As weary Formula One fans became ever more bemused and Max Mosley sought to explain why it is taking so long for a suitable 2009 Concorde Agreement to be put before the teams for signature, the beleaguered FIA president came under attack from an unexpected source.
In Melbourne, Ron Walker, the head of the Australian Grand Prix, told The Age newspaper that it was time Mosley stood down. "If the disunity continues Melbourne will seriously consider its position on continuing with Formula One," he said, adding that the absence of Ferrari from an FIA world championship would seriously compromise international television coverage, and therefore the media exposure that is essential to the success of the Australian race. "Without Ferrari in Melbourne, the race would lose much of its glamour and therefore the government investment will come into question.
"In my view Mr Mosley should walk away from the sport rather than slowly strangle to death the great brand of F1," he said. "The sport needs fresh and dynamic leadership more than ever before to lead F1 into a new era. Bernie Ecclestone is absolutely trying to be a peacemaker, but if the most successful automotive companies in the world will not agree to the rules laid down by the FIA then that will be the end of it."
In Germany a statement from the FIA said that legal considerations had delayed the Concorde Agreement, but suggested that peace was imminent.