the current contracts governing F1 expire at the end of 2020. A new engine formula with cheaper and louder power units is at the heart of F1's plans, among a raft of changes designed to encourage new competitors to enter the sport and make it easier for smaller teams to compete for victories.
However, Lauda -- whose Mercedes team has won the last four titles under the current set of regulations -- is not convinced by F1's blueprint for the future.
"I'm worried," Lauda told Gazzetto dello Sport. "It was right that the American owners needed time to understand what F1 is -- but that time is about to expire.
"And what they think about the future is worrying me. The FIA, Chase Carey and Ross Brawn repeat that we need to level off the performance, but the DNA of F1 is the opposite.
"You are a fool if you think that to make grands prix more attractive you need to have a different winner every weekend. F1 is about competition. Developing cars is one of the important foundations, as well as the bravery of the drivers.
"Instead, you want to penalise the best teams, and protect the drivers as if they are babies -- with the introduction of the halo for example."
A budget cap is also among the plans for F1's future, but Lauda says more details are required.
"It needs a more open project," he said. "For example, the budget cap. It is logical and correct but it needs a three-year plan to realise it.
"We have employees, so what do we do with them? Do we just cast them off and throw them on the road? For now Liberty has only announced that they want to introduce it, but they have not explained how they intend to realise it."
Ferrari has also voiced its concerns over F1's future after threatening to quit the sport earlier this month.