Why Mosley should quit – in his words

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Max Mosley, Monaco, 2007, 470150

I’ve been working on a short biography of Max Mosley for the “Who’s Who” section on the website and while reading an old interview with him I came across a very good argument for why he should resign.

And he made the case himself. Here it is:

In 1997 champion-elect Jacques Villeneuve had given an interview in which he described Max Mosley’s planned rules changes for 1998 (grooved tyres and narrower cars) using a choice four-letter expletive.

Mosley and the World Motor Sports Council hauled Villeneuve over the coals for his ill-advised remark. Here’s his explanation why:

It is not that we have got self important at the FIA: what bothered me and the World Council, was that you get these major companies looking to come into Formula 1 and spend untold millions of pounds in sponsorships. And, inevitably, you will always have a few in the company who might be against the idea and the investment and are looking for the merest excuse to exercise a veto.

It’s clear to the dumbest person you do not want to allow any doubts to build up that could sabotage the level of investment some of these companies are prepared to go to, and careless talk from drivers of Villeneuve’s stature, or anybody else for that matter who is high profile and influential, is sending out the wrong messages and giving the sceptics ammunition. It is like sawing through the branch you are sitting on. You’d be crazy to do it.

If using a swear word risks bringing F1 into disrepuite, then surely the same applies if you get caught abusing people for fun? Especially when it’s you’re job to punish those who break F1’s rules, and only last year handed out what was the largest fine the sport has ever seen by a factor of 20.

(Besides which, Villeneuve was right. Next year, wider cars and slick tyres may well be back.)

Here’s the updated Max Mosley biography and more biographies of F1 people.