Feud simmers between Dennis and Mosley

A simmering feud between two of the most powerful figures in Formula One erupted again today in a harsh exchange of letters at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.

A simmering feud between two of the most powerful figures in Formula One erupted again today in a harsh exchange of letters at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.

Max Mosley, president of the sport's governing body, and McLaren team boss Ron Dennis are in conflict over recent comments Dennis made that appeared critical of the way the International Automobile Federation, or FIA, was handling the racing series.

"You do a lot of damage when, as a team principal, you constantly suggest that the F1 World Championship is not fairly run," Mosley said in his four-page letter, released to the media Saturday during qualifying for the season-closing race.

At the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, Dennis appeared to object to the appointment of an Italian, Robert Causo, as a permanent steward in Formula One. Mosley said the comments implied that Causo would not be impartial in matters pitting Italy-based Ferrari against McLaren, a British team.

Ferrari is on the verge of winning the constructors title after its ace, Michael Schumacher, clinched the driving title in Japan. McLaren's Mika Hakkinen won both titles in 1998, and Hakkinen won the driving title in 1999. Ferrari won the team title.

Dennis also criticized the way another FIA official, technical delegate Charlie Whiting, handled a new interpretation of a rule defining unsportsmanlike behavior as it concerns a teammate blocking out an opponent to preserve the lead of his partner.

Mosley's sharply worded letter prompted a retreat by Dennis, whose letter said he had no intention of questioning the integrity of FIA or Causo.

"I sincerely believe that a careful analysis of my public comments over the course of the weekend will show that I was in fact fair and circumspect," Dennis wrote.

Denis said he intends to contact Mosley directly "to discuss all of these matters and I hope I can put any comments that I have made into their true context."

Schumacher gained the pole position ahead of Hakkinen for Sunday's race.

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