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Mosley forecasts 'problems' ahead for F1
Mosley forecasts 'problems' ahead for F1
Posted By:   |  26 Jun 2009   |  4:36 pm GMT  |  58 comments

Max Mosley has fired off another letter to the members of the FIA World motor sport council, in the wake of negative comments from FOTA members over the deal struck on Wednesday.

Mosley wrote to FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo yesterday demanding an apology for the ‘misleading’ statements he and other FOTA team bosses had made. No apology was made at the FOTA press conference, however Montezemolo did write back to Mosley yesterday saying that he had read Mosley’s comments with amazement and pointed out how his observations had been misunderstood. Montezemolo went on to reaffirm respect for all the agreements made with the FIA.

If Mosley was unhappy with Montezemolo’s jibe about the sport not needing another ‘dictator’, he was incandescent with Toyota boss John Howett’s assertion that the FIA needed to elect someone ‘independent’ as the next FIA president. Howett meant someone with no previous links to an F1 team, in other words, not Jean Todt.

In today’s letter Mosley again encourages the FIA members to see the threat to the FIA’s standing and livelihood behind FOTA’s behaviour. To him, they want to take over.

“It is disappointing that Montezemolo did not keep his part of the bargain we made last Wednesday. I had anyway decided not to offer myself for re-election next October and, given what I have had to contend with during the last 12 months, I needed a peaceful summer before starting a more leisurely existence.

“The compromise we found was therefore acceptable to me personally and seemed in the overall interests of Formula 1. But when FOTA falsely claimed that they had ousted me and imposed their will on the FIA, the situation became intolerable. No doubt we face a difficult period. This may well result in short-term problems in Formula 1. It is possible that FOTA will set up an independent series. That is their right, provided they do so under the International Sporting Code.

“But the Formula 1 World Championship will continue to be run by the FIA as it has been for 60 years. The Championship has had difficult times in the past and no doubt will again in the future but that is no reason to hand control to an outside body, still less one with little or no understanding of sporting ethics and under the control of an industry we have constantly to monitor.

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

“This has nothing to do with me as an individual, it is about the independence of the FIA and its member clubs as defenders of the motorist and arbiters of international motor sport.”

Picture 38
There has been some suggestion that some of these FIA world council members might step into the limelght to have their say on the matter, presumably backing up what Mosley is saying.

Meanwhile there has been some speculation that this change of heart by Mosley may lead to the breakaway being back on, but I think we should be cautious before reaching that conclusion. Firstly I don’t detect that FOTA is too concerned with today’s developments; they are pressing ahead with shaping the 2010 rules and know that Mosley is leaving office in October. The agreement achieved on Wednesday has been voted through by the world council in any case. They see this as MM trying to create artificial tension, while arguing that the FIA needs a ‘strong’ president who is experienced in F1 – ie Jean Todt. I get the impression that not even Ferrari want him to be the president. But as Mosley points out, FOTA has no say in that vote.

We will see what exactly he means by ‘short-term problems’ in the coming weeks, I guess.

It appears that nothing has been signed yet, but the drivers which moved the situation forwards to the solution agreed on Wednesday are just as valid now as they were then. And they are largely commercial.

CVC has a big investment in Formula 1 and its options for making an exit are limited, but all roads would appear to lead to an IPO at some stage in the future. Wednesday’s agreement lays out a path for that and it’s hard to see a return to the uncertainty which threatened F1.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore touched on CVC’s role yesterday when he said of the contract with the commercial rights holder,

“It runs to 2012 but we would be interested in extending it. We need to increase the number of viewers and balance what the teams spend with what they take in. F1 should be a profit centre. Actors don’t pay to appear in films, spending more than they take in, like the Blues Brothers.”

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I agree with Jeremiah, Flav is not at all logical in wanting to extend the seriously unbalanced existing contract under which apparently Bernie owes the teams a lot of back pay from previous years (remember the showdown at the beginning of the season, 3 teams said they would not go unless Bernie paid up, Bernie calmly offered to cancel the transport if they weren’t going)

CVC is now a huge multinational finance house with many contracts other than Bernie’s F1. How he controls the company with only 5% shareholding is a mystery since he is heavily outmatched in share power. I think you will find that CVC do not hold the rights, they are split between the many companies in Bernie’s Alpha and Topco and Bambino groups all of which have some connection or are part owned by either CVC or directly by Bambino. The subject is almost worthy of a book in itself.

Madoff pah! he knows nothing! A Ponzi is bound to collapse, but a Bernie is self supporting.


I dont understand Flav´s words. CVC supposidely was taking money away from his team, and he wants to stick with CVC and extend the contract.

I think the only ones in this whole business that are not getting money from CVC are the fans and the racetrack owners.
Everyone else that participates in this theater show gets an envelope from CVC


A point about KERS

I was under the impression that KERS was / were being scrapped before 2010 season begins, also Monte saying KERS “Is not helping us” or words to that effect.

But now I hear that Massa thinks it’s great.

Anybody know what’s going on?


“This has nothing to do with me as an individual, it is about the independence of the FIA and its member clubs as defenders of the motorist and arbiters of international motor sport.”

Translation: “This has everything to do with me as an individual, it is not about the independence of the FIA and its member clubs as defenders of the motorist and arbiters of international motor sport. Someone said mean things about me, and they must pay.”


“little or no understanding of sporting ethics”


The arrogance of this man beggars belief.

I should have chucked him into the harbour when I had the chance 3 years ago.

Yuck I shook his hand. *shudders *


Police issued a warning today of possible heavy traffic in the centre of Monaco. The problem is likely to persist into the week as a considerable number of toys have to be removed from the road. Access also has to be gained to a pram in the middle of the pile.

The police advise those who want to go about their business to ignore the situation as it is in a side street and need not impinge on the main corridors. Once all parties have agreed on a resolution the pram will be removed and placed in a dead end.


Can someone please do the necessary with the Stake ?

Max is clearly deranged, after his humiliating defeat when his rampant ego almost split and destroyed F1, he is now trying to get his FIA “gang” to join up behind him as “they are attacking us” when in fact it is utterly clear for all to see that “they” are attacking HIM not the FIA.

There is a difference, a massive one and the egotistical despot’s final hope of ruining everybody’s lives rests on it.


Who are the other strong candidates to follow Mosley as the head of FIA, besides Todt? Any inside gossip going around?


FOTA got just about everything they wanted, then started behaving like the cock in the henhouse. I can’t blame {mod} MM for being a little upset. Luca needs to shut up and start taking care of business…if he keeps running his mouth he’s going to blow the whole deal.

Thomas England

Max & Bernie show appears to be alive and well, despite the rumors it was dead!!!

I recall a quote from a F1 Team leader somewhere on the web recently along the lines of “….won’t believe he’s gone until I see a stake through his heart….”, which kind of sums up what people think of the guy.

The U-turn is not surprising really is it? Max & Bernie have made a habit of saying whatever was needed at one time or another if it suited their needs and then abruptly volte face claiming the circumstances have changed. This is no different; Max needed to placate FOTA prior to the World Council meeting and now he has dodged that bullet will look to rebuild the power base.

Maybe his actions are irrelevant, in that the new Concorde Agreement will set out the governance such that he / future FIA president cannot meddle as he has recently.

James, it would be extremely interesting to learn a bit more about the Max & Bernie deadly duo. What I really struggle with is this: Couple years back Mosley [the FIA] gave Ecclestone the F1 commercial rights for 100-years, making Bernie many millions of dollars. At the same time, Mosley has held a none-paying job?? [Mod}

Great blog by the way

Calgary, Canada


I am over 40 lol and do not recall ever reading such horse crap such as Max writes. Unreal for a man who was the head of the FIA and makes me think that he has gone crazy. His letters are crazy. Thanks James love the blog and all the reader comments. Cheers

Brian of Los Angeles

Why can’t Max just let this thing go. He would rather let F1 go down the drain. He should just let this little spat go so we can be assured that next year we can expect only one championship. But I really do think he needs to not stand for re-election in October, he has done a lot for the FIA and in one hand he is getting out of touch with reality.


If the fight ends and we all have peace then we will only have the racing to comment on and since this has been the worst season since… um… well …
2009 the most boring racing i have seen (10 years i havent missed a race).
Imagine if all the energy the teams and FIA have spent on attention grabbing went on improving racing…
I would like those responsible to admit they stuffed up this year, (kers, ddd, L.H vs truth, Malyasia pm start, no testing, Turkey ticket prices, more?). Then we can have confidence our complaints are being heard at least.
I can switch off boring races now which was impossible years ago…
Question. Could the min weight of the cars be increased so negative effect of Kers is much reduced?
Also does UK betting give odds on who Webber is going to cry about and accuse of ruining his race?


Would somebody shut this guy up?

Just remember Max, stiff upper lip chap, the fans pay to see the cars and the drivers not your ego self destruct.


JA, why wouldn’t Ferrari want Todt was FIA President?


Did didnt did didnt etc – can you please shut up Max (and Luca before you return the serve yet again). Either you (the parties)have done a deal that you have already alluded to ( thanks Eddie Jordan – not – for that hackneyed phrase) – or you havent – if you havent and all bets are off then get on with the breakaway warts and all


Mosley doesn’t, and never will understand that the vast majority of fans see him as an obstacle to racing.


Harveyeight has it.


When they asked for an independent candidate, the impression I got was that they meant independent from any of the competing teams, which seems like a fair request.


I fear there is only one loonie loose in F1, he has even featured in a movie…
Just go away, read books or whatever you like to do in your spare time.


When will Max just leave it. He’s really starting to make a fool of himself with his actions now. Seeing a person desperatley cling to power isnt very pleasant. Yes he’s done some good things for motorsport, especially on the safety side which we shouldnt forget, but too many times he has pursued his own agenda.

On another note James, great article you wrote in the July edition of F1 Racing magazine about Button, you going to be writing more of them now? I hope so!!



Is it not the case that the FIA have a veto over transfer of commercial rights ownership to “an inappropriate organisation”?

With an IPO the ownership of the commercial rights could be spread all over the place. Surely the FIA would want to prevent that.

How could CVC/BCE procede with this and keep the FIA happy?



Ok he’s a few sandwich’s short of a picnic old max,think we should call the nurse time for his lie down.
Interesting thing James how much has CVC conceded to get F1 back. As briatore say’s they now have the ability to fund there teams out of revenue.So CVC must have taken a very large hit to save the golden goose when this all fall’s out the other end in the way off future I bet you that they had a hell of alot more to do with all this than what we see know.


MM has really lost his marbles now. He’s reading one comment and his mind is seeing a totally different one.
How is FOTA not wanting an ex Ferrari man as head of the FIA an attack on the FIA. It’s common sense for impartiality.

Someone please drag this mentalist away from the FIA and F1 before he does irreconcilable damage. I think a straight jacket may be needed, he’s actually gone insane.


James, is there any chance you could explain what an IPO is to uneducated people like me? (I never did business studies at school). All I know about them is that if they can get CVC away from F1, they have to be good!


Max Mosley is unbelievable.


Hi James, great blog as always.

I must admit that I thought some of the comments made by FOTA were rather triumphalist considering that Max Mosely seemed to be doing his best to simply be polite and try to keep some dignity in a fight which he has obviously lost.

I almost felt sorry for him for a second until I realised he is using the same tactics on the FIA members that he has has on the teams for years. Making melodramatic comments about FOTA threatening the FIA – just to get the kneejerk reation from the FIA that he wants looks rather sad to me.

Mosely has lost any barganing chips he once had and is desperate to save face. FOTA have the momementum (at the minute), but gloating about it isn’t pretty. We have grown to expect it from Max Mosely, but FOTA should rise above it.


The FIA’s decision process should not be influenced by the auto manufacturers. Just take a look at the economic situation in the world to see what happens when an industry regulates itself.

The real problem in this situation is CVC no matter what anyone says. Their situation is exactly like someone whose mortgage is underwater. They took out a huge amount of debt to buy the commercial rights. Those aren’t worth as much as they paid and now it’s difficult for the them to act rationally. The FIA and FOTA are having a tug of war battle with an invisible enemy (CVC) whose self interest is acting as a wedge.

I support transparent governance. I do not support money flowing out of the sport to people who don’t put anything back in.

The ideal situation would be for FOTA to wreck the future cash flows of F1 (thus the valuation of CVC’s investment) by threatening the breakaway again, buy out CVC (at a massive loss to CVC) with their FOTA bond money ($50 million a piece if I’m not mistaken) and then set up the commercial rights to pay money back into the sport. That would allow the classic tracks to return, ticket prices to decrease and F1 could leave 1999 behind, allow the TV stations to sell their race coverage online as well as develop an interactive fan website. If anyone from F1 is reading and needs a bucket-full of easily implemented ideas to bring money to the teams I have it for you.


It is clear that the intent of the FOTA press release was to bury Mosley, not to praise him. But they did it using fairly circumspect language. This seems quite restrained in the circumstances.

Mosley’s antics take me back to my youth in the post-war east end of London. A kid called Rodney was the only one we knew with parents who were rich, i.e. who could afford to buy him a ‘real’ football, one that had air in it. It weighed as much as I did as a seven year old and no one could kick it uphill.

Rodney couldn’t kick it downhill either but that didn’t stop him wanting to play centre-forward. If he didn’t get his wish he would run off home with his ball. The fact that his behaviour meant that no one, including him, got a game seemed not to matter to him.

My mate Tommy O had the answer. He took the ball from Rodney and said that he could play with us or wait until we’d finished. He knew that Rodney’s parents would tell him off quite severely if he returned home without the expensive ball. A few tears later Rodney played midfield – he was still rubbish at it – and everyone was happy.

Rodney became a teacher and Tommy a car dealer until he got nicked for handling stolen goods. Both, it seemed, took different things from the experience.

As for Mosley though, one wonders if he will ever learn to act reasonably.

Joaquín Correa

we need a vampire slayer now…


I wish FOTA would just pull the plug on this and start their own series. That would stop Max from interfering.

I hope when/if FOTA do sign with FOM, the contract has clauses in it which void the whole contract if Mosley stands for re-election (and also if his term is extended, thus preventing him from needing to stand for election).

That stops Max pulling a bait and switch.

As for an independent candidate for FIA president, any sane person capable of playing team games knows that you want impartial referees and impartial governance and what problems can happen with conflicts of interest from past associations.


Mosley’s comments are undefined and vague. If, as he says, it is not about him personally then it is about nothing. Given his loony and half-wit jibes, those of the post WMSC meeting are restraint itself.

Mosley wants an independant FiA. If he carries on this way it might well be considerably more independant than even he wishes.

There was no compromise in Wednesday’s decision. FOTA got everything, and more, they asked for in January. They’ve accepted the contract with CVC until 1012 with the heavy-handed caveat of ‘being interested’ in renewing it. The ‘actors don’t pay to appear in films’ is a clever phrase.

It is dangerous to highlight the fact that the motor manufacturers don’t have much say in the election of the president of the FiA when its main function is with regards to them. And although the full funding method is not exactly transparent, it would appear that they also pay for the offices, the high life of the officials, and the transport of the voting members hither and lither when the modd takes.

Mosley ignored the concerns of the AAA and ACEA and derided their authority. his replacement has a lot of bridge-building to undertake if he (almost certainly he) doesn’t want to be the last incumbent.

Mosley’s behaviour is continuing to distance sponsors from committment.

The best response from FOTA to Mosley’s tirade is “Whatever.” and then a return to work pulling F1 from the abyss.

A rampant FOTA will be bad for the sport. We’ve had ample evidence of what damage total authority in one person or office can cause. But with his behaviour Mosley seems to be pushing the FiA towards oblivion. With a little more thought and restraint, FOTA could have been pushed towards accepting a compromise but in the end they were awarded everything.

There are some wise heads in FOTA. None of the team principals are appointees, having to go along with a decision regardless. this is their strength of course and, perhaps, a safeguard. They’ve got their fair share of nutters as well.


Mosley: “But when FOTA falsely claimed that they had ousted me and imposed their will on the FIA, the situation became intolerable…..” Where did they do that James?

I have read and re-read some of the FOTA comments and cannot see Mosley’s objections to John Howett’s comment: “the federation is an independent body with its own constitution, and it will be their business who they elect as the future successor to their president. From the teams point of view, we would like to see somebody who actually is independent, if you like, perhaps independent from any of us currently or historically.”

Same old tactics all over again. Enough is enough. Although I do not like the tactics on both sides Max (not FIA) and FOTA, FOTA gets my vote at the moment.


If Max could step outside himself for a few minutes, I think he would see that Luca and John Howett see Max largely the way that the fans see him. To me, this only makes him come off as a crybaby with a huge ego and no sense of what’s good for the sport as a whole. He could drop this and it would all go away, but we know that won’t happen. As much as it would sadden me, if this goes on for very much longer my television will be off next season regardless of who is in which series. And I’m pretty sure I am not a lone voice.


hey james, is CVC and all formula 1 tied up to fia? i think i should be an option to fota and to bernie just to leave fia …

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