Looks like FOTA may have got the tone wrong with their triumphalism over the deal agreed on Wednesday to avert a breakaway in Formula 1.
Max Mosley has reacted angrily to the tone of messages coming out of FOTA and about what he sees as misleading briefings to the media. Having cast his eye through the morning’s papers, some of which we reviewed here on JA on F1, he sent off an angry letter to FOTA prior to their meeting in Bologna,
“Given your and FOTA’s deliberate attempt to mislead the media, I now consider my options open. At least until October, I am president of the FIA with the full authority of that office.
“After that it is the FIA member clubs, not you or FOTA, who will decide on the future leadership of the FIA.”
Mosley is not saying that he’s changing his mind about standing again in October, but he is saying that FOTA should be careful and treat the FIA with the respect it claimed to have for it in closing the deal.
Mosley is furious with the tone of messages like Luca di Montezemolo’s jibe about no more ‘dictators’. He is also angry that FOTA representatives have claimed that FIA Senate president Michel Boeri is now in change of F1, rather than that the Senate itself, of which he is, and will remain, a part. He has also bridled at suggestions that he was forced out of office.
“We made a deal yesterday in Paris to end the recent difficulties in Formula 1. A fundamental part of this was that we would both present a positive and truthful account to the media.
“I was therefore astonished to learn that FOTA has been briefing the press that Mr Boeri has taken charge of Formula 1, something which you know is completely untrue; that I had been forced out of office, also false; and, apparently, that I would have no role in the FIA after October, something which is plain nonsense, if only because of the FIA statutes.
“Furthermore, you have suggested to the media that I was a ‘dictator’, an accusation which is grossly insulting to the 26 members of the World Motor Sport Council who have discussed and voted all the rules and procedures of Formula 1 since the 1980s, not to mention the representatives of the FIA’s 122 countries who have democratically endorsed everything I and my World Motor Sport Council colleagues have done during the last 18 years.”
Mosley makes it clear that he wants them to change their tone and be more respectful,
“You must correct the false statements which have been made and make no further such statements. You yourself must issue a suitable correction and apology at your press conference this afternoon.”
No such apology has been forthcoming so far.
It’s hard to imagine that the situation will return to what we had prior to Wednesday’s meeting, but Mosley’s pride has been hurt and FOTA know that.
There is no need to be provocative, they have what they wanted and Mosley is not staying on after October. But clearly they couldn’t resist it. In Italy in particular, Montezemolo is being painted as St George, who slayed the dragon.