Battle lines are drawn on Mosley vote

A series of letters and new revelations in the past 24 hours has shed light on the state of play ahead of the FIA’s confidence vote on June 3rd.

Here’s a brief recap on the latest developments.

A group of 24 clubs from 22 countries wrote to Mosley urging to resign before the vote. In a letter to Mosley they criticised him for “putting personal considerations before the interests of the FIA and its member clubs”, saying:

The FIA is in a critical situation. Its image, reputation and credibility are being severely eroded. Every additional day that this situation persists, the damage increases. There is no way back. […]

We take note of the letter sent by B. Ecclestone to all member clubs, stating his support for the FIA as the sole body governing international motor sport and his willingness to continue working with the FIA, irrespective of the result of the Extraordinary General Assembly on June 3rd.

We believe that his explanations put in due perspective the state of the relationship between the FIA and the Formula 1 world, taking away relevance to many of the arguments you make in your letter to justify your continuity. We take note of his point on the importance that the FIA be led by a credible and respected president. […]

We strongly believe that the only respectable way forward for the FIA, and for yourself, is to have an orderly transition, with an immediate agreement and your commitment to step down.

The signatories to the letter were the AAA and AATA (United States), ADAC (Germany), JAF (Japan), CAA (Canada), CCB (Brazil), KNAC (The Netherlands), M (Sweden), MAK (Hungary), MEMSI (Israel), OEMTC (Austria), RACC and RACE (Spain), TCB (Belgium), TCS (Switzerland), AAS (Singapore), AL (Finland), FDM (Denmark), FFA and FFSA (France) and FIAA (India).

According to the New Zealand, Australian and South African motoring clubs have also expressed criticism of Mosley but are not signatories to the letter.

The Russian Federation of Auto Sport and Tourism (R-FAST) has also indicated its support for the position laid down in the letter. But it has indicated it will be represented at the meeting by a proxy vote from the Belarus motoring club, which in turn may not be attending because it has not paid its membership fees, depriving those against Mosley of some badly-needed votes.

The signatories to the letter may represent some of the most active motor racing nations (Britain’s MSA a notable exception) but they only account for a small proportion of the votes in the General Assembly, estimated at somewhere between 10% and 25%, even though they claim to represent around 100m motorists. A majority of voters at the Assembly (51% or more) is needed to pass a resolution against Mosley.

There is conflicting information about exactly what role abstentions may play in the vote. Writing in Autosport recently Mark Hughes understood that an abstention would be interpreted as meaning a vote of support for the president. Joe Saward writing on believes they would be counted in support of the motion, i.e. against Mosley in this case. This is obviously a very important point and if anyone could give me a definitive answer on which one is correct I’d be very grateful.

Mosley responded to the letter from the clubs in characteristically indignant fashion. He pointed out in bold letters past occasions on which some of the signatories to the letter had opposed his policies.

This has led many to the logical conclusion that what we are witnessing is a pitched battle for undecided voters ahead of the meeting on Tuesday between Mosley and his opponents.

In his letter Mosley also tried to quietly climb down from his earlier assertion that Bernie Ecclestone is trying to wrest control of F1’s regulations from the FIA. He described Ecclestone’s letter to the clubs as: “a sudden and major change in position.”

There will doubtless be further developments in this story over the coming days. I still think Mosley should resign and I still don’t believe much of what he put in his letter to the teams the other week.

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22 comments on Battle lines are drawn on Mosley vote

  1. Robert McKay said on 29th May 2008, 21:35

    Gosh, the whole “letters” thing is pretty quaint, isn’t it?

    But seriously, person/organisation X sends a letter claiming A, B and C to person/organisation Y, person/organisation Y sends a letter to X claiming A, B, and C are false, and further D, E and F are true, person Z jumps in and tells X and Y that everything is false and actually G is true…. YAWN. It’s getting like ruddy Question Time, or something – claim and counterclaim. BORED NOW. Lets get the vote done with and move this thing along a bit.

  2. Rabi said on 29th May 2008, 21:56

    What more do you expect when lawyers and bureaucrats are involved.

  3. Gman said on 29th May 2008, 22:19

    My thoughts exactly Robert…

  4. Sush said on 29th May 2008, 23:44

    AWESOME !! robert is quite clearly stating that they are in fact playing a playstation game, I hope its tekken 3, eddie gordon rocks.

    i’m sick and tired of Bernie and Max (although I love politics), can’t they just fire both of them and put the person us F1 fans really love in a position of power…

    Ted Kravitz.

    the man needs an autobiography now. and superpowers.

  5. Ago said on 29th May 2008, 23:47

    If you want mine (my thoughts I mean) this is now the 4th article (out of 9) about Mosley and/or FIA on this blog’s main page. Anything to do with the sport we love?
    Somebody can explain?
    Rabi, when lawyers are involved we expect justice, when they are not then you can expect gross injustice.

  6. Rabi said on 30th May 2008, 0:07

    When lawyers are involved I expect a lot of cloak and dagger, backstabbing, under the table money, over the table threats and blackmail. Seriously the last thing I think of is justice when lawyers get involved – it’s just a game of paperwork and arguing left right and centre over a subject matter.

    If justice is to be served then Max needs to resign period, not because he’s had some hookers etc etc but because he is not able to perform his job.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2008, 0:25

    Ago – It’s the biggest developing story in F1 right now. We could be facing the first change in FIA president in 15 years. The credibility of the entire sport is being mocked daily on the international stage and has been since the end of March. On some days up to 80% of this site’s traffic has been people looking for the latest on the Mosley story. Do you seriously expect me to ignore it?

    Don’t think I don’t share your distaste for it, by the way (see here).

  8. Ago said on 30th May 2008, 7:40

    Rabi : Democraty, our freedom is based upon Law and lawyers. Showing no respect for them is insulting. You are the procecutor and the judge that is not good justice is it?

    Keith: The biggest developping story in F1? What make you think that?
    I just did a google search with “mosley sex scandal” I had 322,000 answers (131,000 from the UK). A search on “Hamilton GP monaco” returns 2,830,000 (284,000 from the UK) I know this is not an absolute proof but it is certainly not going your direction is it?

    80% of your readers look for this kind of stories? Well put more articles it will then self justify ;-) remove all other articles it will be 100%.

    We know the general public like to read about scandals and only a small amount of people are F1 fans… I have no figure to proove my case but I do believe that Autosport (my bible) doesn’t have 80% of its visitors looking for the Mosley story, and doesn’t have 4/9 of their news about it either.

    I don’t expect you to do anything special, I read what you write this is your blog. I’m just telling you I might not read it in the future, and I might not be the only one. It’s a pity because I like the rest of what you write.
    Have a nice day ;-)

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2008, 8:48

    Ago – your comparison of search terms is flawed and at any rate I have written much more about the Monaco Grand Prix than I have about Mosley. Since Saturday there have been 26 new articles published here: 12 on the Monaco Grand Prix, five on Mosley, and nine on other topics. On top of that there will be at least three non-Mosley articles added to the site today.

    Since the story broke in March I have written 18 articles on it and Autosport has written 64. Are they wrong to give it so much coverage? Am I? No, because, as I pointed out in my last comment, the potential ramifications for Formula 1 and the FIA are huge.

    You have made your point that you don’t think Mosley should resign and, although I don’t agree, it’s a fair point of view. But you simply cannot persuade me that this isn’t a story and it should be ignored.

  10. Sush said on 30th May 2008, 9:05

    search terms versus traffic.


  11. Michael K said on 30th May 2008, 9:50

    Hihi, Ago, I think any lawyer who reads your idealistic view of the respected, gentleman lawyer who fights for justice is laughing his head off. It’s a cynical business and what Rabi writes is of course the only right way to see this business, especially at the level that we are seeing here.
    And baaaaaack to the discussion, I don’t think this is boring at all, as right now the final positions before the showdown are being taken. Kind of like a “High-Noon” in a spaghetti-western, only that it’s just Max out alone on the street on one side, with a band of enemies on the other side.
    But the real decision will come when the fire is finally opened, from the “spectators” who haven’t taken a clear position yet and will start shooting into one direction or another.
    It’s good to see Max reaching new lows in the whole process though, because even if he comes out of this victorious, he will be badly wounded and will probably be slowly demoted. He has the main organisations who represent a lot of money and also the main F1 manufacturers against him, if they don’t win now, they’ll win later…

  12. Sush said on 30th May 2008, 10:15

    the following is what mosley wrote back to the members of the FIA that wanted him to back down….
    “In the interest of transparency, I am sending a copy of your letter together with this reply to all the member clubs of the FIA.”

    to the rest of the FIA, surely as a matter of transparency he should have included all the letters of support too?, did he?

    a resounding NO HE DIDN’T.

  13. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr said on 30th May 2008, 11:51

    ago- this is the biggest story in f1 right now, especially in between the grand prix’s. any decent f1 site are covering it. if you dont want to read it, dont no one is forcing you are they

  14. It is certainly boring – that is what they want(mosley that is) – if people get bored with an incident – then others can then quietly let the matter drop and sweep it under the carpet – the present and past governments have done this for eons – but could anyone meet this person and shake hands with him without thinking what those hands had been used for?

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