Martin Whitmarsh says the F1 teams need to work together to cut costs rather than "lobbing bricks at each other."
The cost of competing in Formula One is set to rise next season with the introduction of the new 1.6-litre V6 engines. The new units reportedly cost double this year's V8.
However, that's not the only price hike the teams face as they also have to deal with the daily rising costs of life.
And they will have to do it without a Resource Restriction Agreement forcing them to keep within certain limits after four teams; Red Bull, Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber; withdrew from FOTA.
The teams' inability to come to an agreement recently led to Bernie Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners co-founder blaming the teams for the spiralling costs.
"They have a point. The teams have to live in the commercial reality of the monies available," said McLaren team boss Whitmarsh.
"At the moment teams haven't controlled their costs enough, which is a never-ending project.
"Most healthy businesses are trying to control costs and maximise revenue, and in my view we're not doing a good enough job with both of those things.
"Any team not making a profit is spending too much money, which is a fundamental business error and not very sustainable.
"We can certainly do a better job if we work together rather than lobbing bricks at each other, which is sometimes what we end up doing.
"Undoubtedly we could work better together and say 'right, how do we make it even better than this?'
"So rather than talk about how it is spiralling down, how do we go out there and make this a dynamic and even more successful sport?
"As I say, we're not actively working together, and that's a shame."
Whitmarsh, though, believes Formula One has enough going for it, including new sponsors, to ensure the long-term future of the sport.
"We have this culture in F1 where we're pretty good at being negative and we home in on the deficiencies.
"If we're honest about it, and you stand back, there are positives.
"Primarily we've a fantastic sport which has huge potential. Bernie has done a fantastic job over the years to commercialise Formula One.
"We put on a great show, audiences are good, we're moving to relevant technologies, there are new sponsors coming in after what has been a difficult time, so the future looks more positive in that regard.
"There is a lot of good work being done, but we all know if we work together - with all the other partners in Formula One - we can make it even more successful.
"We're a multi-billion dollar entertainment business that needs to go out there and work harder."