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Max Mosley – Lunch with a retired president
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Max Mosley – Lunch with a retired president
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Feb 2010   |  8:17 pm GMT  |  140 comments

Today I met up with retired FIA president Max Mosley at a restaurant in South Kensington, London. Some of the F1 writers from the British national newspapers were also there, there were six of us in total.

Picture 7
A month short of his 70th birthday, he looked extremely fit and relaxed, not having a full work schedule any more. He ate sparingly, a salmon tartare, one glass of Sancerre and an espresso.

He said that he was planning to move back to London in April, as his need to be in Monaco was solely linked to his FIA work. I asked him if he would be a back seat driver in the new Jean Todt regime and he said that his contact would be minimal. He doesn’t plan to attend any races.

As an ex president he is entitled to a seat on the FIA Senate, but he says that he did not attend the last Senate meeting and he has no plans to be involved beyond being on the end of a telephone if new president Jean Todt wants his opinion. So far it seems that Todt has canvassed his view on some subjects, but Mosley reckons that these calls will decline in frequency as his knowledge becomes less current. He certainly doensn’t look or sound inclined to be a back-seat driver.

It was a very informal get together, largely off the record and Mosley didn’t have any particular agenda beyond wanting to make it clear that he was not pushed out of his job by FOTA last summer as part of the peace deal over the breakaway, as Luca di Montezemolo said at the time. This seems to be something he doesn’t want to have in his legacy and it seems to be something he takes exception to. His agreement with Jean Todt, he revealed today, was that in 2005 he would hand over to the Frenchman, like Tony Blair to Gordon Brown, but then Todt accepted the job of General Manager at Ferrari, which meant Mosley had to stay on until 2009.

He says that the proof that he planned to stand down in October 2009 is an entry for Who’s Who he submitted in April 2009, which said that he was FIA president until October 2009. Apparently, due to publishing deadlines and in agreement with the publishers, it is common practice to put confidential future information like that in submissions.

Although he said he had nothing left that he wanted to achieve in the sport and no scores to settle, that doesn’t mean he won’t be making mischief from the sidelines. Naturally we kept coming back to the outburst from Ferrari on their website yesterday in which the ‘Horse Whisperer’ accused Mosley of waging a ‘holy war’ against the F1 teams, manufacturers in particular. He said he found the whole thing quite amusing but hinted that the team had opened a can of worms here and that he had not planned to say anything rude about them before now, but that they have fired the first shot with this attack. He described Ferrari as a middle aged woman who is jealous of the attention new beautiful women around her are getting! He also said that the comments about Lotus and Virgin ‘limping’ into F1 and implying the new teams are a shambles, was rich given that Ferrari sent one of their cars out of the pits with a fuel hose attached in Singapore 2008.

On the subject of the new teams he is pleased that there is new blood in F1 and regrets the problems of USF1 and Campos. At the time of the assessment of new entries he insists that both places were visited regularly and financial checks carries out by Deloitte and by CVC’s finance experts. As for what happens next, he thinks there will be a merger between USF1 and Campos.

This would leave an open 13th entry, but he reminded us that for Stefan GP to get it, all the teams need to agree. I know for a fact, speaking to Ferrari this week, that they will not agree to that, as long as disgraced former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan is working for the team.

He spoke a lot about Flavio Briatore, much of it was well off the record, but he said that the idea of previous FIA punishments being rescinded such as the $100m fine for McLaren, is nonsense as McLaren were licence holders, the problem procedurally with the ban on Briatore. He said that without Pat Symonds making a confession, the original hearing might not have convicted the perpetrators of the Crashgate offences. He also said he was confident, if not 100% so, that Fernando Alonso was not in on the plot. He bases this on the fact that the investigators are experienced at examining witnesses and they were convinced Alonso was not lying.

Much of his time lately has been spent on his ongoing fight to change the privacy laws and he hopes that he will succeed in Strasbourg in getting some kind of law whereby newspapers must front up people they are about to expose and allow a judge to decide if publication is in the public interest or should be stopped by an injunction.

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140 Comments
  1. Scott Bloom says:

    I suppose he wasn’t reading the Ferrari blog this week……

  2. Phillip Horton says:

    So Williams blocked the 14th team, and Ferrari criticised Williams for being a ‘small team that won nothing’ and now they’re blocking a potential 13th team… Talk about being hypocritical…

    1. Uppili says:

      Ferrari weren’t so benevolent as to criticize Williams for not allowing 14th entry. The criticism was for blocking a test for Michael in last years car before his supposed debut in Valencia.

      Ferrari have been so critical and arrogant about the new teams that it stinks. Their putting down hard working new entrants like Lotus & Virgin is the racing equivalent of racism…..I hope that soon or later one of these teams kick Ferrari’s arse on the track….

      For the record, I am not a Ferrari hater.

      1. graham says:

        good god..this is one of the most daft statements i have ever read….racing racism…whatever next.. must be a daily angry reader… ;-)

      2. Uppili says:

        You would do better not to get into personal attacks even if you don’t agree with my views.

      3. graham says:

        firstly let me correct on a few things..

        1) I haven’t got into any personal attack against you, i have made a comment on ‘your’ statement. A personal attack would entail me commenting about you personally. Now, as i don’t know you, that is simply not possible.

        2) Attack is a strong word, you have your opinion, i have mine. When i read a statement as melodramatic as yours i am inclined to think it is daft, that is not only a fair interpretation of your statement, but a light way of telling you that what you have written is both ridiculous and frankly a poor use of language.

        3) If you’re going to use words you not sure of, you must look them up in a dictionary, that way you’ll avoid making statements are are no better than that of a tabloid paper.

        And as for i would do better not getting into personal attacks, if you are going to make a public statement then you should always prepare yourself for people to respond. If you are not mature enough to take other peoples comments, then perhaps you need to avoid making them.

        Racing is an activity. You cannot be racist against an activity or a team. (Racism: the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp.so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.)

      4. James Allen says:

        And that is the end of that exchange. Thanks MOD

      5. F1Fan says:

        Totally agree.. Ferrari just being nasty.. I never liked Ferrari or Alonso, so happy to see all badies together.. oh well, not so happy for Shumi at Mercedes, he should be at Ferrari as well, for all badies together ;)

  3. PeteJ says:

    he’s right about Ferrari acting like a jealous middle-aged woman.

    1. Michael Brown says:

      Ferrari’s position and their comments about the new teams are perfectly understandable and not without merit, even if the way they were expressed was perhaps a bit childish.

      Ferrari have been in F1 since the very first race at Silverstone in 1950. Whether you like it or not, Ferrari being in F1 is what gives it a big chunk of its history, image and prestige.

      Ferrari does not advertise its road cars and never has done. Instead of advertising, it relies on the image and publicity generated by its racing activities, now mainly in F1.

      For those reasons and others, it’s vital for Ferrari that F1 keeps its image as *the* premiere racing series in the world. That means keeping F1 as an “elite”, even expensive, series for the best of the best.

      By diluting F1 with a handful of wannabe upstarts, half of which aren’t even capable of getting a car to the first race, and the other half who will be tooling around at the back of the grid 3-4 seconds off the pace, being little more than mobile chicanes, the FIA is doing its best to destroy the quality of the F1 brand, and, by association, the Ferrari brand.

      If F1 becomes a kind of GP2 with bells on then you can be sure that Ferrari will no longer want to be a part of it.

      1. PeteJ says:

        I’m well aware of ferrari’s history in F1, not all glimmering presitge, I hasten to add (sometimes it seemed they were doing their best to destroy the quality of the F1 brand). It’s also part of Grand Prix racing’s history for newcomers to come in and take on the ‘big’ teams, which is a big part of the appeal of any sport.
        ferrari should do their talking on the track and not with arrogant ramblings on the web.

      2. Michael Brown says:

        Don’t worry, Ferrari will do their talking on the track. The new teams (well, those that actually make it to the track) will be completely blown away by Ferrari and the other established teams.

        As for new teams taking on the big teams, when was the last time that happened successfully? And Brawn doesn’t count as they were only a new team in name.

      3. Martin Collyer says:

        “Ferrari have been in F1 since the very first race at Silverstone in 1950″.

        Everyone thinks that.

        Ecclestone, the FIA and Ferrari themselves have been keen to state this when it suits them, but actually it’s not true.

        No Ferraris were entered for the British Grand Prix in 1950. Take a look at: -

        http://www.autosport.com/results.php?s=0&y=1950&r=19500001&c=2

        and

        http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr001.html

        Ferrari also withdrew their cars from the French Grand Prix in 1950 because they thought their new engines weren’t up to the job although a privately entered, presumably older, car driven by Peter Whitehead did well.

        http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr006.html

      4. Michael Brown says:

        Whatever. It makes no difference to the point I made. They competed meaningfully in the first World Championship in 1950 and have done so ever since.

  4. Frankie Allen says:

    Mosley epitomises to me all the bad in F1. More interested in personal vendettas than what is good for the sport. The underbelly of F1 which we saw laid bare in recent years, could only have existed by gross mismanagement at best. When you get senior figures in F1 like Whiting, lying during FIA appeals without recourse, it shows the levels that was rampant throughout the whole of F1, from the teams to the authorities. Put any competitive person into this environment and it’s no surprise what we ended up with.

  5. F1 Kitteh says:

    Is he still planning to publish a book ?

    1. Andy Gers says:

      What will the book be about, F1? his years in the FIA? or S&M?

      1. F1 Kitteh says:

        From a consumer’s perspective the more the better right?

  6. TG says:

    Max and Luca should settle their differences with a race. Strict rules: two Ferrari Californias, speed and weight conditions enforced by each carrying two passengers sitting on the back. Whoever goes longest without beaching the vehicle in sand wins. My money’s on Max.

    1. James Allen says:

      Brilliant idea, although last time Ldi M drove one didn’t he end up in a gravel trap?

      1. TG says:

        True, gravel it was.

      2. MIKE SPA says:

        yes he did and massa and fernando tried to push him out!

    2. Neil Barr says:

      Their burdensome passengers should be those individuals they would never turn their backs on. In Max’s case that would be Flavio and Ron Dennis. In Luca’s case that would be Monsieur Le President and Patrick Head. Pay per view, anyone?

  7. Coops says:

    What did you order, James?
    And did Max pay? Or did he say that he would, until someone said something a bit cheeky at which point he refused, only to end up sticking to his original plan in the end?

    1. Richard Mee says:

      James had Bangers and Mash, like a real man… none of your poncy ‘Salmon Tartare’

      What is that anyway? I have a vision of a pile of raw salmon centre-plate with a cracked egg on top….. nice.

    2. Andy Gers says:

      ROTFLOL!

  8. john watson says:

    an interesting man, but complex. did some good for our sport, but complex! hope you are smart to realise this

  9. jude says:

    Who paid for the lunch?

      1. monktonnik says:

        Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch!

      2. Stephen Kellett says:

        Correction :-)

        “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”.

        TANSTAAFL.

        From “The moon is a harsh mistress” by Heinlien. Interesting book. If you like sci-fi, worth a read.

      3. monktonnik says:

        “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”

        It’s a double negative, so wouldn’t really have represented the sentiment I was evoking particularly well.

        But thanks anyway ;)

  10. serbian vulture says:

    as far as i am concerned he could be lying. He doesn’t inspire me any confidence.
    Of course he has no scores to settle, he did settle them with dennis and briatore.
    But he is a political animal, and if there was a second coming, don’t doubt he would settle a last score with montezemolo. Or someone else who doesn’t think like him.

    1. Uppili says:

      Interesting choice of screen name……

      1. Ian says:

        “Serbian vultures” are how Ferrari’s blog described Stefan GP. Although I am a Ferrari fan, that blog disgusted me.

      2. Luca & Flav says:

        You got something against Vultures? That’s discriminatory

  11. Boston F1 Fan says:

    - Where in South Kensington? Last semester I studied abroad and I lived there, right across the street from the Natural History Museum! It was amazing.

    1. James Allen says:

      Poissonerie de l’Avenue, opposite the Conran Shop

  12. Robert McKay says:

    Gosh I’m hardly Ferrari’s biggest fan but comparing the USF1 and Campos messes to a Singapore fuel hose problem is…ridiculous.

    1. Stu says:

      Spot on. And let’s not forget that it was the $48 million bond that made it virtually impossible for privateers to enter F1 in the first place which led to the manufacturer era.

      Then they took F1 away from the key markets that the manufacturers wanted to race in and didn’t offer any green incentives to make it worth their while sticking around.

    2. Andy Gers says:

      The two new teams (Virgin and Lotus) are some 4 to 6 seconds behind the pace of the fastest cars. They will be mobile chicanes and will probably be somewhat dangerous.

      Ferrari has every right to complain and criticize Max for this mess. If instead of pushing for that and scaring away the manufacturers, he’d done the opposite, we could probably still have BMW, Honda and Toyota around. While I love the Lotus brand and history, I feel sad to se it back in F1 with such poor performance. And it’s not even an English brand anymore… Sad to see the legacy tarnished with what they are now…

      Max, thank god he’s gone. Let’s hope the FIA is never again run by someone like him.

      1. Robert McKay says:

        Don’t be silly. Go back just a few years and the backmarkers of Prost and Minardi etc. were running around 4 or 5 seconds off the pace. Go back a bit further and some of the backmarkers were 9 or 10 seconds off the pace.

        Somehow the sport did not implode because of that.

        Indeed, it’s only EXTREMELY recently that the field has closed up to the 2-2.5 second coverage that we got used to last season.

        And the new teams will improve. Dimishing returns will mean that they find it comparatively easier to find time with more imperfect cars than those who turn up with the best-sorted ones.

        They’ve thrown themselves together from scratch in a fairly short time (Lotus especially) in a difficult economic time without the budget cap they applied under. Those two teams have nothing to be ashamed about even if they are 5 seconds off the pace in Bahrain.

        I’m sure Ferrari can remember other backmarkers in the sport, seeing as they like to tell us they’ve been in it longer than anyone else on the grid.

  13. Tom (London) says:

    Questions no interviewer will ever ask Max Mosely:

    1. Do you agree with your father that black people should be deported from the UK?

    2. Was your mother wrong to admire Hitler?

    3. Why do you believe that people have a right to do something illegal (pay women for sex) and for it to be kept private?

    4. Was it wrong of you to be a member of the union movement and to promote and support fascism?

    5. What music would take with you on a desert island?

    Go on James, one day please!

    I know Mosley defenders will say this was all in the past and we shouldn’t condemn him for the actions of his mother and father however I really need to hear his answers to these questions to enable me to understand his actions as the former president of the FIA and as a man.

    Mosley is undoubtedly a very bright man. When you listen to him in a interview he amazes me in the way in which he manipulates the interviewer and the audience into believing his every so slightly twisted logic.

    1. James Allen says:

      It will all be in the book, no doubt. I forgot to mention that he is going to get stuck into writing a book.

      1. Brace says:

        Now that will be an interesting read, if a bit fictional too. :)

    2. Darren says:

      Tom

      get a life……

      1. TM says:

        Yeah is was a silly post by Tom. But the funniest part was:

        “he manipulates the interviewer and the audience into believing his every so slightly twisted logic”

        That’s hilarious – if that has been Mosley successfully manipulating an audience, I’d love to see how people reacted to him if he hadn’t been manipulating them!

      2. Tom (London) says:

        But TM, doesn’t Darren prove my point about Mosley manipulating an audience?

        Darren could you expand on your point? At the moment it is just a bit weak.

        Stephen Kellett, respect, I stand corrected.

      3. TM says:

        How does Darren’s point prove your point?
        Didn’t Darren just say to get a life? Or am I missing another post by Darren? I searched the page but that’s the only one I could find.

    3. Stephen Kellett says:

      3. Why do you believe that people have a right to do something illegal (pay women for sex) and for it to be kept private?

      Wrong! Paying women or men for sex in the UK is perfectly legal.

      Prostitution is legal in the UK.

      What is illegal is soliciting (standing on the street trying to attract punters). Running a brothel is also illegal, as is pimping (controlling prostitutes on the street).

      Running a brothel should be legal, because then those women (or men) that choose to be prostitutes could do so with some protection. Also as it would be a legal enterprise, the location of prostitutes would be known, taxes levied (income and VAT) and sexual health measures enforced (as in more enlightened places such as the USA).

      Having legal brothels would also greatly reduce the illegal sex slave trade (less customers as they can now go somewhere safer and legal – a legal brothel).

      I’ve never used a prostitute and don’t plan to.

      In other words, Mosley was not doing anything illegal. Neither were the women he was with. You may not agree with his activities from a moral standpoint, but that is another thing entirely.

    4. Ben says:

      I don’t think its fair to judge Max by what his parents views were.

      As for paying for sex, whilst morally wrong its not actually illegal in the UK. Soliciting is illegal, but actually paying for sex is not.

      I’m going to leave it there though otherwise this will just go way off topic.

  14. Laurence H says:

    I can accept that Alonso didn’t know about the crash plan. You only have to watch his interview after he held Hamilton up in the pits at Hungary 2007 to see how bad a liar he is! It’s disappointing that he has not given the Singapore trophy back. In 2008 Michael Johnson returned his gold medal from the 2000 Olympics 4x400m relay when it was revealed that one of the team had taken performance-enhancing drugs. Johnson felt it had not been won fairly and so didn’t want it. I guess he’s more of a man than FA.

    1. Stu says:

      The Yanks were stripped of the medals but the other teams were not promoted. So the team in 2nd still have silver medals.

      They could strip him of the race win but if they gave the win to someone else then it would mean that Hamilton may not have won the title.

      Massa was leading before the crash so shall we give him the race win and the title?

      1. Martin Collyer says:

        No.

      2. Andy Gers says:

        Why not, just becaus ehe’s an Englishman like you? If we want to criticize Alonso for not giving back the trophy as we think he’s not the rightful winner, then we should also criticize Lewis for not giving back the WCD title, as Massa would be the rightful Champion.

        I guess it’s all because the FIA rules state that once the official results for a year are published, they stand no matter what. if not, Schumacher would have to have his two Benneton titles taken away for driving a car with traction control which was prohibited by the rules…

        Or maybe it’s because (most) F1 drivers might be big egomaniacs who basically only care about winning no matter what?

      3. Martin Collyer says:

        Nothing to do with nationality, Andy Gers.

        Two things: -

        1. Ferrari were responsible for fouling up that pit-stop, nobody else.

        2. Just because someone is leading a race at 15 laps it doesn’t follow that he will win it, he may not even finish the race, eg Massa in Hungary 2008, Raikonnen at Spa 2008.

  15. Tony G says:

    All this from a man who finds the noise of motor racing a distraction (go to Motorsport podcast January)? A deal in 2005 with Todt to replace him at the time that Ferrari and the FIA had their sweetheart deal when Moseley was telling the press at the time that of course he helps Ferrari to make them feel at home among all the English teams. Give me a break. The guy is beneath contempt

  16. Dale says:

    How could you sit there and take al this in know what you know of all the wrongs he’s responsible for?
    The trouble with F1 is that the journalists that rely on F1 for their livelihood have to suck up to those in charge as they know the power they have to hinder or even stop them reporting on F1, look how they tries to get rid of Martin Brundle whist at ITV and then scupper his move to the BBC.
    We all know and I am sure James knows that Mosley went after certain people because he could, to damage those best he could, not once but several times, all in all his tenure at the FIA was dreadful on so many levels including selling the sport for a pittance to his mate and the list goes on and on and on.
    What he said about the agreement to hand over to Todt in 2005 I’d bet not one of you pointed out that the FIA President position ws not his to give!
    As for him not being pushed I believe had he not gone we would be looking forward to the FOTA championship in a few weeks time so to my mind he had no choice but to go and to my mind that means he was pushed.
    I for one am glad he’s gone and I wish we wouldn’t see or hear from him again and I’d bet I’m not alone in thinking this.

    1. James Allen says:

      Interesting points, one problem – he’s not in charge any more!

      1. Dale says:

        I wonder if we’ll see a book that tells the true story of Max Mosley’s tenure as FIA President.
        Sadly with the way F1 is run I don’t think there’s any chance of such a book from those that know and unless it came from such a source it’ll just be rubbished.
        F1 is a fantastic sport (is it a sport?) one that I’ve followed since the late 60′s but what we saw in Mosley’s last few years were vicious and plane nasty and I hope we never see such things again but alas unless the FIA is brought into the modern world and run in line with proper legal practice I suspect it’ll just be a matter of time before those in power have a go at somebody they have it in for or we see another race steel of the likes of Hamilton’s Spa travesty – (the highs and lows I felt during that race and afterwards were almost too much to take) and to my eyes Hamilton’s move on Kimi was almost as if Senna was behind the wheel of the McLaren, it was F1 as F1 should be and I doubt there’s an F1 anywhere who didn’t think so regardless as to which team they supported yet Mosley’s FIA stole it from us all, unforgivable, truly unforgivable.

      2. TM says:

        Wow both your posts remind me of the song ‘Stan’.
        I half expect Dido to kick in between the two posts. Lol

    2. Steve Earle says:

      you’re right you’re definitely not alone! I hope I never hear another word about that awful creature ever again! Except maybe his obituary. Now that is something I’ll look forward to reading!

    3. Uppili says:

      Couldn’t’ have put it better myself….Thanks,

    4. Freespeech says:

      Hear hear, you’ve hit the nail on the head and your point about the agreement he made with Todt to hand over the FIA President is disgusting and shows us all just how rotten F1 was and almost certainly still is as Todt went along with it.
      Stupid me, I thought the President of the FIA would be decided by a fair election.

    5. thaicook says:

      You say “look how they tries to get rid of Martin Brundle whist at ITV and then scupper his move to the BBC”

      Care to elaborate? I don’t know about this…

      1. Richard Mee says:

        Moseley took offense at a column MB wrote in a major paper straight after the $100million MacLaren fine… can’t remember the details of the article but it made it clear that MB thought Moseley was way out of order… according to the account I read MB then found it tricky to renew his grid pass for some time.

  17. Malcolm46 says:

    I love the attention to detial that we know what Mosley had for lunch!

    My opinion hasn’t changed of him, still think he’s too focused on himself and I’m pleased he’s not president any more.

    The issue of privacy is a interesting one, but at the end of the day you shouldnt do things that are illegal…. His father wasn’t a very pleasant person as someone has already touched on in an earlier post…

    I’m hope James had some good quality food though at Mosley’s expense!

    Not sure if I’ll buy his book….

    1. Malcolm46 says:

      I was thinking at work today about what I wrote last night, and I still agree with it, although I do think that we should as balance give the bloke some credit for the improvments in safety that happened in F1 during his time as president.

  18. rpaco says:

    No scores to settle eh? I seem to remember him saying he was going to expose in his book, the person whom he knew had set him up in the whiplash affair, he was just waiting for the proof.
    Apparently the UK is the libel capital of the world.

    But is he a decent writer James? Will you offer your ghosting services? There have to be some cracking tales in his book, the stuff he has seen over the years. Mind its likley to be on the upper end of the hardback price scale, so I may have to wait until its on the £1 bargain shelf in Tesco.

    1. Andy Gers says:

      I wouldn’t give him a single cent. I may get a pirated copy of it just to give him back some of the grief we F1 fans have felt during his presidency.

  19. alex m says:

    “He spoke a lot about Flavio Briatore, much of it was well off the record”

    Illuminating and tantalising use of “well” there James, I wonder how many legally unprintable books you could fill with stories about Flav and his adventures ?

    I notice nobody is really still speculating about who set up the S&M “German themed” Video Nasty these days, but you could be forgiven for wondering….

    1. James Allen says:

      Sounds like it was the people involved in it, rather than anyone in F1

      1. Pinball says:

        Just wondering, how exactly does someone “go off the record” when having lunch with a group of journalists, do they literally say, “the next thing I’m going to say is off the record”, or is it more implied that certain subjects are automatically off the record.

    2. Pablo Rossi says:

      My money’s still on Ron!!!

      1. the dark knight says:

        sweet revenge.

  20. Drezman says:

    Naturally the hate brigade are out in force.

    Complex man and I for one will buy his book for more insight.

    Interesting piece James, oh for the off the record remarks…

    Keep up the the good work you privileged journo.

  21. F1 Kitteh says:

    Yes I’m looking forward to the book as well. He might be flawed in some ways but he is obviously massively intelligent.

    1. serbian vulture says:

      the unibomber also is.

      1. F1 Kitteh says:

        Yes and dont forget obl

  22. Adam Taylor says:

    As much as I appreciate what Max Mosley did for the sport, especially from a safety point of view, I felt that his time as FIA President went on for too long. One of the biggest problems with Max I felt towards the end of his tenure was that he was making important decisions at the wrong time that effected the sports image short and long term. One being to introduce the KERS system which backfired, the choosing of the new teams, the handling of the manufacturers with FOTA, crashgate (allowing Piquet to run free although it was he who altimately crashed the car), the allegiance towards Jean Todt of FIA President etc.

    James do you feel that some of these issues could have been handled differently given the long term effect that it might have on the sport?
    And do you think it would have been better for Max to step down sooner and temporarily hand the FIA reins over until the new President was voted in?

    1. TM says:

      Yes I do agree about Piquet, in my view letting him off was probably more outrageous than the crash itself. I can’t stand the way he makes himself out to be such a victim.

  23. Eric Weinraub says:

    revisionism is a beautiful thing…..

    Grooved Tires…
    Restructuring of points system…
    Traction control
    KERS

    The list goes on…Max…THANK GOD YOU ARE GONE… you were killing the sport. Now please take Herman Tilke with u!!!!!

    1. serbian vulture says:

      i agree. traction control, “because it can not be policed, we have to make it legal”. May be he is not as intelligent after all.

      1. TM says:

        I disagree; if someone admits their failings (in this case not his but the FIA’s as a whole) and then makes a pretty logical conclusion (that if they can’t police it then make it legal) then that to me shows that when they say they can be effective then they really can – they’re not just saying they can.

        Making traction control legal at the time was the only fair thing to do because otherwise those that were following the rules were at a disadvantage. When the standard ECU came into play it meant that policing it was possible and therefore traction control was again (thank goodness) banned.

        One of the biggest problems with Mosley’s reign was that he was the only person in the FIA who consistently put across a point of view (as president). This doesn’t mean he actually was the only person making decisions, just that he appeared to be. When Mosley said that the FIA couldn’t police traction control, clearly he didn’t mean he himself should be policing it – he meant the tech people couldn’t. So if you question intelligence on this point you should question the FIA tech people – not just the person doing the PR speaking.

      2. bad cop, no donut. says:

        may be, but don’t forget he is responsible for the people that work for the fia, all of them. He said so to dennis when the spygate.
        And the ecu is just one thing, the overtaking measures didn’t work, the grooves were a joke, and kers a waste of money at this time.
        It is hard to justify his actions, but it’s good you try, because if it was for me, he would be sued in the court of law, for abuse of power among other things.

    2. TM says:

      I don’t agree about Mosely but I most certainly do about Tilke.

    3. Andy Gers says:

      Wow, i couldn’t have said it better! Yes please, take Tilke with you Max!

  24. PaulL says:

    I always admired Mosley’s intelligent style of communication. He is really well spoken.

    1. serbian vulture says:

      go get a job on the evening news then.

      1. henry says:

        Is that comment really necessary?

      2. red bull tastes like... says:

        is it war neccessary? no, but it happens. So i gess we have to live with it.

  25. Marybeth says:

    …boys, boys, boys…..

  26. phil says:

    No one except for the inner circle of f1 really know what mosley is like. Everybody outside the inner circle have formed oppionions based on news, print and media including myself.

    I have no doubt he is a gentleman etc etc but the reality is apart from his safety agenda, I personally believe he has ruined f1 with changes that are not reqiured. Any avid f1 follower can tell you the amount of pathetic changes that have taken placed and cost teams billions for no reason. Max liked to muddy the waters, along with his friend Bernie. I hope come 2012 the teams tell them to get stuffed and start there own series. And use the name f1. Because i bet in a court of law, they will easily win the right to use a general term like f1. The FIA do nothing but cause trouble.

  27. Erico says:

    Does Mosley play poker? I know Alonso does.

    1. serbian vulture says:

      with marked cards.

      1. Luca & Flav says:

        Serbian Vulture, get some Tyres, use the ones that the other teams take off their cars after a pit stop. Picture this – Alonso pits, tyre change, serbian vulture crew swoops in, wheels the tyres down the track & bolts them on the Toyota, Now that’s a pitstop that will require some practice!

  28. Zami from melbourne, Australia says:

    Off the topic James, I’ve been reading some furious news about Bridgestone certainly leaving the sport at the end of 2010. Even though it’s still early days, I can’t help to think that there will be no 2011 Formula 1 season without the tyre supplier. Is there any inside news about that?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not since Michelin said they were looking at it. Pirelli won’t do it.

    2. Ewan says:

      There won’t be a problem getting a tyre supplier, at the end of the day this is all just haggling.

      I’ve read that Bridgestone were spending as much as $100 million per year on F1, and they definitely weren’t making that back in publicity.

      I can imagine the new deal involving much less sponsorship, and more cash being paid to the supplier to cover the actual costs being incurred.

      Whether it’s Michelin or someone else less well known, it’s not really going to matter too much. To most people tyres are tyres, which is the fundamental problem Bridgestone (and Michelin before them) had.

  29. Adrian says:

    Oh the characters in F1 eh.

    First Schumacher, then Alonso and now Mosley are starting to change my negative opinions of them.

    Don’t get me wrong Max did some things I disagree with, but now that he’s out of the picture it’s easier to see the good he did for the sport too.

    I for one will read his book when it comes out, whether I agree with his views or not, I think it will be a fascinating read.

    1. TM says:

      I miss Mosley, i think he was a forward thinking and great leader struggling against FOTA who want to govern themselves (that will be disastrous if it ever happens). I get why others didn’t like him though and I don’t like what he said about Jackie Stewart.

      I agree about his memoirs, I can’t wait to read them. And I suspect, love him or hate him, most agree about that at least!

      1. Not yet World Champion says:

        Revenge is best served cold…

  30. Dan says:

    “Blair to Brown”…

    What an apt analogy.

  31. Andy C says:

    James

    you said in one of your posts about Stefan (in reply to me) that you were meeting Dave Ryan yesterday.

    If he was at the lunch, I bet there were some interesting discussions?

    1. James Allen says:

      Different event. Actually I owe Dave an apology as he hasn’t joined Stefan GP, as I was informed by someone who was joining the team.

  32. Freespeech says:

    For Max Mosley to admit to a group of F1 journalists that he had an agreement with Todt to hand over the top job at the FIA in 2005 coupled with the parts both Mosley and Todt played in so called ‘Spygate’….can anyone else smell anything?
    James could you tell us on this blog what the response was at the lunch when Mosley openly admitted he had made a secret agreement with Todt to replace him?

    1. James Allen says:

      “Granita” ! It’s not such a big deal, he still had to get elected. Mosley was briefing that he wanted Todt to replace him from the early 2000s onwards. Matt Bishop wrote it in F1 Racing at the time.

      1. Freespeech says:

        Are you honestly saying that it’s not a big deal for the President of the FIA to openly use his position whilst in office to promote his chosen one in no big deal?

        The Granita pact between Blair and Brown, like that between Mosley and Todt just shows what these people with power think of those that elect them doesn’t it?

        How can an election be fair when it’s tilted in one direction? To my mind it can’t.

        It’s almost like these people with power get to believe it is their divine right to do as they wish.

        Sometimes the only way to fix things is to knock it down and start again.

      2. James Allen says:

        Blair wanted Brown to succeed him, they did a deal. There was a vote (although there didn’t have to be if there was no other candidate) and Brown became leader. The exact same thing happened with Mosley and Todt.

      3. TM says:

        yeah i agree with James.
        There is a big difference between handing over power to an unelected person (which is what you’re getting at Freespeech) and recommending someone for election (which is what actually happened).

        After all, are both Blair and Mosley not entitled to have an opinion about who should succeed them and be able to voice it? Anyone else voting is allowed, if they wish, to say who they are voting for and recommend others do the same, so why can’t they?

      4. a nice guy now says:

        is bishop still working for mclaren?

  33. Jon says:

    Max Mosley.. just the name alone gives me shudders. Won’t be reading this article.

    And referring to the comments above about Todt, was it any surprise when he left Ferrari they stopped getting favourable treatment and became enemies with FIA? If Todt was still at Ferarri, DDD’s might have been banned last year.

  34. TM says:

    Lol, love what Max said about Ferrari. Ferrari is legendary but their website post surely did them more damage than the teams they speak of; it made them look childish, unsporting, and yes, as Mosley says jealous – after all they are getting a LOT of attention.

    Remember in 1996? The Ferrari would literally fall apart during some of the races and nobody suggested they shouldn’t have a place on the grid.

    Maybe the Alonso pantomime villain effect has rubbed off on them!

  35. Johnnyboy says:

    Interesting to hear that Max is spending his time on privacy laws. His antics in that dungeon; was it ‘IN’ the public interest to reveal them?…no. I can’t see how the pulic benefitted from knowing. However, were they ‘OF’ public interest?…yes. It sells papers etc, whether we like it or not or agree with it or not. I guess we’ll hear more about this, which would be OF public interest of course!!

  36. Michael Brown says:

    Two points:
    1. As Robert McKay already pointed out above, comparing the debacle of the new teams to Ferrari’s Singapore 2008 fuel hose problem is utterly ridiculous. Max really is clutching at straws with that one.

    2. Apart from the rare lapse of point 1. above, Max has always struck me as an extremely intelligent bloke who can discuss things with an eloquence that few others can match. I find it hard to understand where all the hate directed at him comes from. Many people seem to be convinced that he “ousted” Ron and Flav from F1 as part of a personal vendetta, but both of them have only themselves to blame. They were the ones who gave Max the rope he used to hang them with.

    Lastly, people are saying that Max shouldn’t have the right to privacy when doing illegal things, perhaps not, but Max’s [mod] S&M session was not illegal (paying for sex in the UK is *not* illegal) so it was entirely his business and nobody else’s.

    1. Richard Mee says:

      I agree with your point about his personal charm, eloquence and cleverness.

      What got on my nerves were the arbitrary nature of punishments he awarded, the underhand deals cut at various stages, the knowledge that his will was law in the FIA, the favouritism towards Ferrari, the unconcealed contempt for non-FIA justice values.
      Towards the end he treated the world’s foremost sporting series, including its stakeholders and its legion fans like his own private plaything.
      It was an unmandated abuse of his power and station.
      Let’s not get overly sentimental about the man already!

  37. Paige says:

    Lunch in South Ken? Chairing conferences in Monaco?

    My, what a charmed existence you lead, James. ;)

  38. Richard says:

    While we are on the subject of FIA Presidents, Happy Birthday to Jean Todt. 64 years young today.

    1. Luca & Flav says:

      I hope he gets a new sweater to keep him warm in Bahrain

  39. Robert McKay says:

    On a side note, if Max

    - didn’t have any particular agenda beyond claiming he jumped and wasn’t pushed
    - did not attend the last Senate meeting
    - has no plans to be involved beyond being on the end of a telephone if new president Jean Todt wants his opinion
    - doesn’t plan to attend any races
    - has nothing left that he wanted to achieve in the sport and no scores to settle

    then what’s he really got left to meet about :-D

    1. red bull tastes like... says:

      on the first interview he gave when he took power, he said he was going to get involved in the lower formulas , where he was more needed, and let f1 run by itself. He either lied, or didn’t have a clue. Make your choices.

      1. Andy Gers says:

        I’d say BOTH. He lied (many times) and didn’t have a clue (on certain issues)

  40. Mr Spindles says:

    Just a historical note but Max Mosley has been around in F1 since at least the 70′s when he started up the MARCH team so who knows what slights real and/or perceived have driven him over the years…for extra credit who can match the other letters in MARCH with names that were part of the team, I can’t remeber who they were!

    1. Martin Collyer says:

      Mosley
      Alan Rees
      graham Coaker
      robin Herd

      or Much Advertised Racing Car Hoax

      sponsored by STP oil treatment, meaning either

      Siffert Takes Pole

      or

      Spinning Takes Practice

  41. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Hi James,

    I have continually had problems posting in the last couple of days.

    There is someone who maliciously is posting under a similar name as mine (the person who uses insulting Spanish phrases). I hope that I have not been blocked as a consequence of any actions by your tech team.

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      No you have been coming through loud and clear

    2. bad cop, no donut. says:

      don’t worry, you would never be banned from the site. James needs you to translate from spanish when you feel he is under attack from the malicious individual.

  42. Rick says:

    James,

    Much has been written in recent reports regarding Stefan GP getting a spot on this season’s grid that the current teams need to agree to allow them in. Mosley alludes to this in your interview as well. Is this truly the case? From what was reported about the BMW-Sauber and Lotus entries there was never any mention of the teams needing to agree. If (when) a spot opens up won’t the situations be the same?

    1. James Allen says:

      They didn’t sign the Concorde Agreement so the other teams need to agree to let them.

  43. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, has Max’s hearing problem improved?

    1. James Allen says:

      He has a very small hearing aid

  44. Luca & Flav says:

    Did Mosley have any Tea? Or were things not that exciting, We all know how he likes his Tea!

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      His favourite dish is grilled langostines. I know this because I have a book called Racy Recipes with recipes contributed by many in F1, published 1998!

  45. Howard Hughes says:

    I despised Mosley as FIA president, and always found him a deeply corrosive figure – but I think ultimately he won’t be remembered for his tenure there, but rather for effecting a very great benefit on society.

    I’m referring to the Newspaper privacy case he’s taking. Just today it’s reported that this case is being ‘fast-tracked’ by EU legal channels, suggesting that they approve of the finer points of his argument that newspaper should no longer have the right to publish inaccurate and sleazy exposes of people in the public eye without allowing them the right to seek an injunction first.

    I find this a tremendously important development, and one which I completely applaud Mosley for. Because for far, far too long newspapers have been able to print what they liked about celebrities, sports figures, actors, musicians etc, regardless of the damage to family, children etc, despite there being no public benefit to learning of the stories. If a politician is guilty of fraud, or a corporation guilty of abuse of powers, that is different. But newspapers serve no one but themselves, and care for nothing but their own circulation and sales.

    I personally know the ‘showbiz editor’ of one of Britain’s biggest tabloids, and he happily admits that the paper’s editor has an obsession with three particular female celebrities, and actively pushes for as many salacious stories involving the three as possible. This is clearly wrong, despite the hand-wring of the press who all claim that Mosley is pushing for censorship and the end to free speech.

    So I say go for it Max – and finally do some good with your abilities.

  46. M,SA says:

    Hi everyone, first I’d like to say I think you are often more interesting than the mainstream journalists and I thought the old F1 ITV team were better than the new BBC team.
    I want to pose a few questions and thoughts that have intrigued me.
    McLaren were fined $100 million? Do they actually write a cheque and say sorry?
    What would happen if they don’t have the money? who gets the money? Does the FIA reduce fees next year because they had a windfall this year, or does Max get a large bonus at Christmas?
    Now to talk about Max, I never really liked him, from the things he appeared to do and my perception of him from what I read and heard. I think I am in the majority of people believing him to run things in a dictatorial fashion and Not in the best interests of the sport. However! someone could have voted him out of the job? The teams could have refused to work with him in charge? It seems we don’t always get the whole story. Which brings me neatly on to the story, the Max Mosley prostitute Story, whether you like the man (Max) or not. (And knowing the story gives me a very low opinion of him) He’s private life is his. He was part of a consenting adult party. I would ask first, who benefits from knowing? Not Me! Second, who gets hurt, his Wife and very sadly, in all probability a son, so now he and his Wife get hurt again.
    I think it is very brave of Max to put himself in the spotlight and fight for YOUR potential privacy because one day it might be you who is put over the front pages of an unforgiving press. I think many of us, put in this situation may have run and hid rather than kept the wounds open and pushed for a fairer system.

    1. James Allen says:

      They paid around $30 million of it from their bank. The remaining $70m was from their entitlement to the commercial rights money from Bernie (ie their prizemoney wasn’t paid to them, but to FIA) McLaren had the money thanks to their shareholders.

      The money went to the FIA Foundation and is used for all sorts of projects.

      Max is a complex individual who has a very confrontational way of going about things, which can be unfortunate at times. But a lot of his instincts about the credit crunch and what it would do to F1 and the direction F1 needed to go may well prove to be right.

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