David Tremayne: Mosley is running the risk of ending his own dictatorship

Comment

The war between FIA president Max Mosley and FOTA, the association of Formula One teams, has been a long time coming and the current impasse can only be damaging for the sport.

Although FOTA has made some serious inroads into cost-cutting, Mosley, some would say, has continually belittled its efforts while taking credit for reductions in spending thus far this season.

It has always been his style to operate a dictatorship, partly due to his little-disguised disdain for many of the team principals. But where commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has operated a benign dictatorship – which fundamentally has the sport's best interests at heart even if his own are also well catered for – Mosley has often been accused of being intransigent for the sake of it.

It is deeply ironic that Mosley's principal enemy is Luca di Montezemolo (pictured), the charismatic chief of Ferrari, for the Scuderia was once seen as the FIA's favoured team. Now, however, the two heavyweights are at loggerheads as the vexed question of cost reduction continues to prove a stumbling block.

Nobody in the paddock seriously believes that uncontrolled spending can continue, however, for these are very different times and the sport has to move with them or risk becoming the sort of conspicuous consumption that might attract those motivated to bring about its demise. But it is the manner and timing of reductions that are proving problematic. There is no way that Toyota, for example, are going to drop from spending $400m a year to $60m in one hit. That is simply not feasible. But it is what Mosley is effectively suggesting.

In standing his ground yesterday, he is indulging in another act of deliberate brinkmanship. By leaving things as they are he puts the teams in an invidious situation where the closing date for the 2010 championship is looming fast, thus putting them on their mettle to fulfil the threats made earlier this week by Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and Renault to withdraw for 2010 if their demands are not met.

Or to back down.

But he runs the risk of the powder keg exploding in his face if Ferrari really were to quit.

It remains to be seen whether the same penchant for pushing a dangerous situation to the verge of disaster that he brought to his fight over the sex orgy scandal last year can be made to work again for him this time around.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam