Williams creates a stink over Mosley meddling

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The Independent Online

Sir Frank Williams has added to criticism of FIA president Max Mosley's stewardship of Formula One, suggesting that a day of reckoning may be imminent.

Sir Frank Williams has added to criticism of FIA president Max Mosley's stewardship of Formula One, suggesting that a day of reckoning may be imminent.

"The prevailing atmosphere stinks," said Williams, a veteran of five decades of battle. "It is very unhealthy. F1 has never been like this before, even back in 1980 when we all fought the war against Max's predecessor, Jean-Marie Balestre. He never tried to interfere so much in the daily life of the teams."

Williams' rival and friend Ron Dennis, of McLaren, threatened last week to pull out of Formula One if the profit sharing and transparency of commercial deals do not improve significantly by 2008. Williams, ever the pragmatist, admitted: "We cannot afford to be totally hardline, because if you make the wrong decision you can row yourself out of business. We would be happy with less technology, but not with the zero technology that Max wants. Bernie [Ecclestone] admits that he wants to keep the manufacturers, but Max wants them out. They are just too powerful for his liking".

Williams' shareholding partner, Patrick Head, said he was "surprised and impressed" by the cohesion between the major manufacturers and the renegade teams. "The biggest thing that is winding the manufacturers up is the autocratic 'they're all children' stuff from Mosley. You can see why BMW were unimpressed with the new 2.4-litre V8 rules for 2006 when all the marketing for their new M5 road car centres on its V10 engine. They would have been quite happy with a 2.4-litre V10.

"It is this manner of governing the technical regulations that is the biggest problem. Not whether Bernie takes 50 per cent of the cash. The teams are saying that this is crazy and that they are no longer going to live with it.

"They are also unhappy at the rate Ferrari have been offered. More money for Ferrari is reasonable, given their heritage and success, but under their exclusive deal if they finish 10th they will still get a bigger share than some winners." Williams believes Ecclestone is on his back foot. "Everybody is really pissed off by the deal he made with the FIA and Ferrari."

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