Mosley on a high as Hamilton tries to keep low profile

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Confidence is a crucial commodity in any sport, and in Formula One right now Max Mosley and Lewis Hamilton seem to have cornered the market. But where Mosley is keen to boast about his in the wake of a successful legal case against the News of the World, Hamilton is downplaying his.

The once-beleaguered president of motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, said earlier this week that the High Court ruling last week that there was no Nazi element to his infamous sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes had significantly freed him to get on with running the sport.

"It is obviously better to win than lose," he said. "But the key thing was winning the FIA confidence vote because, if you are an elected official and your electorate don't want you to continue, then you have to stop.

"Winning the case was good because it stopped all the nonsense about Nazism – that has now gone and that is the thing that really mattered."

Mosley is now focusing on ongoing discussions with Bernie Ecclestone and his financial partners, CVC Capital Partners, who jointly own the rights to the sport, concerning a new Concorde Agreement by which it can be run. The old one expired at the end of 2007, and there are concerns that the sport is rudderless without a new one.

Mosley plans to push green issues – specifically the introduction of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) – despite misgivings from the teams, and to reduce costs by capping annual budgets so that even independent teams can remain competitive against manufacturer-owned giants.

"It does need a real reduction in cost," he said. "It needs the independent teams to be able to operate profitably and if they can't operate profitably they won't operate at all eventually because they have to run at a profit.

"One of the suggestions being made is the first thing you do is move the development area essentially into the drivetrain so that you're looking at the new technologies in the drivetrain, things like KERS, things like turbo generators, heat recovery, all those sort of things which are relevant to the road."

Mosley also affirmed that he will not stand for another term of office in October next year.

Hamilton, for his part, returned to the scene of his famed spat with his 2007 McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso – the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest – raring to go and careful to avoid the ongoing politics as he was questioned about negative comments attributed to Mosley on the subject of mixed marriages. "I am not happy about that," Hamilton, a product of such a marriage, said sotto voce yesterday, but would not commentfurther.

He also denied that he felt the world championship was coming back into focus for the first time since his victory in the opening race in Australia. "Not really, because I've thought I've had that opportunity since day one. I've had a couple of bad races, but there has always been a long way to go so I've never believed I can't win"

He also rejected suggestions that he is the favourite, following his two dominating grand prix wins in Britain and Germany. If he wins here on Sunday, repeating his 2007 success, he would be the first Briton to achieve the hat-trick since Damon Hill in his championship year in 1996.

"I feel confident in what I am doing and what I have to do," he insisted, "but just being at the top of the table doesn't mean you'll win. I was favourite for much of last year and didn't win."