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How Mosley lost F1 power battle

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Andrew Benson | 11:06 UK time, Thursday, 25 June 2009

Formula 1 woke up this morning to an unfamiliar feeling - there has been a power struggle and Max Mosley lost.

Sure, the agreement that ended the threat of eight of F1's 10 teams quitting the sport and racing in a breakaway championship next year can be dressed up as the FIA president getting what he wanted - and Mosley himself tried to do just that on Wednesday - but the bottom line is that the 'rebel' teams prevailed on every one of their demands.

They objected to Mosley's plan to introduce a budget cap in F1 - and there won't be one, or the two sets of rules that were part of it.

They wanted rules stability - they've got it.

They wanted a reinstatement of the Concorde Agreement, which governs F1 and, among other things, enshrines the role of the teams in the creation of the rules, and which Mosley allowed to lapse - and a new Agreement will be signed shortly.

And, although they did not say so publicly, they wanted Mosley out, having tired of what they saw as his autocratic and arbitrary governance - and he has agreed not to stand again for the FIA presidency when his term expires in October.

It is this last development that is the most striking of all. Mosley is reputed to enjoy power and influence, and yet here he is apparently voluntarily giving it up.

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There are two ways of looking at this turn of events.

The pro-Mosley one is that the controversial FIA president is happy to stand down having secured the future of F1.

He has won an agreement from the teams that they will reduce costs (albeit by restricting areas of spending, not by a published spending limit).

He has got new teams into F1, with the potential that, now budgets are coming down, the sport will no longer be a closed shop (and got the road-car manufacturers to agree to supply engines at 6.5m Euros a season to help this along).

And he has negotiated a deal that gets the teams to recognise the role of the FIA as F1's governing body, and got them committed to F1 until 2012.

So Mosley can say that he is happy to go now that he has secured peace.

But the reality is that, so unhappy had the teams become with his governance of F1, none of this would have been achieved without him agreeing to go in the first place.

F1 has only reached this compromise because of the announcement made by the F1 Teams' Association (Fota) late last Thursday night that they were pressing ahead with plans to set up their own championship next year.

Mosley's representatives went around the teams over the weekend, and the message coming back was that they were deadly serious. They were not going to be messed around any more. They were so fed up with Mosley's governance of F1 that they were prepared to go through with the threat

This, apparently, focused the minds of interested parties - and particularly that of the company that owns the commercial rights, the venture capital group CVC.

It bought the rights from Bernie Ecclestone for a stratospheric figure, believed to be about £1.8bn, and funded the purchase with loans.

Servicing those loans is manageable while F1 is a success - but a breakaway would have left CVC with the debt and an asset with no significant value, as the Fota series raced with the best cars and drivers in the world, and the F1 world championship was left with one famous team - Williams, whose last world title was won more than 10 years ago - and not much else.

Understandably, this made CVC and its lenders nervous and it seems pressure was put on Ecclestone, who is their employee, to sort the problem out.

So there were talks in the early part of this week, and then Ecclestone met with Mosley and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Fota, before Wednesday's meeting of the FIA World Council, to thrash out their deal.

In theory, this should be the beginning of a new era for F1.

The teams are all committed to the sport, although of course there is no absolute guarantee a car manufacturer struggling in the global economic climate will not pull the plug.

Rules stability normally leads to good racing, as all the teams close up on each other because understanding of a set of regulations increases - and any negotiations over new rules will be handled in a spirit of compromise not antagonism.

And the old divide-and-conquer game that Ecclestone and Mosley used to play to keep the teams under control will no longer be possible.

Perhaps the most striking development to come out of all of this is that it has become clear that there are now three major forces in F1 - Ecclestone through his F1 Management (FOM) company, the FIA and Fota. And Fota is arguably the most powerful.

Fota's aims include: securing the place of countries with a rich F1 history on the calendar; at least one race in America; fewer races in places where no-one wants to watch; better TV coverage; cheaper ticket prices; disparity of cars and engines between the teams; and that the sport should not be owned by a venture capital company that squeezes out half its profits.

For fans of the sport, the end to this crisis in F1 could turn out to be just the beginning of the good news.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This is great news for Formula 1 and F1 fans everywhere.

    I've heard Jean Todt is the favourite to take over, but surely this would make the FIA even more Ferrari biased than before?

    http://sportingchameleon.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks for that Andrew, I would love to see lower prices and more "fan based" tracks instead of the move to the middle east where F1 goes down like a dead duck.

    Bye Bye Max, thanks for the safety but your day is done

  • Comment number 3.

    Will this be the first comment?

    This could have been an absolute disaster for the sport but thankfully the whole mess has been sorted out sooner rather than later. I agree that this is indeed a big victory for the teams but it was really the only way that an agreement could have been reached. Mosley's governing style would always bring about his downfall, it was inly a question of when. The way himself and Ecclestone treated the teams and the sport it was inevitable they would revolt at some stage, and only once they did did the two dictators realise just how powerful and valuable to F1 they are.

    In the end it probably is good news for the sport and the fans in particular, but at the same time is it not a bit dangerous to have a sport run and governed by the teams that take part in it? They could adjust the rules any way they wanted to suit themselves, don't know if it'll happen in this case though.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm a Ferarri fan & not a Mosley fan, but in this one, I'm with the FIA. You cannot have a competition in which participants are also the owners. Too much potential for bias to favour the powerful owners in setting the rules and delivering favlurable rulings to conflict. It HAS to be administered by an independent body, & not by people who depend on rich team owners for their employment.

    fnk

  • Comment number 5.

    Jean Todt is the favourite granted but the hat I would like to see thrown in to the ring is Tony Purnell. He is one of the most respected forward thinking guys out there. He has good relationships with all parties and understands the need to see RACING not processions.

    He is astute,innovative, dynamic and would be a great president of the FIA in IMO. He is already employed by FIA as a technical concultant working on developing technologies in F1 relevant to Road cars.

    Will be glad to see the back of Mosley, whilst I respect what he has done to improve road safety etc, I have just had enough of his constant mishandling of F1.



  • Comment number 6.

    I too think this is great for F1 - and I think there's a fair amount of chortling going on in Woking. Let's face it, Max had been trying to get Ron Dennis out for years, and finally achieved it with the debacle of the Australian 'liar-gate' and inevitably he has been ousted in the same way. Jean Todt did a huge amount for Ferrari but we have found out since the corrupt way he and Max were twisting the governance to their own ends (Ferrari's veto of technical regs) so I hope the FIA has the sense not to consider him. Having said that, Max had been grooming Todt to take over from him, and he still has a huge amount of power...or did the shenanigans over the weekend ensure he no longer has it? And it seems to me that the whole culture in F1 has changed since Todt left (and to be fair, Ron) to one of fairness and realism, so perhaps peace will break out. Still a bit more to run on this one, though, I think.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sure enough, the teams had Mosley over a barrel and he had to take the bullet.

    Quite frankly, I'm just glad that there will be no split.

    As for Asian races, well I'd definately say ditch Abu Dhabai(not Bahrain though - had a great time for the '08 Grand Prix there) and either Malaysia or Singapore(probably Singapore). That frees up the calender for a return to Canada and France. Maybe also consider ditching China.

  • Comment number 8.

    And also think about ditching Turkey given the low attendance this year.

  • Comment number 9.

    It seems to me that Turkey could be a great venue, its the right distance for fans to fly over for the weekend, and probably spend less than trying to get into Silverstone/Donnington

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm glad it's worked out this way. The teams have finally been able to get themselves together and sort things out for the better.

    I do wonder though about Williams in all this. I don't think they'll be blocked from returing to FOTA or anything, but their willingness to jump on board with what's seen as a pro-Moseley stance might lead to a bit of frostiness perhaps...?

  • Comment number 11.

    Thank you for this Andrew: a concise and illuminating summary of a protracted and complicated battle.

    If FOTA's aims are as you summarise them, how could any genuine F1 fan not be pleased that the teams have won?

    Mosley is out, and Ecclestone, it seems has had his wings clipped. The one obsessed with power and the other consumed by greed - I've long felt these two arrogant, bullying and dictatorial men have had an unpleasant and malign influence over the sport and public life generally. That their power is significantly reduced can only be good news.

  • Comment number 12.

    When I looked at Silverstone at the weekend I couldn't help but cringe at how feeble it looked when compared with the likes of Sakhir and Shanghai. However watching the Beeb detail the legacy of that place really gave me a sense of how important it is for F1 to retain the strongest part of its identity within the UK. I'm so glad that FOTA have won out because I feel more confident now that an attempt will be made to rebuild this element of a proud motorsport heritage. It's a very good day for fans and a very bad day for Ecclestones secretary, who will perhaps today be working with the grumpiest man on the planet. I'm looking forward to what should be an exciting future for F1.

  • Comment number 13.

    thus the animals now run the zoo, but how long before the big three become too big headed and spoils any agreements, not long sadly.
    they brought the sport into disrepute and seem to have won but all they have done is cripple any further advancement of the sport.
    FOTA should be ashamed of their actions.
    on a labeling note fota would have had to be remaned if they split off from formula one but it would have taken them years to agree a new name and by then formula one would have new house hold names.

  • Comment number 14.

    With polls showing that 80%+ backed FOTA, and only 6% unhappy that Mosley's gone, it's clear that this was the only possible way F1 could move forwards.

    In some respects I'm disappointed they didn't go all the way - get rid of Ecclestone and CVC and start with a clean slate, but hopefully now we've got some common sense instilled into the decision making processes they can start undoing the 10 years of damage Mosley's done to the on-track racing with his crazy ideas.

    He should have gone years ago. This is very long overdue

  • Comment number 15.

    All we need now is for Bernie to stop taking races away from circuits because their loos aren't up to par. The clinically clean Tilke circuits are tiresome and characterless. Silverstone and Spa are classic tracks, while Donnington is going to be somehow reminiscent of Hungary, if you were to ask me; better suited to bikes or even karting rather than F1. And if F1 is to return to the USA, please don't send it back to the bland non-event that is Indianapolis. How Americans can enjoy racing round an oval baffles me.

    One more thing: The soon-to-depart-but-not-quite-soon-enough Mr Mosley has spent too long emasculating F1; slowing it down, cutting technical innovation (other than the less-than-successful KERS) and of course, reducing the teams' budgets. F1 had for years been the test-bed for new technology and techniques that have benefited the motor industry and ordinary drivers like you and me. Can we get back to that pioneering way of life, please, and quit reducing F1 to just another series?

    Personally, I want the premier formula to be just that: Top of the tree, not bottom of the heap. With Max gone, and Bernie temporarily on the back foot, perhaps we can make F1 great again.

  • Comment number 16.

    Andrew,

    so what can the BBC offer to the teams in terms of "better TV coverage"?

    Perhaps you can put pressure on FOM to provide an HD signal.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hmmm, Max got the reduction in spending which the manufactures didn't want, got the new teams (GP3 as Montezemolo called them), which FOTA didn't want, got FOTA to agree that the FIA run F1 and not FOTA, which FOTA didn't want, and got FOTA (this upset Flav') to agree that FOM retain the commecial rights to F1.

    FOTA got Max out, a role in shaping the rules and the EU commission off their backs for wanting to use EU tax payers money to fund a rival series.

    Al in all a good day.

  • Comment number 18.

    It's long overdue for the teams in F1 to have some recompense for the massive investment the have made over the last 20 or 30 years. That is what has made F1 what it is today the pinnacle of motorsport the teams not Max's "looney" dictatorial attitude and Bernie's hold on the purse strings taking money out of the sport and not reinvesting into the infrastructure to improve and support many of the famous and exciting tracks that we have lost over the years. With respect to Max's record on safety, this is only the implementation of what people like Jakie Stewart had been campaigning for in the 1960's and 1970's onward and not Max's new ideas, Jackie did more for motor racing safety than Max ever could and probably saved the lives of many more drivers through his tireless efforts. Makes you wonder did Jackie retire voluntarily, as he was still very competitive, or was he forced to by the FIA as we have seen very recently they (Max) do not like drivers attacking their rules, Alonso risked having his very expensive super licence revoked for his comments on the drivers following FOTA into a competing series. Surely now that everyone is on an equal footing FOTA will continue to innovate, and probably at a faster rate, now that they receive a fair chunk of the very large amounts of money F1 generates and the new teams will bring a refreshing new interest, perhaps another BrawnGP waiting in the wings. With stable governance, sensible rule changes and more rhetoric between the various parts of F1 i can see that the future can only be stronger for F1, with improvements to existing circuits, reintroduction of favorite tracks that should never have been removed Bernie, and benefits to the fans with cheaper tickets for there favorite GP's. Control by one or two people in such a large money generating sport such as F1 can only lead to stagnation and eventually die a death as the money is drained from the sport and not reinvested but lining the pockets of people who have no real interest in the sport other than how much money it makes them.
    "The future is Bright, the future is FOTA" (Apologies to the advertising execs for Orange)

  • Comment number 19.

    PS Oh by the way another great blog Andrew, keep on reporting the important issue that we the fans like to know as these issues affect the future of the sport we love.
    Prime candidate for top BBC blogger of the year i reckon...
    Top man Andrew

  • Comment number 20.

    What a result - at last something to cheer about in F1.

    Bring on everything that the competitors and fans want, not what one man dictates!

  • Comment number 21.

    Time to move on to Bernie; HE is the one who told max that he'd have to go to save HIS moneymen.

    The solution does not yet show any great advantage for the teams in terms of governance (old concorde) or returns (Bernie pays what he think is enough). What will next years rules be, and will teh cossie engine be rev-limited?

    I am no fan of Silverstone, the first sector is a great drivers thrill, the rest is anysmal and its a terrible racing circuit that ends with the noddy non-passing luffields. Last years race was only good as a result of the rain. Brands, as a circuit was far superior in its time but even at the last F1 race it was just a bit tight! Donington will still be better than the old airfield.

    Anyway, the best thing is that Max is gone and some semblance of tripartite management is back.

    Some of the tracks will never be as good as the oilfield funded ones, but some of those are really bad for racing as well.

  • Comment number 22.

    Load of old Tosh!
    Fans of speed were led to believe there would be a breakaway series which really was NEVER going to happen in the first place because the stakes were so high. I found the whole saga, if you can call it that,reminiscent to WWF world wrestling.
    Loads of posturing by men with huge egos and bank accounts to get rid of one man democratically elected to run the sport from which they are lavished with huge wads of cash.
    Williams and Force India are the only manufacturers to come out with any sort of integrity and honour from this political dribble.
    If Max has to go then Bernie and his travelling Circus need to take a long hard look at themselves and stop compromising what fans of motoracing really want - best drivers in the best cars in the best circuits with full attendances at affordable prices.
    Bernie has made a huge cock-up with the Silverstone issue - one minute there was the threat of no British GP, the next is now back-up to the sorry state of affairs that is Donington. Now that (too late) Silverstone has got the necessary financial backing that Bernie always wanted in the first place, he'll be trying desperately trying a U-turn to bring Silverstone back to the British GP calender without losing face - too late,Bernie, too late... as much as I admire the fact he is turning F1 into a global brand, I find it hard to justify filling up the calender with new countries with half attendencies at the expense of Hokkenheim, Indianapolis, the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit and other classic racetracks at historically important venues.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thankyou Max, and goodnight! A fifth term in office is not what F1 needed, and not what FOTA wanted, for sure. Max has influenced things in some good ways, but its time for a fresh face. Bernie has done a lot to promote F1 to where it is now, but it became clear that Max & Bernie needed to realise just how important the teams are in all of this, especially with the global economic situation.

    Time to move forward, the teams are comitted to reducing costs & helping new teams, in response to this they should be 'rewarded' with a few more exciting races, races in places where people want to watch...

    Ditch some of the less exciting tracks & less than enthusiastic venues....
    China
    Malaysia
    Singapore
    Barcelona
    Valencia
    Hungary

    Bring in/back some more exciting/popular venues...
    USA (Watkins Glen or Laguna Seca)
    Canada (Montreal or Mosport)
    Austria (always exciting races)
    Imola
    Jerez
    Portimao (Portugal)
    Brno maybe(Czech)
    France (Paul Ricard or Clermont Ferrand)

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    One down and one to go! Goodbye Ecclestone next!

  • Comment number 26.

    If you take an example from other sports you need look no further than football. When the Premier League broke away English football was in the doldrums mainly due to the complacent attitude of FA idiots. Now it is the best league in the world because it is run by the clubs instead of a clique of self-centred fools. At the moment we have Formula 1 races on borig tracks with no spectators. Why is this? Because they all pay into the Bernie/Spanky pension fund.

  • Comment number 27.

    If Spanky & Bernie are reading my comments, don't take it personally; it's just that I prefer to watch motor racing rather than Scalextric (which is a great game to play but boring to watch; unless of course you make millions from every race)

  • Comment number 28.

    #24 I broke the house rules. My God! This sounds like Big Brother (the TV programme and the novel). I remember when the BBC was an independent organisation open to all. This will probably be deleted because the expression "My God" will offend the politically correct idiots.

  • Comment number 29.

    Great Article, 'everything under one roof.'

    As far as Formula One goes "Max, has left the building".
    Bernie's days are numbered, probably be retiring to 'spend more time with his non-family' at seasons end. For that's how things are done.

    Regarding CVC; to take seventy-five per cent out of Formula One, and put nothing back other than a pile of greed and agravation; therefore this will not last.
    Probably before the end of 2012, FOTA will 'buy-back'the rights, teams will have more money and standards will vastly improve.

    The dissenters of self-rule need only to preach their philosophy outside of Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon...and "Good Luck". (Don't forget your 'dissilusion' tablets).

    There is an urgent need for "three" races in North America and to go back to many of the origional tracks where Formula One has it's roots as most of you have suggested.

    All in all it's been a good week, but let's see next years schedule.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good news for F1. Good riddance to Mosley.

  • Comment number 31.

    I could not care less that there were few fans at the Turkey race. The on-track spectacle was good and that is the bottom line in terms of TV audience figures. Returning to San Marino and other tracks that produce tedious races but full stands is not the way forward.

  • Comment number 32.

    Fota and FIA problems were solving out for now. There's other problem need to solve out about how to divide F1 incomes money between F1 teams and FOM. I think it should be Formula 1 teams to get not less than 65% and FOM will get no more than 35% of total income from Formula one business. Current 50/50 is unfair and not adequate for F1 teams contribution to formula one sport. This is a lesson and model for Fota current members and old members also FIA and FOM as well.

  • Comment number 33.

    Thank goodness it is resolved. FOTA seemed to get what they wanted but I'm not sure on Mosely. I can say I'm neither happy nor sad

  • Comment number 34.

    @ Ken Dodd.....

    Just about spot on.

  • Comment number 35.

    Thank you Andrew for a good and thoughtful blog. So much more relevant than a long personal diary that others profer.

    Not much else anyone can add at this time, but I do have a question.

    Clearly part of the deal has to be a restructuring of the finances. We know, by strong inference, that the circuits will be changing and this will include lower fees paid by the likes of Spa and Silverstone and Montreal. Lower ticket prices. This seems to be a big part of the deal.

    I cannot figure out how this can all happen with FOM/CVC maintaining its existing share of revenues. FOTA could have set up a competing series and for GBP1.8billion a year, it would be worth the effort. They didn't and I can only surmise (strongly) that Bernie was empowered to negotiate a bigger share of everything for the teams.

    Mad Max is bragging about how now the big teams need to share their engines and chasses with the new teams (makes sense and he didn't really negotiate that) to save costs, but that was what FOTA was going to do anyway. New series old series.

    So dearest Andrew (and/or the Mole) can you find out what Bernie had to give up as well?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    My best regards

  • Comment number 36.

    #29 that is Frasier has left the building. I just, for old times, watched two seasons (I have them all on disc), and am about to go into the last two seasons. Tossed salads and scrambled eggs.

  • Comment number 37.

    Did the teams really want everything that Max said they did, in the way he said they did?

    From my understanding and reading of the various FOTA statements, the teams weren't asking for all the money (although they do want more) and I didn't see any mention of them wanting to take over the rule book.

    It seemed the most important thing they wanted was clear and rational leadership from the FIA, Max seemed to becoming increasingly autocratic and belligerent seeing any questioning or discussion by the teams / FOTA as beyond the pale.

    At the end of the day F1 is a sport were the rules constantly change out of necessity given the technical nature of competing, I think the teams should have some say and input into the rules after all they know more than anyone else what the supposed changes will actually mean if they are implemented. As for the budget cap, I can't believe Max thought it possible for teams to reduce their budget by 1/2 to 2/3 in 7 or 8 months.... thats just plain ridiculous.

  • Comment number 38.

    Amongst all of the budget cap discussion, another big rule change has been ignored - The championship being decided on wins, which has countless flaws, yet is still set to be in place next season.

    The argument back at the beginning of the season was that teams signing up now would be agreeing to it, but has this been dropped? It's worse than a budget cap, really, because there'll be nothing to race for after four laps in some races.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is a massive relief for Formula One! I'm so very glad there is no breakaway series, that would have been the deathknell of motorsport's greatest racing type.

    Hopefully, there will be no more civil wars and political turbulance, and this sport, which we all love, can prosper. The future is very, very bright.

    F1 needs Ferrari, Toyota, BMW, Renault and Mclaren, as they are classicly famous names in motorsport, and draw many fans from Italy, Japan, Germany, France and England respectively. It's fantastic that they are remaining.

    Some interesting points were raised about circuits in the previous comments, and this is what I think;

    Circuits that should go...

    * Barcelona (this rarely produces an exciting race)
    * Hungary (the classic procession track)
    * Silverstone (OK, its a classic venue, but there is rarely an exciting race there)

    Races that should come back;

    * A1 Ring, Austria (some truly brilliant races were held here between 1997 and 2003 in a truly spectacular and beautful venue)
    * Canada, Montreal (amazing track, great races)
    * Imola, San Marino (again, amazing track)
    * Any race that is in America

    Note that I have not put any of the newer circuits on that list? Why? Well, because they are more exciting that Barcelona, Silverstone and Budepest put together, and also, they have not yet had enough time to get history.

    Out of all the new tracks - Bahrain, Turkey and Singapore are great hits - these will hopefully remain for a long time and are sure to become classics before long.

    Meanwhile, hurrah for the F1 peace deal!

    Lord_Lancashire.

  • Comment number 40.

    So what most of you guys are saying is bring the F-1 back to european countries and Canada and the US. Take it away from Asia and the Middle East. Net, net a typical western view. I am saddened by this. Though I understand the need to move away from Bahrain etc.. I think China and India would be hugely useful for the sport and it would be good to engage them.

  • Comment number 41.

    This is good news for Formula One. A split would have been bad for the sport and FOTA got what they wanted. The FIA needs new blood too!

    There are a number of issues that still need resolving such as the Cosworth engine being a 2006 engine, tyre blanket and refuelling bans. Also FOTA have proposals to spice things up like having points for Pole and fastest lap, etc ...

    Then there is the issue of lower ticket prices and venues with atmosphere. It is bad for any sport to have a premiere event without many spectators but F1 tickets are very expensive!. In Turkey entire stands were covered in disguise!!

    You can read more details on my blog article at http://newsonf1.co.uk/blog/f1/54

    Tim

  • Comment number 42.

    Perhaps if FOTA can wrestle some concessions out of Bernie E, such as lower sanctioning fees for the circuits, Silverstone could then afford to pay for improvements to the circuit. How can Bernie think any circuit without government backing could pay for upgrades when he and CVC take all the revenue from the weekend other than from tickets and concessions? It is only the publicity-seeking third world countries or oil-rich sheikdoms that are willing to, or can afford to, spend taxpayer funds to prop up Bernie's extravaganzas.

  • Comment number 43.

    Nice to see Moseley has the best intentions of f1 at heart by now stating he may not actually leave his role as president of the fia. Now peace has finally been reached why does he have to try and play god and why when f1 now has a future can he not keep just shut, leave and get on with it instead of constantly jeopardising it. It's no secret the teams wish to rid themselves of him and his politics but when you see how behaves no one can have anything but sympathy for fota. For a start why had he changed his mind now four times. He accuses fota of politiking but does exactly the same thing to quote the beeb article in the "letter leaked to the press"

    Moseley clearly thinks he's bigger than the sport.

  • Comment number 44.

    Oh Max, why are you so determined to destroy F1? You have already had the big teams walk away and start to setup a new championship, only to have it saved after it went over the edge of a cliff by what I assume was the intervention of Bernie and cooler heads who realised what a disaster that would be.

    Now you seem determined to destroy it yet again because you perceive you have been insulted by Ferrari, when the reality is that its your actions that have put you in the dog house. Well thats the feelings of myself and my friends who are F1 fans.

  • Comment number 45.

    Everyone in agreement then Mad Max makes a statement that it is all untrue.
    Does Mosley live in the real world and does the Motorsport world council know what a bunch of idiots they look by backing the man.

  • Comment number 46.

    As a lifelong F1 fan I was very saddened to read Mosley's latest.

    What does it say about his "presidency" that he feels the greatest threat he can send to FOTA is "I might stay".

    Generally a person of value to an organisation will use the threat "I will resign" to gain some leverage.

    Were this algebra we would have to conclude that Max has no value and even subconsciously knows that he has no value to F1 and the FIA

    All this issued like a huffy child, seems someone may have been rude to him. If he can't play with it no one else can and he will kick it over and break it before he goes.


  • Comment number 47.

    Max, Max, Max.....You are making yourself look even more petty than what you've already achieved in the last couple of weeks. Do us fans all a favour....SHUT UP, SIT DOWN and enjoy the racing.

  • Comment number 48.

    What is going on now? Max Mosely is now saying his running for presidency is "open" again?

    How can this be a peace deal if the two sides are still at each other's throats. This latest bit of news is very distressing and I hope nothing much comes out of it.

    To be honest, I can't wait to gt rid of Mosely, and I definately DO NOT want to see Jean Todt as the Ferrari boss...Ferrari have had enough FIA assistance in the past, which have often earned the FIA the nickname "Ferrari International Assistance". If Todt becomes president, it will be the same all over again.

    The potential rows between FOTA and FIA are not over yet people...

  • Comment number 49.

    Oh why oh Why can't Mosley be the big man for once swallow his pride and keep his big mouth shut instead of behaving like a schoolboy. The deal is tenuous at present at best. I suspect he will try to renege on his departure. I think his only motivation is to bluster for a few more weeks until too much time has passsed and they won't have the time to set up a rival series for 2010.

  • Comment number 50.

    F1 would benefit from a reduction of the influence of two more long-standing pains in the backside, Ferrari and Ecclestone. Jean Todt would be even worse than Mosley and I wonder how much desire there is from FOTA for a truly independent replacement at the FIA. Todt would not be independent, so I wonder if the non Ferrari members have tried to ensure Ferrari's favoured status isn't enhanced further.

    It's little surprise Mosley has gone back on his word as he seems to lack respect for anyone. Go Mosley, it's not just the teams that want to see the back of you and I don't mean in a video.

  • Comment number 51.

    Moseley's grousing I see, rattling his sabre. Best that FOTA just ignore the whole issue now and get on with things and not give him an excuse to start complaining again.

  • Comment number 52.

    Max Mosley will, mercifully, be gone by October whatever he says, because FOTA are more powerful and want him gone.

    FOTA want racing directed back to countries with a great tradition of motorsport. That is absolutely right, because it is where a much larger proportion of the population loves the sport. F1 should take place in nations with domestic motorsport series having high standard, strong local participation, and good turnout. Parachuting F1 into countries with no serious domestic motorsport just because its rulers are willing to build a circuit and pay millions to Ecclestone's crew must stop. Hopefully he will learn from what FOTA have done to Mosley, because he has done a lot for F1 over the years.

  • Comment number 53.

    Mosley has undoubtably done a great deal for F1 during his tenure, particuarly in the area of safety.

    He has been described as autocratic & even dictatorial, sadly his most recent brings only one word to mind:

    Petulant

  • Comment number 54.

    I actually think that this is a bad day for F1; we had an opportunity to get rid of Bernie, Max and the whole money driven franchise. As the article says, a VC bought the rights and takes millions of pounds per year out of the sport to finance it's debts and pay a profit to it's share holders; if the split had happened it would be a bumpy ride to start with but we would have been left with a more stream lined team led system. Just look at how much bigger and better Darts is since the split 20 years back.

  • Comment number 55.

    Does anyone else think Max's recent capitulation to FOTA, followed by his threats to do yet another u-turn is merely smokescreen for the fact that he's going to stand for election again in October, and then impose his 2010 plan regardless? Doing so in October would not leave the FOTA teams long enough to organise anything in the time left before the next season.....

  • Comment number 56.

    Of course, Max is a saint. After all, he didn't have an exclusive interview with Auntie where he called various FOTA members 'loonies', accused FOTA of trying to 'steal' his business, and accused Flavio of trying to take over Bernie's job. Hardly the actions of a rational man.

    Oh, and as links seem to be accepted around here... http://www.the-pit-lane.co.uk

  • Comment number 57.

    Bad day for F1

    1. The only reason we have a change at the head of the field this season is due to rule changes. Go back to stability and over a couple of seasons, those with the money will float to the top and stay there.

    2. When it suits them, or their motor manufacturing parent company can't afford it, the big teams will pull out. Renault have done it before and I'm sure will do it again (have they replaced ING yet?).

    3. Max Mosley is president of the FIA. This is a massive organisation with many members. F1 and the teams are a drop in the ocean in terms of representation within the FIA and all members should have a say in who runs it.

    4. The only reason that F1 is the success that it is with the worldwide audience, commercial rights and huge sponsorship deals is because of what Ecclestone and Mosley made of it. Plenty of other race series out there, many of them far more exciting in what actually happens on track but nowhere near the level of coverage or revenues.

  • Comment number 58.

    A couple of posters would like to get rid of the two races in Spain. I agree that the Valencia one is not really up to scratch, but Spain is an important contributor to F1, both through Alonso and through heavy media attention in general. It needs to be kept on board, somehow.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well the Moter giants have won and you will all be faced with years of a closed shop where only the very rich can participate. Long gone are the days when we raced in our national colours. Now we are reduced to high speed advertisement boards At least they cant advertize tabacco bur I suppose they make up for that by producing pollution from the exhaust pipe. The winners will be the team with the most money and possible creat the most polution. Many Teams we have to day will be squashed out of existance Others will try, but they dont have a hope in hell!
    I dont know much about Mosely but ther has been a spate of bad publicity about him and Jackie Stewart has suffered in the same way Its wonderful for Farari and the rest of the bunch but not much good for the public who will be subjected to years of boreing prossions brougt about by some technical inovation that the majority of the public hardly understand. F1 is becomming a monument to MONEY and very little is left for sport Good Bye !!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Max should just F1 off. He is thecause of the problem and the solution will only come to pass upon his departure.

    The new circuits are not universally good, and neither are the old ones - but there are more good old circuits than new, although frankly Silverstone despite haveing a good first section for drivers, is an abysmal circuit for racing under the current design rules.

    Races should not be based on the dodgy little geezers commercial negotiations - at least not solely. Countries that have and continue to contribute most to F1 in teams/tech and commercial value should have the strongest rights to races. However, despite belgiums recent lack of drivers (last one Boutsen?) and teams (if ever?) some circuits are justified for no other reason than they exist - SPA is a true theatre for the gods in an F1 firmament!

    Spain could still be entitled to a race, based on the spanish commercial market, so at least as much as any other country with drivers and potential constructors and a few sponsors and strong car sales - but really it should not be two, and certainly not the Valencia street circuit.

    Turkey is a good circuit, but whats the commercial proposition? Even in a developing market the circuit shouldbe able to make money from the gate - right now the dodgy geezer takes all that.




  • Comment number 61.

    Re: Jean Todt take over

    Jean Todt has been favourite for some time now (in fact his name has been on the cards since 2003). Naturally his close links to Ferrari are a worry and as long as he remains in the employment of Fiat (or its extended family) he should not run an organisation like the FIA (this of course has always been Heir Max's problem too).

    What the Todt idea does give us is a man at the head of the FIA who really understands motorsport and not just a lawyer. This, in my opinion, is key for the future of F1, WRC, TOCA etc who have spend far too long a time being raped by people like Max who know nothing and care so little about their well being.

    If it were up to me i'd get a man like Gerhard Berger, Alan Prost, Jackie Stewart etc to run for president. All men know motorsport and love it, they have also ran teams and understand the political and legal issues which surround the sport.

    However, this is clearly just half the battle to win back the soul of F1; Bernie and CVC need to have their power decreased or we'll end up with a sport played out in front of shareholders in Taiwan at £400 a seat, rather than real fans in Monza, Silverstone, Spa and Nurburgring!

  • Comment number 62.

    All I can say is, thank goodness its all over...for now.

    If Andrew Benson's analysis of the outcome is accurate, then it really does look like everyone came away with something.

    All we can do now is wait to see if the words are matched by the deeds.

  • Comment number 63.

    It's good to hear that a deal has been reached. It will be interesting to see over the coming months if it is going to be honoured.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Well guys, let's change the subject a little. US F1 team has four prospective drivers, Scott Speed, Kyle Busch, Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick, according to the Speed Channel
    The latter is an excellent technical driver and should suit Formula One, very well.
    Check out her website. Blow your mind.

  • Comment number 67.

    TBH Scott Speed is fairly naff, Busch and Andretti are average and Patrick is very unimpressive (excluding various photo shoots). I can easily see Patrick getting a drive simply for the publicity and sponsorship.

    It still confused me how USF1 are allowed to have a US driver only policy, seems extremely xenophobic and against the spirit of sport in general.

  • Comment number 68.

    Scott Speed was a flop last time in F1. Danica Patrick is average, but obviously has huge marketing potential being both female and extremely attractive. However, she also loses her temper very publically with other drivers in a way F1 would not stand for. Marco Andretti is a sulky little so-and-so, much like his father who insisted on flying in from the States for every F1 race, hence being an utter blight on his father's name and getting sacked before the season finished, replaced with a certain Mika Hakkinen (who had a huge crash in Portugal first time out). Kyle Busch might be worth a look, but then he's going very, very well in NASCAR at the moment, so why would he want to go to F1 to be an also-ran in a kit-car team?

  • Comment number 69.

    Just when I thought it was safe! The latest stupified comments coming from the FIA President make for woeful reading. This man's maniacal posturing is beyond belief. You have earned the "MAD MAX" title, now PLEASE SHUT UP and go find some other sporting body to headup, I hear the International Federation of Tidly Wink players has a vacany!.
    IMHO the FIA bears total responsibility for the shenanigans perpetrated by this man over recent months. Its reputation and governence have been severly damaged, and I like many believe it is in need of a bloody revolution!! I for one hoped (still) that the FOTA boys would.... "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war..."

  • Comment number 70.

    I was disappointed in way that the breakaway won't happen as the rumored scheduled looked great, with a most of the old European circuits, a race in Helsinki, presumably the street course once used for GT races, and several races in the Americas.

    I think Indy is the only option for the US at present as places like Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca would be horribly dangerous with modification. I guess they could try a temporary street course like Long Beach. People have mentioned the A1-Ring, but I if I recall correctly a lot of the infrastructure there has been demolished. I've no idea if it would even be plausible, but would have love to have since some of the famous races from lower formulas become F1 races, e.g Macau, Pau, even bring back the Birmingham street race.

  • Comment number 71.

    I really have had enough of Max and the FIA, please FOTA, just do what you were going to do on thursday and start the new series. We will miss the name, for sure, but we will get use to FOTA Races or whatever it ends up being called quick enough. Bernie did a fantastic job getting F1 on tv, but dumping well loved old tracks to go chasing the ever bigger buck for cvc has seen him sell out the fans and the series. So lets just go and start again at the tracks we want, and good-bye FIA/CVC.

  • Comment number 72.

    On a US race, please lets not go to that trashie infield track at Indy. San Francisco wanted to have the race when Indy got it. They were going to put it in one of the parks Melbourne style. I rather like that idea. Any one for a two week Holiday in San Francisco with a FOTA race in the middle?

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    Will someone please shut Mosley up? His judgement is so flawed (not surprising after revelations and family loss) that he really does need to be told in no uncertain terms what a puerile menace he has become.

  • Comment number 75.

    I dearly hope that Todt doesn't win the FIA presidency, especially if we are looking for an unbiased and independant leadership.

    I dislike all the political nonsense that has marred the last few seasons racing and feel that the FIA have brought their own sport into disrepute, however I dislike Jean Todt even more [than the political nonsense].
    When Todt cut all ties with Ferrari it seemed as though he were laying the foundations for a bid to succeed Mosley as FIA president (I didn't know he was still affiliated with parent company Fiat).
    I wondered if Dennis was manoeuvering to challenge this when he left the McLaren F1 Racing company though I'd only be marginally less unhappy if he were to become the new president.

    No one person within the FIA should have such power to dictate the shape of the sport. I liked the suggestion posted earlier that the president should be someone like Berger, Prost or Stewart however we have to consider that the FIA govern many more categories of motorsport than just Formula One.

    I don't have an issue with an FIA per se. I believe that there should be an independent body who govern the sport. The teams should continue to have their interests looked after by a FOM, FOCA, FOTA type organisation and that a commercial rights holder should be appointed by these organisations to manage the commercial elements of the sport to the benefit of the sport and it's competitors not to Bernie or to a blackhole organisation like CVC. But that's just my opinion. I guess that the reality is that everyone is looking for more power and money and while greed dictates the government of the sport, the sport will continue to suffer.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well people, Max Mosely has just released another statement that warns the FIA to defend itself against the "still troublesome" FOTA. I don't think FOTA are doing anything wrong at all...if Max backtracks on this deal and runs for presidency again, I will be furious.

    The "peace deal" is not peaceful yet, and we must wait with hand-on-forehead as to what FOTA's reply is. In the meantime, Mosely is not playing ball. :(

  • Comment number 77.

    Although a great F1 fan I also have many other Motor Sport interests.
    Every member of every motor club that has their National Body affiliated to the FIA is governed by this body and it would be a disaster to have an F1 owner as President of the FIA. Care of most other forms of Motor Sport has not been great for years. As much as we enjoy it F1 is a very small cog in the very large machinery that is Motor Sport world wide.
    Although F1 is the most expensive activity, it is now more business than Sport and the FIA needs a President who will take care of all Motor Sport,
    The minnows as well as the sharks

  • Comment number 78.

    As an American and a huge Formula One fan I was horrified of the prospect of having a separate series to compete with F1, I witness what happened to the U.S open wheels series when it split into CART and the Indy racing league it was a disaster which to this date they have never recoved.
    While I agree with Mr.Mosley they do need to contain cost but I don't want F1 to become like NASCAR which it does contain cost but it's racing is boring and there is little inovation.
    Let the teams agree on the rules and the venues where to race I hope some of those great European venues are back in the calendar, San Marino, Hockemheim and Jerez.
    The last piece of the puzzle to fix F1 get rid of Mr.Ecclestone and his financial interest in the sport, put the fans and the racing first and everyone will make enough money form Formula One.

  • Comment number 79.

    FOTA man Luca di Montezemolo has made a nice statement (in response to Moseley's continued grumblings) which states that, in his eyes, F1 politics are over, and everyone should now focus on the F1 show, and moving forward with it.

    Thank God for that, I was expected FOTA to come back with a statement that got the whole war off with a bang once again. Well done Montezemolo, I just hope Mosely chills out big time...

  • Comment number 80.

    It doesn't take a genius to realise that CVC ruled this decision. Money is more important than the sport which the supporters love. Every race we have people chatting about money and leadership behind the scenes rather than great viewer TV. Why aren't us petrol heads entertained with more garage views and team manufacturing methods, we need to be wisked away to see the testing sucesses and mistakes etc at their testing grounds in the pre race warm ups. I for one would like to see the workings of each team in turn througout the season. Instead, it seems like a soap opera !!! I have seen so many shots of Bernie on the race warm up TV over the years, I know him better than my Dad! I want more about the cars and teams, is it too much to ask... as a fan of MOTOR racing. I need to hear from the teams, close up, not the blokes from the FIA who hand them the rule book before the race. Lights out and GO.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    There is no way to deal with Mr. Max....actually there is a way: Breakaway series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats the only way forward with-out Max and Bernie. And stop thinking that all this mess was instigated by Ferrari as all the FOTA teams agreed to form a new series with the best drives and cars.... and also cheapper prices for us!!!! Mosley OUT!!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Andrew, I have been following F1 probably before you were born. From what I have witnessed over the years Max Mosley did not lose anything. The whole deal was orchestrated to have him get a generous retirement package (a golden parachute as we call here in the US) from Bernie whom he has been part of an act since as early as 1977. This is a circus where most f the top clowns don't retire becuse the pay is too good to give up. The comments made about his departure / loss triggered what we now know is "pressure from within the organization" to stand for re-election. Try as I might, I could not find an e-mail address for the FIA. They conveniently leave that off their site so they don't have to contend with millions of e-mails letting them know what the fans think.
    We should get Mosley's e-mail at FIA and then let him know what we feel and what pressure is.

    We are supposed to buy the sponsors'products. The worldwide appeal is supposedly generated by the fans, therefore, we should be the ones telling them what we like and don't like. F1 during the kit cars years was much more fun to watch with a lot less BS to contend with. so much so that Mr. Mosley and his associates founded March Engineering.

    What we need now is somone like Jackie Stewart to take over the FIA and do it from a racer point of view. Maybe even add an engineer to the mix so we have the techincal / driver points of view on what the overning body does. Jackie is man of honor who speaks his mind, which is not for sale, therefore he is not suitable for the position.

    This whole episode has been a crying shame. To add insult to injury we then had to hear Flavio Briattore in his 'impeccable English" express his views. It's amzing what money can do.

  • Comment number 84.

    Here are the latest comments made by the increasingly annoying Max Mosely;

    "They made the mistake of dancing on my grave before I was buried"

    "I am under pressure now from all over the world to stand for re-election"

    "It's not in my nature to walk away from a fight."

    This, contrary to his belief, is probably degrading him ever more. If I could speak to him now, I would say "Max, it's best if you simply stay quiet, there's a good lad, and get away as soon as possible, because you're not wanted in F1 anymore. A faded rose, as it were (I suppose he did do his bit for safety...)

  • Comment number 85.

    All this polotics has really put me off F1 But now that it's all seteled with there not* being a break-away series and no budget cap I might consider watching it again

    *= Correct according to this blog

  • Comment number 86.

    You should watch it...despite the politics, the sporting spectacle remains motorsport's finest...not Nascar, not Le Mans, not Touring Cars, not Rallying...it is still F1.

    Those who miss F1 just because of arguments behind the scenes really are missing out.

  • Comment number 87.

    I din't think (up untill now)that someone(MAX and BERNIE) would push me away from the Formula 1!!! But it is actually happening.... and it is all very sad!!! But sooner or later we must face the fact that the sport is ruled by only two guys ....and i personally had enough of it!!! I was born near Maranello....and all my life i have been spending loads of money each year to follow the sport I love and NOT TO FILL 'SOME-ONE' ELSE POCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Max & Bernie OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    To Mr. Andy...before asking me how much do i care about the sport, could you prove to me if you are a real fan??? I did show you my tickets and pics (hundreds) from Europe, USA and so on. Do you know how much it cost me during the years??? Please mate... just sit down in front of the television and watch the race but don't come and ask me about commitment coze you have no idea!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Dear Lord_Lancashire, you should try Moto GP, fantastic, also visit the IOM TT next year. I was a hardened F1 nut, attending multiple GPs, Silverstone, Brands, Spa, Nurburgring, Hockenheim, Austria, Monza, Monaco, Magny Cours, Barcelona, Estoril - I think that's all, around 50 races, I go occasionally now, it is so boring and so expensive. The best recent development is the BBC coverage, really good. Worst is the politics and stupid ideas - change aero but then come up with KERS (well done Max) to defeat the object which was to improve overtaking. At least refuelling will be out next year.

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear oldloads, I have tried MotoGP and have nearly imploded with boredom.

    Those who class themselves as "former hardened F1 nuts" but are no longer interested simply cannot have been F1 fans in the first place.

  • Comment number 91.

    Oh great! So Max is making his excuses prior to standing for election...yet again!!!

    Looks like a breakaway series could still happen if Mad Max tries to enforce any more ridiculous edicts from his ivory tower at FIA.

    I swear, he and Ecclestone are so far out of touch with reality, it defies belief!

    What I also don't understand is how these people (one a barrister, the other a salesman) have come to have complete control over F1. Neither is an engineer and neither has ever been a racing driver, so who are they to decide what is best for the sport? Okay, so they may have had some involvement in running teams, way back when, but the sport has come a long, long way since then.

    Neither of these megalomaniacs is fit to be entrusted with the future of F1 and the sooner they retire or are dispensed with, the better.

  • Comment number 92.

    Ari Vatanen is the right man to succeed Max Mosley. He is a motor racing man to the bone, being a World Rally and multiple (Paris) Dakar Rally champion. And he is not tightly linked with any particular team; compare with Jean Todt who would forever be linked with Ferrari. Vatanen also has 10 years of experience from the EU parlianment, so he is no stranger to politics - useful experience for anyone running the FIA and dealing with F1.

 

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