Sir Jackie Stewart has accused Formula One's governing body, the FIA, of a system breakdown at the US Grand Prix.
Stewart says the leadership of the sport must be looked at
Seven F1 teams face a FIA disciplinary hearing on Wednesday after pulling out of the race in Indianapolis last week.
But Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, told BBC Radio Five Live: "The infrastructure failed.
"The FIA communication system failed totally. In all the years, I've never seen such damage done, and I think it was avoidable."
Renault, McLaren, Williams, Toyota, Red Bull, Sauber and BAR have all been summoned to appear at the hearing in Paris on 29 June after withdrawing from last weekend's race because of tyre safety concerns.
But Stewart said the FIA could have handled the US Grand Prix fiasco better and kept the media and spectators more informed.
"The media didn't really know what was going on, even the public address announcer didn't know what was going on," he added.
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart believes F1 teams could boycott future races if the FIA hands out "draconian bans" to the seven teams at Wednesday's hearing.
Stewart said: "I think that would be scandalous. I think the sport, if it's allowed to be dealt with in that fashion, can't go on with the leadership it has if that is the case.
"We've got to have a workable organisation because those teams are being supported financially by multi-national corporations around the world."
Stoddart, whose team use Bridgestone tyres and did race in the US, has blamed FIA president Max Mosley for the incident and called for his resignation.
Stewart feels that it is definitely an option.
"I think it has to be looked at. I think there's been so much disruption caused by this event.
"In the normal business sector, where corporate life has a very dim view of that kind of situation being allowed to occur, the management of the whole structure is put into question.
"I think the people at the top are vulnerable."