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Pots and black kettles

NEWS STORY
19/04/2008

Car manufacturers Porsche and Volkswagen have once again dismissed the idea of entering F1, only this time they cite the ongoing Mosley saga as being one of the reasons.

"After the affair with Max Mosley and the women it would not be very savoury to get involved (in F1) now," said Wolfgang Porsche in an interview with Stern.

While Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of Volkswagen, which F1 has been attempting to woo for some time added: "300 million euros a year... that is just burning money."

While the two companies have always enjoyed a close relationship, Ferdinand Porsche having designed the first Volkswagen (people's car) at the behest of Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s, it wasn't until late 2005 that Porsche bought an 18.65 percent stake in Volkswagen, increasing it to 30.9 percent in March 2007.

Meanwhile, it was in mid-2005 that Germany was shaken by news of bribery and fraud at Volkswagen, with claims that the company operated a 'slush fund' which allowed members of the company's powerful works council to go on "pleasure trips". It was alleged that the trips, which supposedly included the services of prostitutes, were approved by the company board.

Although Personnel Director, Peter Hartz, a close acquaintance of Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, vowed to fight the allegations of bribes and kickbacks, in January 2007 he confessed to cheating Volkswagen by using the slush fund to pay for prostitutes and luxury holidays for top trade unionists.

Among other things, Hartz, stood accused of paying £250,000 to the Brazilian mistress of the former works council chief of VW. In addition unauthorised bonuses were paid to fund union leaders' nightclub visits and escort girls became part of the culture in an effort to ensure that worker representatives who were given boardroom directorships played along with unpopular management decisions.

Still, the headline, "Mosley Saga Keeps VW Out Of F1" reads so much better than "VW Feels F1 Is A Waste Of Money".

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