Mosley’s latest attack is another desperate attempt to cling to power

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mosley is trying to reignite fears of a breakaway FOTA championship
Mosley is trying to reignite fears of a breakaway FOTA championship

If Mosley was hoping his latest broadside against the F1 teams would goad FOTA into reviving their threat of a breakaway championship, it didn’t work. So he took matters into his own hands, writing to FIA members to warn them:

No doubt we face a difficult period. This may well result in short-term problems in Formula 1. It is possible that FOTA will set up an independent series.
Max Mosley

This is a desperate last throw of the dice which Mosley hopes will offer him a means of clinging onto his presidency.

The flaws and contradictions in Mosley?s latest stance were picked apart by F1 Fanatic readers (see yesterday’s comment thread for more).

FOTA hasn’t responded directly but their website contains a transcript of Wednesday’s press conference from which the contentious word “dictator” is conspicuously absent.

Other sources have quoted Luca di Montezemolo describing Mosley using the word, which is apparently one of his major objections, but that is besides the point. Mosley’s willingness to seize on the slightest perceived infraction to rip up the deal reached one Wednesday tells us two things:

One, he is not happy with the deal (and his claims he was planning to step down in October are, of course, nonsense). And two, he will do anything he can to undermine it.

What does stand out in the FOTA transcript is this remark from Toyota?s John Howett:

The federation is an independent body with its own constitution, and it will be their business who they elect as the future successor to their president.
John Howett

Mosley?s claim the manufacturers do not intend to respect this independence directly contradicts what Howett said:

Member clubs of the FIA from all over the world have made it clear that they will never allow the car industry to decide who may and who may not be president of the FIA.
Max Mosley

Claiming he must remain in office in order to resist a threat to the FIA is a typical Mosley tactic, one he returns to when his position is threatened. He resorted to similar claims about Formula One Group when striving to win a vote of confidence during the sadomasochism scandal last year.

Mosley?s over-reaction is beyond unreasonable. It is an utterly transparent attempt to cling to power on the flimsiest pretext.

He has fatally underestimated Luca di Montezemolo – and Mosley also failed to appreciate that his belligerent style has galvanised the teams into an unprecedented display of unity. Yet he is still trying to drive a wedge between them:

We have heard a lot from FOTA about an independent court of appeal. Yet during the controversy over the “double diffuser”, a manufacturer team repeatedly lobbied me (wholly improperly) to intervene with the FIA Court of Appeal and have the double diffuser declared illegal. The FIA Court would never listen to such an approach but it shows that for the team in question, “independent” means independent of the other teams and under the control of particular interests.
Max Mosley

Having cowed him into submission once, what makes Mosley think he can get a different result a second time?

Perhaps tellingly, FOTA and Bernie Ecclestone have not yet responded. The worst thing, for a man used to being feared, is to find himself ignored.

Read more: New Mosley threat over ??dictator?? claims puts FIA-FOTA deal in jeopardy

159 comments on “Mosley’s latest attack is another desperate attempt to cling to power”

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  1. In this case as much as I hate to do it I have to take MM’s side.
    After reading the article yesterday I emailed FOTA and told them Montezemolo’s comments were totalling inappropriate given FOTA’s clear win in the debate. There was nothing to be gained by rubbing Mosleuy’s nose in it and they have yet to deal with BE and these comments will not help.
    It was predictable that MM would react this way given he is a proud man who has, whether we like it or not done a lot for the sport and the industry. If we had what we have now in safety issues Senna would be alive and Villenueve would have lived to see his son race.
    If the deal goes south it will be because of Montezemolo. Maybe it is time he and Flav both left and went to play golf with Ron Dennis. If BE retired all these little kings would be out and calmer more rational heads could prevail.

    1. It was predictable that MM would react this way given he is a proud man

      Predictable, perhaps. Justifiable? Not in the slightest.

      If we had what we have now in safety issues Senna would be alive and Villenueve would have lived to see his son race.

      That’s a whole different debate, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me Mosley’s safety campaign was anything other than reactive following what happened to Senna, and without Senna’s death might not have happened at all.

      1. Oh couldn’t agree more Keith, as you well know.

        You been reading my email or something?

        Funny how that point has come about betwen us in a matter of days.

      2. Wouldn`t calling people “loonies” be seen as equally inappropriate?

        Bernie gave Prof. Sid Watkins the job of F1 medic around 30 years ago. Personally, I think he`s done as much, if not more, for safety in F1 than Max.
        Here`s an old but good article about Sid

        Much of Max` recognition is for the motoring side as you can see from his CV on the FIA site

        1. By any chance, does anyone have Prof. Sid Watkins pic to share?

      3. When the media, and many others condemned Mosley for his private life, was that justifiable? here we are asking a man to be reasonable….

      4. Yes, Keith, I think it was predictable and those guy who know Max for more than 20 years should anticipate his reaction. They should be a little more low profile on his triumph speech…

        I´m not at Mosley´s side, but when Luca says “no more dictatorship” we all know here how this could affect Mosley´s psyche…

        You could sort his reaction as senile or childish, but, yes, it was predictable and the FOTA´s guys should know that…

        1. Perhaps LDM might have been referring to FOTA’s new stance that they should be included in any decision being made concerning F1 and not a direct attack on Max.

        2. I´m not at Mosley´s side, but when Luca says “no more dictatorship” we all know here how this could affect Mosley´s psyche…

          I’ve been reading every transcription of FOTA’s declarations and I couldn’t found anyone of Luca di Montezemolo saying something near to that.

          Could somebody give me some link in wich I can read this kind of declaration from Luca, or at least some indications about when he told that?

          Thanks in advance.

      5. It was predictable that MM would react this way given he is a proud man

        Predictable, perhaps. Justifiable? Not in the slightest.

        Would you say Montezemolo’s comments are justifiable, even if they were true ?

    2. Forgive me, but IMHO it is Max and will be Max always, who wants this deal to go south. He went into WMSC meeting, saying we’ll contend in the election this October. He came out saying, since everything is OK and the deal was secured between FOTA and FIA, he will not be contending this October.

      Oh, please someone correct me, if I’m wrong. Doesn’t he know that the was secured last night with Bernie and Luca when he was going into WMSC meeting? He’ll always look for a way to get into power, in any scenario. Even if FOTA had not responded anything, he will find a reason from somewhere else.

      Even if Luca had delivered such a comment, I wouldn’t blame him for the deal going south. After all the insults and threats from Mosley, FOTA can say that. While the man you’re fighting plays foul with you, there is no point being fair to him.

      I’ll say the same point ‘Luca was wrong to make that statement’ but for different reason… He should’ve known Mosley’s politics (plan to cling to the power) and hence his reaction, after fighting him this long.

    3. You are probably the only 1 on MM side.

      1. wrong post spot..sorry

    4. Alex 3. You obviously have not been following things properly for the past several months let alone 15 years. It was not only Mosley who initiated those safety changes and regardless of the fact, what Mosley is getting now he has done to himself, simple and clear.

      And this is far beyond what you are thinking about. The issue here is governance of the FIA – which is corrupted by one man. Stability in technical and financial regulations are important to the teams and to the manufacturers. Teams have been trying to bargain with FIA in a very nice way over the several months period, but Mosley has a personal agenda of power. If we look at things only from a business perspective, a company such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota, and other famous international automobile manufacturers that are involved in F1 are in NO WAY going to allow FIA to snoop into their financial dealings and financial transactions (which is what Mosleys 2010 regulations required). Additionally, monitoring and spying on the financial of these massive businesses is beyond the jurisdiction of the FIA! But Mosley kept insisting and that is how we got to this point. so STOP TALKING RUBBISH!

    5. and my dumb mind thought that this man can sink no lower!!!!!

  2. “Perhaps tellingly, FOTA and Bernie Ecclestone have not yet responded. The worst thing, for a man used to being feared, is to find himself ignored.”

    nice line Kieth… but he is not a man! do you think Max Mosley reads this blog, or at least he knows that there are places like this where fans are open for their views? :) I think, you should ask him to read this article (and earlier ones) and our comments (if not done already)

    Thanks for running this blog. In all this non-sense, it is actually good to see the comments from the real F1 fanatics.

  3. He will never let go. Somehow he just needs to be gotten rid of so we dont have to put up with his egotistical crap any more.

  4. Pedro Andrade
    26th June 2009, 21:16

    Excellent post Keith. One more point I’ll add to what you said:

    “The FIA Court would never listen to such an approach but it shows that for the team in question, “independent” means independent of the other teams and under the control of particular interests.”

    How come? Howett was speaking on behalf of FOTA, and since when is calling for a president that is independent from ANY of the teams unreasonable?

    Like I said in the previous post, I’m not sure if this guy’s mental health is ok. He looks completely unbalanced. He’s so off the mark that I’m not even sure what goal he is trying to accomplish.

    1. It is obvious that Mosley is not mentally normal. He has completely lost the touch of reality and life. He is just losing it completely because nothing he says and does anymore sounds even 0.1% logical.

      1. Well if MOsley not mentally normal, and i agree 100%, what does that say for the rest of the FIA and WMSC? Are they as bad as Mosley or just too afraid of him?

        1. Only possible answer is that they are not allowed to voice their opinion, keeping a blind eye. OR they are indeed brain washed and just as bad as Mosley. In which case there is no point in playing these ridiculous games with FIA, and FOTA need to seriously move on with a new championship. Its just like getting divorced, there is a bit of pain and sadness but you have to move on and eventually you will find something better. FOTa has made a grave mistake by signing any deals with FIA under the current circumstances.

          1. we seem to be on the same wavelength Maksutov, maybe we could have a more indepth chat about our views in email if you like, Mine is

          2. That email thing goes for anyone who thinks we might be of the same or similar view

  5. Pedro Andrade
    26th June 2009, 21:24

    Montezemolo responds:

    Nice, calm response to Mosley, without bickering, name-calling, and what I think is also important, no apology.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      26th June 2009, 21:38

      Yes, I think it’s a good measured response. But this bit made me raise my eyebrows -“Maybe the possibility to have some teams or all the teams to run even a third car . . .”
      Luca knows there are thirteen two-car teams entered for twenty six places on the FIA Formula 1 grid next year. So what exactly is he describing? A thirty nine car grid, or something else completely different?
      I just don’t think this affair is settled yet, and in many ways it would not surprise me if FOTA are carrying on with preparations for an alternative series in secret, just in case . . .
      In their position, I know I would.

      1. The article is from a pre-arranged question & answer session with fans which was announced before Mosley lost his latest marbles.
        All the statements were made in reply to various questions which fans had asked. It wasn`t in any way a response to Max.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          27th June 2009, 0:24

          A-ha! So he is describing a pre-ceasefire contingency is he?

          1. No, the questions wer taken from the fans until Friday when he then answered them.

            The only article I’ve seen whcih really deals with any sort of response was in The Times & that was more a non-response ;)

  6. What Max has finally realised (too late) is that as a unit, FOTA is a very potent force. He’s desperately holding on, but he knows (& we knows) he’s finally losing his grip.

    Perhaps, if we, the fans, took a similar attitude to FOTA, we could make a difference?

  7. As far as Mosley goes its time for a change.

  8. OK, I haven’t followed all this mess in detail because this is a kind of politics that just makes me tired. Note that I do think F1 is (and should be) somewhat about politics – that is what in my opinion distinguish it from, say, US racing. It gives the whole thing a European flavor, filled with our tradition qnd diversity.
    But, is FIA all about Mosley? FIA is a rather large and prestigious organization. But is it so incredibly tamed that it’s only one voice (Mosley) that is allowed to speak? Do the whole of FIA think exactly the same as Mosley? I just find it odd. Surely, there must be parts of FIA that are fed up with the bad image he is giving the whole organization in the way he is making it his private war.

    1. I’m sure they don’t agree with him, but he beats them all into submission during extended S&M play, and that’s the way they like it.

    2. I absolutely agree with you and I am also asking those questions myself. What the hell is going on with FIA members.

      Apparently now Mosley is being urged (according to himself!?!?) to stand for re-election. I don’t see anyone else doing the talking except him. WTH?!?!?!? see below

  9. If the FIA delegates can’t recognize the fatal damage Max is causing then it’s time for the teams, led by FOTA, to go off and do their own thing.

    1. Well Mosley has double crossed them now if FOTA has indeed signed the new agreement. Mosley therefore has the teams signed in, and additionally he is going to continue doing whatever he wants.

      I think this latest agreement was a big mistake and FOTA got screwed.

  10. The worst thing, for a man used to being feared, is to find himself ignored.

    Profound! And you’re totally right of course… the less Bernie and FOTA say now the better.

    1. Exactly. Say nothing unless absolutely necessary. On 1 November say anything you want.

  11. when will this bloke shut up and go away? he knows EVERYBODY hates him, he should just leave now. He’s been going on about his memiors lately… would anyone here actually read it?

  12. FIA MORE IMPORT THAN SPORT says Max Mosely or at least it sounds like it.

    By his own words:

    “We must continue to defend the independence of the FIA, even if this leads to difficulties in the sport.”

    It start sounds that people (specially teams) can not say what they think anymore. Max Mosley send letters to presidents of autosport associations and this text was there. He was uppset…again because somebody said that FIA need independent president.

    Max Mosley is out of order compelte. And saying that independent of FIA is more impport than sport tell something about his attitude.

    Is there anybody in FIA who loves autosport and kick that old maniac, senile Mosley???

  13. What I don’t like is that many (including this website) seem to think that FOTA (and Luca) is right.

    What I don’t like is the influence Ferrari have in FOTA (why is it always Ferrari who has to be in charge or have their way?) and that Luca is clearly wanting to exert his influence over F1 that I perceive to be far worse than Max could ever achieve.

    Luca is getting his FOTA bullies to surround the FIA – just like the bullies at school: “It’s my ball and if you don’t play by my rules then we won’t play.”

    Remember, Ferrari are not F1, they only race in F1. There is a difference. Non-Ferrari teams are not worthless.

    The FIA sould do what is in the interest of F1, not just automatically do what a bunch of manufacturers want – lead by Luca di Montezemolo. When the manufacturers eventually walk – and they will over the years, what happens then?

    I fear for the future if FOTA get more influence.

    1. Could it be that what you don`t like is Ferrari? ;)

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      27th June 2009, 0:36

      No, I understand GST’s concerns. Currently it seems that FOTA is being led by Ferrari’s Luca.
      If the FOTA breakaway happens or if the FIA make accommodation for the FOTA demands, how much will that be to the perculiar and individual advantage of Ferrari?
      The F-team will dominate any FOTA breakaway series as well as any compromise FIA series.
      Is that a good thing or will any F1 series be storing up future problems by the need to accomodate Ferrari?

      1. Ferrari may seem to be leading this but dont discount Howett and Toyota. Also remember that Mclaren has no love for the fia or Mosley, as they have been a constant target, justified or not.
        And yes Ferrari is F1. Mfg’s have come and gone, teams have come and gone the only 1 to stay thru the good and bad has been Ferrari, whether they were winning or not.
        I may not be a fan of ferrari but I do respect them for always being there. Even in the days when the were racing the endurance races such as Lemans and other 1000K races, their main focus was F1.
        They leave the sport will crumble and be irrelavent in 5 yrs.

      2. Sure, Ferrari may be leading FOTA. But as the team with the biggest influence, that is understandable.

        You must also remember though, that Ferrari arent the only ones in FOTA doing the talking. John Howett (Toyota) and Flavio seem to be quite influential in FOTA as well

      3. There had to be a Chairman & a strong Chairman who was capable of standing up to Max & Bernie.
        Di Montezemolo has known both men since the 70s. He is also a well-respected businessman with experience of heading Confundistria (Confederation of Italian Industry lobby), managed the team in charge of putting on Italia 1990 (World Cup) & has legal training. I can think of nobody better the teams could have chosen to front their case between Bernie (the businessman) & Max (the lawyer).
        The position he holds in FOTA will pass to someone else at the end of his one year tenure.
        FOTA is all the teams – not just Ferrari.

    3. @ GST
      You appear to be forgetting that Ferrari does not only have a strong influence in FOTA but also has the exclusive veto right in FIA rules decisions.

      So, in a way, Ferrari has been and still is more equal than any other of the equal F1 teams.

      Like others, I give them credit for always being in F1 and an integral part of the show no matter if you like them or not (“Can XXX beat Ferrari this year?” is always a nail-biter – for me at least)

      PS: Loved it when Force India got to race Ferrari in the back of the grid earlier this season ;-)

    4. God, I can not believe how some people in this world have a small mind.

      Ferrari appear to be leading FOTA because it just happens that Luca is the chairman of FOTA. But his voice represents that of the entire FOTA organization and its teams.

      If any of the teams within FOTA do not agree with FOTA than they could simply leave FOTA just like Williams did and Force India did. Therefore Luca represents the words of all of the 8 teams. The agree with each other unanimously.

      So please stop being so narrow minded and learn something look at the big picture.

  14. I dont know how many times Max has said he would step down and then change his mind, a total egotistical moron.

  15. maybe he’s just one of those strange people who need some sort of conflict in their life to feel satisfied. i feel kind of sorry for him.

    1. Stalin was also paranoid and very troubled in his later years. You feel sorry for him too?

    2. you could be right. Mosley enjoys media and loves to be in the spot light

      1. This is one reason, Maksutov, that i hate it when the bbc F1 presenters treat Max and Bernie like thet can do no wrong and they are the saviours of the sport, if not the world.
        I wonder if it’s the same with other F1 presenters around the world?
        Why can’t these people just grow some and ask the questions we, the fans want to have answers to.

        It’s the same with most journalists too.
        I know some are worried the FIA will revoke their F1 licences. But come on, how will we get to the real news instead of crppy team and FIA releases that have no substance.

        We fans have a right to know what is going on.

        1. good point scunnyman.

          Fortunately for us the truth can never be hidden away. BBC probably favors Mosley and Bernie because Mosley and Bernie probably own them with contractual rights, as well as Mosley has his rich friends to do his dirty work and maybe he has S _ _ slave experiences with the bbc boss haha.. but he certainly has lots of them in France. There is no justice with FIA and Mosley, it is all about power and corruption and rich friends. The only reason Mosley did not get sacked last year is because he owns everyone to some degree and has lots of rich friends, I believe same goes for rest of the FIA members and the FIA council, and the WMSC.

          1. Matsukov, i think the exact same thing.
            Scunnyman, I agree but i think Jake Humphrey is pretty direct with his questioning and seems to be representing the fans. Eddie Jordan is an idiot!

        2. Neracer i have to agree wholeheartedly about Eddie Jordan he must have a brown tongue and nose from his admiration of Max and Bernie.
          As for Jake he may be direct but he still needs to be more forcefull with questions. Do you think Martin Brundle pulls punches, remember he has gotten into trouble with FIA before.

          MAx and Bernie do NOt need their EGO’s boosting. They need to be brought to book and brought down a peg or two and realise what they are doing.

          That is if they realise at all from their Ivory Towers. I’m sure they don’t live in the real world, else they would know how the fans really feel about things such as ticket prices caused by their actions.

  16. I think Luca being a lawyer just like Max is, is part why he is the chairman… he knows what and how to say things ;)

    1. I think Luca being a lawyer just like Max is, is part why he is the chairman… he knows what and how to say things

      Notta da quiter so guda inna da English tho’

      1. Notta da quiter so guda inna da English tho’

        Isnt that what translaters are for? ;)

      2. It`s a shame there`s a no foreign language policy here because I have a hunch his English may be better than some peopl here`s Italian ;)

  17. I’d be interested to know which team it was that threatened to take its ball home because the FIA introduced the N-CAP test for road cars!?

    More to this than meets the eye,and certainly more to it than we mere mortals will ever know!

    1. VXR, we can only judge by what we see as fans of the sport that we love and that we have followed for the past 20+ years or more. So whatever picture you want to generate behind the reality of what is actually happening that is your problem.

      But the true reality of the situation is that a team is a team, and a manufacturing company is a manufacturing company and a business. So under no circumstance will a big company such as Mercedes or Ferrari allow a third party to snoop into their financial dealings and transactions, which is what the Mosley 2010 regulations required. Besides this issue, monitoring and ruling the financial status of these businesses is OUTSIDE OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE FIA. FIA does not have law and right to control what you do with your money. FIA is there to police the race and not anything else. But Mosley wanted more power, and since you are so so so blind to see what is actually happening here please go and think about it a little more, read about it a little more and learn something.

  18. And which team was it I wonder that tried to get the double-deck-diffuser banned by the back door method? hmmm…let me think.

    1. I`ve never known Max refer to Ferrari as “independent” so who do you think it was, VXR?

      1. I`ve never known Max refer to Ferrari as “independent” so who do you think it was, VXR?

        Like I said,I’d be interested to know.

        An “independent” team isn’t going to complain about N-CAP testing,and……

        Autosport quote.


        “We have heard a lot from FOTA about an independent court of appeal,” revealed Mosley. “Yet during the controversy over the “double diffuser”, a manufacturer team repeatedly lobbied me (wholly improperly) to intervene with the FIA Court of Appeal and have the double diffuser declared illegal.

        Perhaps we have more of an idea now.

        1. Mosley said one, unnamed, Formula One team had lobbied him “wholly improperly” to intervene with the FIA’s court of appeal earlier in the season to have the rear diffuser on the championship-leading Brawn cars declared illegal.

          “The FIA Court would never listen to such an approach but it shows that for the team in question “independent” means independent of the other teams and under the control of particular interests,” he said.

          From Reuters

          Seems it depends where you read your news?
          Whichever way it`s old news & is only being resurrected in attempt to make more trouble for F1.

        2. wow you are one Mosley lover arent you??,

          Now, before you ask who made deals to remove the double diffuser (which i actually perfectly agree with, since the rules were not clear in the first place) – perhaps you should ask “Who made the unclear rules” onto which the double diffuser issue was instigated in the first place!? Because the talk of the double diffuser started 3/4 through last year 2008, I remember it clearly, and soon after still in 2008, teams had asked for a CLEAR clarification of the rules which they never received. Number of the teams did not want to invest in something that could clearly be illegal. It was only after the start of 2009 championship that the legality of the double diffuser was determined and found to be legal. HAD THE TEAMS KNOWN THAT earlier, evidently they would have all invested in the development of that system.

          Once again Fault of the FIA and Mosley, found on the irregularities of the technical regulations. that is what this whole problem is about it is the governance of the sport and stability of technical regulations. If you think Mosley is your man, then summarize the word government for me please, what does it mean, and what is governance supposed to do?

  19. This is downright frustrating, we have a man that doesn’t care about what anybody thinks and that has the power needed to ignore everyone.

    1. i didn’t see bernie’s name mentioned…

  20. Bernie is keeping mum on this as he has way to much to loose in money and credibility.

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