Mosley says F1 breakaway is still a possibility
London: The threat of a breakaway Formula One championship has not gone away despite a peace deal announced this week, motor racing chief Max Mosley warned on Friday.
A day after suggesting that the agreement could collapse unless Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo apologised for comments about him, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) President saw further trouble ahead.
In two separate letters, he called on FIA members to stand firm against the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and the manufacturers behind them.
"The FIA has to be free to confront the car industry whenever necessary," he told the 26-strong world motor sport council, the FIA body that agreed the deal on Wednesday.
"No doubt we face a difficult period," added the Briton, who has announced he will stand down in October but on Thursday said he was keeping his options open after comments by FOTA members about the need for his potential successor to be more independent.
"This may well result in short-term problems in Formula One. It is possible that FOTA will set up an independent series. That is their right, provided they do so under the International Sporting Code," added Mosley.
"But the Formula One World Championship will continue to be run by the FIA as it has been for 60 years. The Championship has had difficult times in the past and no doubt will again in the future but that is no reason to hand control to an outside body, still less one with little or no understanding of sporting ethics and under the control of an industry we have constantly to monitor."
Mosley said one, unnamed, Formula One team had lobbied him "wholly improperly" to intervene with the FIA's court of appeal earlier in the season to have the rear diffuser on the championship-leading Brawn cars declared illegal.
"The FIA Court would never listen to such an approach but it shows that for the team in question "independent" means independent of the other teams and under the control of particular interests," he said.
In another letter to all FIA members, Mosley said he was greatly concerned by FOTA comments about who should be the next president of the governing body.
"To have an FIA president under the influence of vehicle manufacturers would put at jeopardy all the excellent work our organisations and your clubs do in promoting better safety and environmental outcomes in the vehicle fleet," he warned.
"If nothing else, this attempt to tell FIA members who they should or should not elect demonstrates precisely why the FIA needs a strong president who is experienced and knowledgeable about motor sport, in particular Formula One, as well as general motoring matters."
Mosley said there was "no question that (the European car manufacturers association) ACEA would like to diminish the role of the FIA...as defenders of the interests of motorists generally.
"We must continue to defend the independence of the FIA, even if this leads to difficulties in the sport," he added.
Before the deal was announced, the ACEA had called for an overhaul of the governance of the sport in a thinly-veiled attack on Mosley.