David Richards has called on Liberty Media to ensure the smaller F1 teams are "looked after" amid the global pandemic and economic crash.
Formerly an F1 team boss, Richards is now head of Motorsport UK, Britain's motorsport governing body.
Most Formula 1 teams are based in England, and are staring into a long period without racing and therefore a considerable chunk of their ongoing funding.
"A lot will depend on the way Formula 1 behaves throughout this," Richards told Press Association.
"F1 cannot afford to lose teams at the back of the grid because that would be a disaster for them.
"Bernie (Ecclestone) made sure that when there were tough times, the smaller teams were looked after, and I hope that Liberty sees the common sense in that too."
Richards said that while the big teams will survive, there is a "distinct danger" that smaller outfits like Williams and Racing Point will not.
"There will be motorsport companies who do not have the resources to get through this period. It is going to be a real challenge," he added.
Some observers are worried that Formula 1 itself will be in real financial trouble before long. The sport's FWONK stock price was $48 in January and has slumped to as little as $20 amid the pandemic.
"New owners for F1 are looking very likely, very soon," observed F1 photographer Darren Heath on Twitter."Highly highly likely," agreed respected F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, from his account Formula Money.