F1: Ferrari sends out mixed Mosley messages

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, June 5th, 2008

 
 

Update: apparently Luca di Montezemolo didn’t mean to tell Max Mosley to resign after all. What a nasty misunderstanding.

Ferrari has published a statement from its president on its website saying: “I am happy that Max Mosley has been re-elected president of FIA. He has done excellent work for Formula 1 in recent years.

“With regard to the future, it will be entirely up to him to decide if and when he should take a step back.”

Looks like Jean Todt may have to wait a while yet.

However Bernie Ecclestone appears to know his own mind a little better. The Independent is reporting how he maintains that Max Mosley should step down from his position as FIA president, despite winning the vote of confidence.

He says: “But I still don’t think it’s good for him, or for the FIA, to be honest. He said he wanted to finish at the end of 2007, and then the end of this year, before all this happened.

“Max should stand down in November. For me it’s a difficult situation because I run the Formula One Group of companies, and the teams — the manufacturers — are violently opposed to him. But 62 per cent of the automobile clubs that make up the FIA voted to retain him.

“Max has always ruled by fear. But I think more people will be likely to take him on after this.”

Ecclestone, who has known Mosley for more than 40 years, says there is scant prospect of Mosley relinquishing the presidency while he can still walk and talk.

“I’ve always said that Max will be the president until he dies. What many people don’t understand is that he enjoys confrontation. He likes argument! These things stimulate him.” Read full story here.

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The latest twist to the Mosley saga is an unexpected one, to say the least. Luca di Montezemolo, boss of Ferrari, has called upon him to resign.

Montezemolo has reportedly told news agency Ansa: “He should realise that sometimes it is necessary to say to yourself I have to leave for reasons of credibility.”

On the face of it this is extraordinary – if there is one team within F1 that Mosley should always have been able to count on as an ally it is the Scuderia.

And the silence that followed the FIA’s vote of confidence in its beleaguered president, broken only by BMW’s Mario Theissen begging everyone to put the affair behind them and get on with the racing, suggested there was no mood within the sport for recriminations.

For instance McLaren has refused to comment, beyond saying it is a matter for the FIA and hoping for a period of stability in the sport.

However maybe this development is most understandable in terms of the man slated to be Mosley’s successor.

That’s Jean Todt, the former team principal of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.

The news comes as it emerges that four more motoring organisations are considering their future relationship with the FIA – from Finland, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria.

Germany’s ADAC has already cut its relationship with the FIA to a minimum while clubs in America, the Netherlands and South Africa have declared they will decide whether to take similar action.

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