Webber warns F1 over pay drivers, far-flung races

Mark Webber has warned Formula 1 that it risks losing its status as the pinnacle of motorsport if continues down its current trend of hiring pay drivers and racing in countries with little interest in the sport.

The Australian, who is set to depart at the end of the season after a career spanning 12 years, highlighted the current issue with teams hiring drivers with significant sponsorship over those who have raw talent.

"Formula 1 must keep the hot talent coming through and these drivers that have countries with their own race or got governments or absolute full-on commercial scenarios behind them to the tune of five, eight, ten million dollars, whatever it is, is not right," he told Sky Sports.

"We need [the talent] as a sport and Formula 1 must have it."

The 37-year-old also raised the trend of racing in countries with little interest in the sport, purely because the local government is willing to stump up millions to have a race.

He singled out this weekend's Korean Grand Prix as an example which, during it's three-year history, has failed to attract a significant crowd.

"I think keeping the quality is important, keeping the quality events," he added.

"Korea, there's no one there. We need to have quality events, quality drivers, quality teams and keep that going."