Pressure mounts on Mosley to walk away

The beleaguered FIA president, Max Mosley, faced further punishment yesterday. Though Lewis Hamilton's practice crash here briefly put the focus back on the track, the sport soon reverted to examination of its conscience, and the desirability of Mosley continuing in his role.

In what seemed like a parody of the Eurovision Song Contest, the 'votes' have been coming in from the various FIA-member car clubs, and the Dutch motorsport federation gave him a 'nul points' rating in the most strongly worded condemnation yet of the alleged Nazi-themed sexual activities revealed by a Sunday newspaper.

While Germany's ADAC had earlier called for Mosley to "reconsider" his position, KNAF of the Netherlands went for the jugular and called for him to resign. Their president, Arie Ruitenbeek, said: "Because of his high-profile position, this can't be accepted. I have not received my invitation yet [to a scheduled FIA extraordinary general meeting to discuss the matter] but we will go and will vote for him to resign."

ADAC, the German company which is Europe's largest automobile club with 10 million members, revealed that it had sent a letter to Mosley which said: "The role of an FIA president who represents more than 100 million motorists worldwide should not be burdened by such an affair. Therefore, we ask the president to very carefully reconsider his role within the organisation."

Further condemnation came from the Israeli automobile club (MEMSI). Their president, Yitzhak Milstein, said: "The facts, as published, are shocking. It is especially surprising for us in view of the fact that our contacts with Mr Mosley along the years have always been proper and correct, and never gave an indication of what the recent story may reflect.

"Once the whole thing is clarified – and there is a better idea on how true the story is – we will make our conclusions known. And they will certainly match the severity of the matter."

None of Britain's three member associations, the MSA (Motor Sports Association), the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) and the AA (Automobile Association), has yet been drawn into the debate, but the Caravan Club, which does not expect to have a vote, said: "Immaterial of the current situation, we feel it is time for Max Mosley to step down and have done for some time."

Formula One powerbroker Bernie Ecclestone, a close ally of Mosley's, said: "This is an FIA thing, this is nothing to do with anyone else. It doesn't affect us in any shape or form. It's not what I think, it's what other people think. I'm happy with Max, I don't have any problems at all. Max will know what he needs to do. He is the president of the FIA, he is the one who will decide what goes on in the FIA – not me."

Meanwhile, the drivers are expected to make a statement soon, pending a meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association this evening. Feelings in some quarters there are known to be running high. A statement from America's AAA, the FIA's largest club with more than 53 million members, is still awaited.

Against this highly charged background, the crash which damaged Hamilton's McLaren in the closing minutes of the afternoon practice session served as a reminder that physical risk is still a significant factor in a sport that some might be tempted to believe is only about politics these days. It came when he put a wheel on to a slippery kerb and the car got away from him and slid into a steel barrier.

"It was a shame that I ended what had been a productive day going off the circuit and hitting the barriers at Turn Seven," he said sheepishly after ending the session fourth fastest. "I was just pushing and sometimes these things happen. I am absolutely fine, and hopefully the damage to the car is not too bad.

"We would have had to change our engine and gearbox anyway so hopefully I am not going to be too unpopular with the boys in the garage. In the first session we stayed on the same set of tyres throughout. I flat-spotted one of them early on but, as it was only practice one, we chose to save a set of tyres, however we monitored the vibrations closely to make sure that they didn't cause any damage to the car. The circuit was obviously very dirty and continued to evolve throughout both sessions."

McLaren chief Ron Dennis said he was not concerned that Felipe Massa went a lot faster for Ferrari, on what was obviously a low-fuel run, since neither Hamilton nor his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who was third fastest behind Massa and Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari, ran with light fuel loads.

"Apart from Lewis' off towards the end of the second session, it was a good start to our Bahrain Grand Prix weekend," said Dennis. "The track continued to improve throughout both sessions and we gathered a lot of data. As Bahrain is one of the most demanding circuits on brakes we monitored and evaluated our brake performance throughout. We experienced no problems and look forward to the rest of the weekend." Whether the same can be said for Mosley remains to be seen.

Bahrain Grand Prix Practice times: First Session: 1 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1min 32.233sec; 2 K Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:32.350; 3 N Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota 1:32.415; 4 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.705; 5 H Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.868; 6 K Nakajima (Japan) Williams-Toyota 1:33.121; 7 R Kubica (Pol) BMW-Sauber 1:33.333; 8 J Trulli (It) Toyota 1:33.539; 9 D Coulthard (GB) RedBull-Renault 1:33.788; 10 F Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:33.815; 11 T Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:33.929; 12 M Webber (Aus) RedBull_Renault 1:33.950; 13 N Piquet Jnr (Br) Renault 1:33.981; 14 N Heidfeld (Ger) BMW-Sauber 1:34.106; 15 S Bourdais (Fr) Toro Rosso 1:34.235; 16 S Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.321; 17 G Fisichella (It) Force India-Ferrari 1:34.892; 18 J Button (GB) Honda 1:34.915; 19 R Barrichello (Br) Honda 1:35.174; 20 A Sutil (Ger) Force India-Ferrari 1:35.429; 21 A Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda 1:36.145; 22 T Sato (Japan) Super Aguri-Honda 1:36.536. Second Session: 1 Massa 1min 31.420sec; 2 Raikkonen 1:32.327; 3 Kovalainen 1:32.752 30; 4 Hamilton 1:32.847 26; 5 Kubica 1:32.915 29; 6 Rosberg 1:33.022 34; 7 Coulthard 1:33.048 27; 8 Nakajima 1:33.098 33; 9 Bourdais 1:33.197; 10 Piquet Jr. 1:33.247; 11 Button 1:33.710; 12 Alonso 1:33.755; 13 Webber 1:33.782; 14 Trulli 1:33.822; 15 Glock 1:33.856; 16 Barrichello 1:33.966; 17 Heidfeld 1:34.023; 18 Fisichella 1:34.388; 19 Sutil 1:34.405; 20 Vettel 1:34.787; 21 Sato 1:35.288; 22 Davidson 1:35.712.

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea