Ahead of great uncertainty about how the V6 turbos of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will compare, Whitmarsh has warned that if moves are not made to equalise performance then there is a risk of one of the carmakers walking away from F1.
"One of the concerns for the sport is that it becomes a power train race, and if one of those manufacturers doesn't do a good enough job at the start of next year, and doesn't have the scope by which they can become competitive, there is a pretty good chance they won't be in F1 for very long," explained Whitmarsh.
"That wouldn't be good for the sport. There is lots of speculation about who will have the most competitive engine next year and we will see, but I think the sport has to act responsibly.
"We have lost the only independent engine supplier [Cosworth] and in a way we probably mismanaged that.
"We must manage the situation so that we retain as many OEMS in the sport. They bring a lot of money and they bring a lot of stability to the sport, so we have to make sure that we act properly and that the teams feel the engine suppliers can provide a level playing field."
McLaren will be linking up with Honda from 2015, with the Japanese manufacturer set to become the fourth manufacturer in F1.