Rival drivers: F1 needs Ferrari
Nick Heidfeld has reminded the FIA of their obligation to the fans following president Max Mosley's shock attack on Ferrari.
After an exchange of letters last week with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in relation to the budget cap, Mosley later claimed Formula One could live without the sport's most iconic brand.
Politically motivated the remark may have been as there is a battle being waged between the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association, of which di Montezemolo is chairman.
But as far as the drivers are concerned, after they were canvassed ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the feeling is that without Ferrari, there is no Formula One.
BMW's Heidfeld was the most pointed, referencing the fact the FIA had only recently conducted a worldwide survey of a broad cross-section of the public as to how F1 could be more attractive.
"It was a bit strange hearing that (comment) from him (Mosley)," said Heidfeld.
"I thought people were looking and listening to the fans worldwide, and Ferrari is obviously the biggest name in F1 with many fans.
"They have been there since the very beginning, so for sure they belong in F1."
World Champion Lewis Hamilton admitted he "couldn't imagine it", whilst two-time Champion Fernando Alonso added: "No, impossible."
Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, currently with Force India, pointed out that "Without Ferrari, I don't think it would be Formula One any more".
As for one of Ferrari's current stars, Felipe Massa, he admits to being thoroughly dismayed by the politics that surround the sport.
Shying away from Mosley's remark, Massa said: "For the moment there are so many political games around Formula One, I don't want to put myself in the middle.
"The only thing I can say is that it would be nice to have a better sport - less political and more sport.
"There are now more politics than there has ever been, and I'm not happy about that."