Gerhard Berger says it is up to Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone to come together to find a way to make F1 sustainable.
In recent months several teams have highlighted the growing costs of competing in Formula One, which are again set to rise next season.
Asked about it in an interview with the Bild, former team boss Berger stated that the situation is not being helped by Todt and Ecclestone's vastly different views.
"The time is now," the Austrian told the German publication. "In Formula One, the old adage 'too many cooks spoil the broth' is more and more true.
"Previously president Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone worked as a unit. Today we have in Jean Todt and Ecclestone two chefs who have different tastes and different spices.
"This leads to confusions and it is difficult for many of the more experienced fans to understand."
He added: "Staying with the picture: the spices are used according to personal taste and are not always to the liking of the sport.
"The rules must be clear and sustainable and cannot be permanently changing. In football one could also make the field bigger, smaller, allow 15 players, 10 players, make the goal bigger, smaller. But they don't.
"Football is easy to understand, Formula One is not."
Asked whether a budget cap was 'inevitable', Berger said: "At first glance yes but it's not easy. I know all the arguments both for and against and you have to weight it up."
The former driver added that it is up to Todt and Ecclestone to find a solution.