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

  1. Fireblade said on 1st May 2008, 11:29

    -my sources are composed of 4 different languages,which means that my information scope is much wider and -even when alot of people do not like to admit it-much deeper and has much more substance.
    -To Alianora La Canta:
    Anyone can lecture Ron Dennis on ethics…and especially after the spy affair..If u can read or decode German (I doubt u do),read what Ron Dennis Said to Franz Tost at the Spanish GP before u start to bark…Then we can talk…Do ur home work first,then start to discuss anything!

  2. Rabi said on 1st May 2008, 11:46

    Listen Fireblade if you are going to make claims and point fingers about xyz then you should post the links so we can take a look at them ourselves. We are all able to speak different languages so don’t use that as an excuse for us to read and scan whatever sources you are claiming exist.  

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st May 2008, 11:58

    The number of different languages that sources are written in says nothing about their veracity.

    For example, if someone quoted the German equivalent of The Guardian I’d be more likely to take it seriously than if they cited the Dutch equivalent of the Daily Sport.

    But that’s besides the point, Fireblade, if you don’t share these sources with us.

    I see a member of the Czech Automobile Association has made an ‘ambivalent and unclear‘ implication of Dennis’s involvement, and according to Dennis he is: "writing to Mr Novak and currently considering the appropriate route via which the remarks that have been attributed to him may be withdrawn or corrected."

    Fireblade seems to be under the impression this blog has not concerned itself with the question of how the Mosley allegations came to light, in which case I suggest they read this post and especially the section titles ‘character assassination’: Why Max Mosley should resign where I stated:

    A controversial figure such as Mosley is never short of critics and enemies, and only last year clashed publicly with McLaren in the ’spygate’ scandal. Any number of people might bear a grudge against him.

    Lastly can I encourage everyone to keep the discussion on the facts of the matter and not resort to insults (as stipulated in the comment policy). I’ve deleted and edited a few comments for this reason.

  4. Fireblade said on 1st May 2008, 12:38

    -Auto motor und Sport…is an example of my sources…and it has no english equivalent!Their sources are definetly much more reliable than one of those English counterparts!
    -Who is a controversial figure:Mad Max or Ron Dennis?The spy affair king ( a grave professional mistake..fact of life) or someone who did enjoy his private life and was filmed to achieve a sponsored character assassination?

  5. Character assassination? Mosley has PROVEN he has no character, which is why he should go. A man of CHARACTER would own up to his PERSONAL failings and remove himself from the limelight.

    I fully agree that Ron Dennis claiming no knowledge of Max’s plight rings hollow after his similar statements last year concerning Spygate. Do I believe he has knowledge of who dunit? No. As for Mr. Novak’s statement, it will be interesting to hear his sources that generated that comment.

  6. I didn’t say that Tost couldn’t try to lecture Dennis on ethics. It’s just that since Tost’s record on ethics is considerably worse than Dennis’, I am not exactly obliged to take Franz seriously when he does…

    As for the four-languages thing, Fireblade, well done on your linguistic dexterity. However, I read several languages of articles as well. Granted, I use Babelfish to translate those items that are neither in English nor in Spanish (and what I remember from my language studies to piece together the inevitable errors it makes), but then so can anyone else who wants to do it. Babelfish can decode many languages ranging from German to Russian – a very useful tool for anyone who wants to expand their horizons (pity it doesn’t decode computer error messages, but that’s another story…)

    So even if you do read four languages fluently, that doesn’t necessarily mean I with my lesser linguistic achievements won’t have understood the same articles you have read. The trick is to assess each individual source and story for validity, biases, misunderstandings etc. and then piece together what is likely after taking those things into account.

    In future, could you please link to items you are talking about when asked about them?

    Then we may be able to find the lecture Franz gave Ron. I’ve looked on the Auto Motor und Sport site, and the nearest I can find is Franz commenting on the car they’re wanting to debut in Turkey…

    The WMSC transcripts, for instance, make it clear that the only "evidence" that the Ferrari/McLaren mess ever involved more than four rogue employees (one from Ferrari, three from McLaren) was Max Mosley’s own repeated opinions. A prosecuting lawyer’s opinion does not constitute evidence – in any language. It’s all in writing in the PDF files provided by the FIA, and Max himself confirmed it in an interview he gave to the Paddock, which the FIA itself decided was worth a link, despite being pro-Mosley…

    Those that are claiming McLaren’s guilty verdict is based on hard evidence of widespread wrongdoing, or even wrongdoing outside the circle of Coughlan, Alonso and de la Rosa, are relying on sources that didn’t analyse the primary paperwork properly (or using the summaries the FIA provided that do not accurately reflect what the transcripts themselves reveal).

    As for "character assassination", if Max hadn’t made so many mistakes before the scandal, nobody would have taken advantage of it. If Max had issued a swift confirmation of which bits were true and false (five days after the allegations appeared is not quick), apologised for unintended offence and kept a low profile for a while, even the past professional errors would have not been enough to remove him. As it is, he merely gave his critics an opportunity to oust and disregard him. Sad but true.

  7. Last word from Joe Saward. Lordy, I wish he would name names: http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=34667

  8. Sorry, Chris Balfe.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd May 2008, 7:25

    According to Terry Lovell’s "Bernie’s Game", the journalist in question in the Balfe article is Peter Windsor who was involved in a bid to buy Motor Racing Developments, who ran the Brabham team, when the outfit was going under in the early ’90s.

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd May 2008, 15:13

    I’ve had to do some more editing on this comment thread – can I remind everyone of the terms of the comment policy again.

    Please note if you’ve had a comment deleted you’ve probably also had an email explaining why.

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th May 2008, 16:45

    The Czech official who linked Ron Dennis to the Mosley sex scandal has apologised to McLaren.

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