Three-time Formula 1 world champion and non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team Niki Lauda has fired a warning shot at the sport's owners Liberty Media.

The 68-year-old Austrian has questioned the future direction of the sport as Liberty Media looks to bring in new rules that will level the playing field and make Formula 1 more focused on entertainment.

The American company announced cost-cutting measures and an engine proposal for the sport from 2021.

That view, while resonating with many sports fans, has angered leading team Ferrari, who threatened to walk away from the sport earlier in the week.

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Now the outspoken Lauda has backed the views of his team's biggest rival.

"It's right that the American owners needed time to understand what F1 is, but that is about to expire. And what they think about the future is worrying me," he told Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The FIA, Chase Carey and Ross Brawn repeat that we need to level off the performance, but the DNA of F1 is the opposite," he explained.

"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."