Formula One teams could be driven out of Britain by tough European Union laws, Max Mosley, head of the sport's world governing body, has warned.
Mosley says the FIA would have no problem with teams relocating
The FIA president was speaking in response to claims the UK's £6bn motor racing industry could be threatened by anti-tobacco legislation due next July.
"The EU is strangled by unnecessary and excessive regulations," said Mosley.
"If you are involved in something that is at the cutting edge you've got to
question if this is the right place.
"If possible there are countries outside of the EU who might be able to make an offer to teams and also provide them with the facilities they needed.
"It is not too difficult to see that happening. We have 120 countries in the FIA and it would not matter to us if an F1 team wanted to relocate."
Seven of the 10 F1 teams are based in Britain and the industry supports the jobs of 6,000 people.
BAR team boss David Richards last week threatened to move his team abroad.
He said that an anomaly in a European Union directive to be introduced in 2005 would penalise British teams, preventing them from advertising tobacco, while foreign-based rivals could still carry the advertisements.
Mosley said other EU issues - such as the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which could see a team employee being
extradited if there is a death on the track, and legislation which limits
working hours - could also cause problems.