New McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident that Formula One can find new sources of revenue to replace backers badly affected by the financial downturn.
Financial services groups ING and RBS recently announced that they would not be renewing their respective deals with Renault and Williams when the current contracts end, while Honda's decision to sell its F1 team was indicative of the car industry's current difficulties.
But as he prepared to take over from Ron Dennis as the McLaren team boss, Whitmarsh pointed that out the sport had survived the loss of the tobacco sponsorship it once relied upon, so could cope if car manufacturers and financial sponsors had to scale back.
"There was a time when Formula One was perceived to be bankrolled by the tobacco industry," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"Then the automotive and banking firms came in, and they are now having an unprecedented revolution and recession. But Formula One still has a broader commercial appeal."
He believes the current spirit of unity between the teams, exemplified by the recently-formed Formula One Teams Association, gave F1 a much better chance of coping with the global slump.
"If we can get our act together, I think we can get on so much better," Whitmarsh continued. "What we've got to try and do is look at how we improve the show and stabilise the business. We have made a big effort to shed the scars and issues of the past."
Although FOTA has lent its weight to efforts to keep the Honda Racing team on the grid, Whitmarsh said this was due to the exceptional circumstances in the wider world, and suggested that teams would have to be more self-sufficient once the recession ended.
"If the normal world returns, then having some failure or means of promotion would be good," he said. "It seems to me that it would be unhealthy if in 10 years' time we had the same 10 teams lining up on the grid.
"Right now though, while we want to beat everyone, we also want them to be around, and healthy enough to compete."
Whitmarsh officially takes over from Dennis as McLaren F1 team principal today, and admitted that replacing the man who had been at the helm since 1980 would be a challenge - especially given the squad's 2008 success.
"I am a competitive person and being team principal adds a little zing this year," he was quoted as saying by the Independent.
"But in 12 months' time I don't want to be the team principal who did not help Lewis (Hamilton) to win the world championship again, so that does add pressure."