Inevitable Max Mosley post #11

Max Mosley, FIA Gala, 2006, 470150

I wanted to ignore the inevitable Max Mosley stuff over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend and concentrate on the racing (at least, what little there was that passed for racing).

Pressure continues to grow on the FIA president to quit with sporting bodies shunning him and the teams considering making an official statement criticising him, and most importantly, Bernie Ecclestone turning against him.

The Israel episode

While attending the inaugural Jordan on Friday Mosley received an official invite to Israel by the country’s Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, Galeb Majadle. This could have been a significant step in the rehabilitation of the president in the public eye, not least because of the claimed Nazi overtones in the notorious video.

But within a few hours of the news becoming public the Israelis issued a public statement withdrawing the invitation:

The Minister, who was not at all aware of the scandal currently surrounding Mosley’s name, would like to make it now clear that his invitation was not intended to be personal to Mosley himself but rather to the representative of the FIA as a global organization.

In any event, once the scandal was brought to the Minister’s attention, he has requested to withdraw immediately any official invitation to Mosley until the matter is reviewed more thoroughly once back in Israel.

The phase “withdraw immediately” was highlighted in the original release. Mosley stuck to his explanation:

I fully understand the Minister?s position and look forward to resuming contact with him when the News of the World?s deliberate and calculated lies have been comprehensively refuted.

But any argument that the scandal is not interfering with his ability to do his job can surely not stand up in the face of this.

The teams’ discussion

The leaders of the teams met with Bernie Ecclestone on Saturday at the Spanish Grand Prix to discuss a response to the crisis in the FIA leadership.

According to Autosport the majority of them were concerned about the consequences for F1 of the Mosley scandal, but could not agree on what statement to make about it.

Although the owners of the BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda teams have made their feelings clear on the matter the teams themselves have not said anything.

According to The Times (whose reportage on the matter we should of course be wary of), “even Ecclestone has realised that the harm being done by Mosley to the image of Formula One, and the effect that it is having on sponsors, meant that something had to be done.”

Disagreement at Ferrari?

Fearrari’s former team principal Jean Todt, who has been widely tipped to succeed Mosley, unsurprisingly voiced support for him:

If you ask me if I’m happy with the actions of the president of the FIA since he’s been in office, I think he does a very good job. Therefore I hope he will have the opportunity to carry on his work for several more years.

President Luca di Montezemolo was more cautious:

I don’t like talking about other people’s personal issues. I prefer not to comment either in my name or Ferrari’s, since there are already too many censors and judges at large.

And according to Nigel Roebuck the new Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali would like to see Mosley go.

Compare and contrast

Another sex scandal has broken in the News of the World since then and the person at the centre of it could not have handled it more differently than Mosley.

Lord Laidlaw apologised and made a ??1m donation to a relevant charity. Craig explains the rest in this excellent post.

The lighter side

It must be hard being a monthly print magazine in the days of 24/7 internet coverage. The latest issue of F1 Racing came out quite a while after the scandal had broken so editor Hans Seeberg decided to restrict coverage of it to just his editorial:

We think you might be a bit border of orgies too, so we’ve decided to give it all a miss and concentrate on what really matters.

A noble sentiment and I certainly empathise with their distaste for the whole affair. But would these principles have reigned if they’d had a new scoop on the story? I doubt it.

Nelson Piquet Snr, meanwhile, made light of it all:

I am very upset with him. Very upset, because he didn’t invite anyone to his party!

Is there no-one in Formula 1 who has ever had a sex party?

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57 comments on Inevitable Max Mosley post #11

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  1. Dan Brunell said on 28th April 2008, 23:29

    In Maurice Hamilton’s podcast (not the five live one, the one he does with Ian Phillips of Force India, I believe it is call "The Formula One Show") he and Ian go into detail what went on during the team principles meeting. Interesting stuff.  (I would provide a link but the Guardian’ website is s@#. Your best bet is to find it on iTunes.)

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th April 2008, 23:33

    Thanks Dan – anything particularly interesting they had to say?

  3. Journeyer said on 28th April 2008, 23:57

    Here’s the podcast link.  Someone was nice enough to find it and post it in the comments of Maurice’s latest column.

  4. Priceless that Piquet quote.

  5. Dan Brunell said on 29th April 2008, 0:44

    The one thing I found interesting is that according to the podcast is that the teams were complaining about the upcoming KERS system and it turned into a debate about Max or something like that. I need to listen to it again.

    Thanks Journeyer for the link.

  6. Green Flag said on 29th April 2008, 1:35

    Heikki Kovalainen is living proof that Max Mosley and the FIA’s safety regulations and stringent testing programs – conceived, managed and enforced by Mosley, who we all hate because he runs the FIA his way – is doing an outstanding job. Max’s sexual peccadilloes pale into insignificance against this. I’m sure Heikki, when he gets around to thinking about it, will be very pleased that Max knows how to run the FIA and what’s good for motor racing, as we all should be.

  7. Journeyer said on 29th April 2008, 3:48

    Green Flag, I don’t think Mosley alone can take the credit for this one.  First, it’s great that he did it, yes, but now that it IS there, surely someone else can just continue what he’s started?  Time to move on and get fresh ideas.

    Second, someone else needs to be given as much credit for Kovalainen’s safety:

    "Marca has been speaking to Aman Barfull – head of the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia – who was full of praise for one Paco Mora. Paquillo, as he is otherwise known, is responsible for track maintenance at the Circuit de Catalunya. Following concerns about the corner where Heikki Kovalainen suffered a spectacular exit in this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, Paquillo ensured that three rows of loose tyres were upgraded to a five-deep stack, strapped together, ahead of this year’s race."

    Thanks to F1Break for the snippet.

  8. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th April 2008, 7:18

    That’s a great piece of information you’ve found there Journeyer.

  9. Journeyer said on 29th April 2008, 7:28

    I just found it from F1Break’s site.  Thank him too.  :)

  10. Rabi said on 29th April 2008, 10:20

    And it’s not just Max that was responsible for the safety aspect Green Flag there are various other events that lead to the increase in safety. The drivers had already expressed concerns in 1994 (before Imola) and the FIA were well aware of the dangers of going too fast as shown by the WRC Group B which got abolsihed back in the 80s very quickly.

    In fact if anything F1 was the last to change and I would blame Max over the deaths in 1994 as the opening races and pre-season had already shown the danger those cars were. If anything Max realised what the FIA had ignored and then introduced safety once tradegy had already struck. So yes well done for Max to eventually bring safety, but do remember that it was eventual and not instantaneous.

  11. Brar Soler said on 29th April 2008, 15:20

    If will be better if there was that asfhalt they use in someplaces between the kerb and guardrail  . The car lost aerodinamic adesion and hence mechanical adesion.

  12. Green Flag said on 29th April 2008, 16:01

    Of course Mosley didn’t invent all the car and track safety rules and standards himself but as head of the FIA it was his call to implement and enforce them and to ensure their continuous improvement.  F1 is now the safest high speed racing series, without a fatality, or even serious injury – bar Schumacher’s broken leg – in 14 years, despite some horrific crashes. And now the KERS regulations, which Max has championed, will make F1 even more technologically superior, faster because of the additional power, but with a great deal of real world relevance. Mosley has contributed much to motor sport – the FIA is more than F1 – and the controversy of the recent scandal should not be allowed to overshadow his accomplishments and foresight.

  13. Journeyer said on 29th April 2008, 16:31

    "And now the KERS regulations, which Max has championed, will make F1 even more technologically superior, faster because of the additional power, but with a great deal of real world relevance."

    Even that is being challenged by the manufacturers, who are saying that they could do a lot better than KERS (in terms of advancement and efficiency).

    "Mosley has contributed much to motor sport – the FIA is more than F1 – and the controversy of the recent scandal should not be allowed to overshadow his accomplishments and foresight."

    I think it should be the other way round.  True, he has achieved a lot, but it should not take away from the fact that what he did is unacceptable.  True, he has done a lot, but it does not make up for what he did in that apartment in any way.  Again, I appreciate what he’s done for the sport, and he’s left a great foundation for safety.  But it does not mean he’s irreplaceable.  Someone with fresh ideas can continue building up the foundation he would leave behind.

  14. Green Flag said on 29th April 2008, 16:52

    Journeyer – The KERS rules for 2009 are just a toe in the water, to get the ball rolling, and as Mosley has said, will probably increase from 60kW to 200 kW over the next 5 years or so.  Since current non-F1 KERS – your basic Prius and vehicles of that ilk – are very inefficient, power-to-weight wise particularly –  that a manufacturer can say they could do better is just not true.  The only major improvement that could be made to the F1 KERS is to use all wheels to generate power under braking, but that would mean a lot more weight and a complete redesign of the chassis. And if you’re going to generate power at the front you might as well use the power at the front, so you’d have all-wheel-drive, and F1 might not be ready for that yet. 

  15. Journeyer said on 29th April 2008, 18:14

    I think what they meant was that there were systems other than KERS that could achieve the same energy-saving goals more efficiently.  As least that’s what the opinion in the paddock is.  I guess it’s just that they like the energy-saving bit, but they hate the fact that they’re restricted to KERS and they can’t experiment on their own.

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