Sir Jackie Stewart, an implacable enemy of the FIA president, Max Mosley, who last year branded him a "certifiable halfwit" after the triple world champion had criticised his handling of the so-called Stepneygate spy scandal, launched a scathing attack on the Englishman's continued tenure following the recent vote of confidence by an extraordinary general assembly of Formula One's governing body in Paris.
"Max is entirely convinced that he can conduct his business as president no matter what occurred," the Scot began, referring to newspaper allegations concerning Mosley's private life. "He's wrong. He is failing to recognise that a lot of companies do not want to see him in the paddock, and nor do the royal families of Spain, Bahrain and Monaco. The King of Jordan did not go to see his own rally until Max had left. His brother, Prince Feisal, had invited Max but was at pains to avoid being photographed with him. The Prime Minister of Turkey called to ensure Max would not turn up at his race.
"A number of the chairmen, presidents or CEOs of the companies who were represented at Monaco called me and asked what to do, because they all wanted to avoid the risk of being seen with him.
"It is extremely selfish of Max to say that he can continue. At what cost to motor sport? The British papers were full of the scandal and how scandalous it was that Max won the vote and is carrying on. How can he not stand down? If he doesn't care about the damage he is doing, he is not the quality of person that should be doing that job. I am simply bamboozled by the arrogance of that attitude. It is just totally self-serving."
Stewart also called for a complete overhaul of the governing body. "It has got to be run by full-time, professionally paid people," he said. "Nobody within the FIA, or in this paddock, could do it. The automobile industry is the third largest in the world, and motor racing is the highest capital investment sport and it is run by part-time people! There needs to be an independent headhunter to find the right people: vice-presidents for industry, mobility and sport, with a board and a non-executive chairman to promote proper governance and transparency."