Mosley must resign to end FIA crisis, says Ecclestone

Max Mosley has firmly rebuffed suggestions by 24 member clubs of his FIA organisation that the sport is in crisis in the wake of his much-publicised sex scandal, and rejected their call to stand down ahead of a vote of confidence in him at an extraordinary general meeting of the FIA in Paris on Tuesday.

The beleaguered president has been toughing it out ever since the story of an orgy with five hookers broke in a Sunday newspaper on 30 March, and even though the clubs – from America, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland – represent 86 per cent of the overall FIA membership, they have only 25 per cent of the vote.

Mosley is adamant that he will have sufficient support from other clubs come Tuesday to retain his role at least until his term of office expires in October 2009. He claims it is essential that he stays in order to complete delicate negotiations on the sport's future.

His long-time cohort Bernie Ecclestone is the sport's commercial-rights holder, and with Mosley created the Concorde Agreement by which the sport has been run ever since their watershed battle with the FIA (then the FISA) back in 1981. He has been playing his usual complex game during all this, alternately praising and criticising Mosley in what many have seen as their traditional strategy of appearing to be at war while remaining firm allies.

It is in neither's interest to see the other fall. But this week Ecclestone finally revealed the pressure he has been under from investors, sponsors and manufacturers in F1 as Mosley steadfastly refuses to go away.

Ecclestone said: "They point out that as a chief executive or chief operating officer of a major company they would have gone either immediately, or within 24 hours, in the same circumstances. They cannot understand why Max has not done the same.

"He is a strong man. Once he makes a decision he sticks to it. He feels that there is still important work to do at the FIA. But in my view there is a way to accomplish this and retire at the end of the year at the FIA general assembly in November. I would be happy to sit at his side to help him to achieve that.

"He should stand down out of responsibility for the institution he represents, including F1. Everyone who I speak to in a position of authority across F1 rings me to say he should leave. It is regretful that he has not made that decision."

Even Ecclestone believes that "these incidents" have left Mosley in an untenable position in which his credibility – and therefore the credibility of his sport – has been terminally undermined. Ecclestone said: "The general feeling is that people would no longer be comfortable speaking to him in the same way. I have spoken to Max about this and advised him to stand down in November and not to go to the vote next Tuesday.

"He is being punished for the wrong reasons. He has done a first-class job as president. Like all of us he has made some mistakes, but 90 per cent of the decisions he has taken have been to the benefit of all. He deserves to be remembered for all the positive work he has done, not for an exposé in a tabloid newspaper. That is why he should announce his decision to resign now and not go through with a vote of confidence. That is not in his best interests, the FIA's or the sport's."

Meanwhile, racing continues next weekend with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is very different to Monaco, where Lewis Hamilton won brilliantly last weekend, describing it as "the highlight of my career". But Hamilton scored his first GP victory in Canada last year and is intent on increasing his new championship lead.

"It looks as though the title will be a race between Ferrari and ourselves, though I wouldn't discount BMW," says McLaren's chief executive, Martin Whitmarsh. "If we can progress at a better rate than Ferrari we'll win the championship, and vice versa.

"Braking and straight-line speeds are critical in Can-ada and we've been focusing on those areas. This year our car has excelled in sweeping, high-speed corners: Montreal hasn't got any of those, but we have done very well there before and I'm confident we'll be very strong again."

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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor