While still considering whether to take legal action against him, three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart has called on FIA President Max Mosley to resign, claiming that the Englishman is damaging Formula One's credibility.
Recently, Mosley stunned F1 fans when de described Stewart as an object of ridicule in the paddock, mocking his customary tartan trousers as something out of 1930s music hall. Most notably, however, he described the Scot as a "certifiable half-wit".
Following talk of legal action from the former BRDC President, Mosley said he stood by his comments and was willing to repeat them.
Now, in an exclusive interview with one of Scotland's leading newspapers, The Herald, Stewart has called on Mosley to resign, for the good of the sport.
"There is an escalating awareness that he is being called into question over the proper governance of the FIA and his authority is being undermined, to an increasing degree, largely because we are in the most exciting F1 campaign there has been for years, and yet the papers are full of negative publicity," said the Scot.
"As far as I am concerned, it looks as if we are shooting ourselves in both feet, not with a pistol, but with a semi- automatic rifle," he added, "and the governing body is damaging the reputation of the whole sport and bringing it into disrepute.
"They are acting in self-interest and I believe there has to be greater accountability. Perhaps Max Mosley has been in the job too long. I definitely think that he should consider his position and that a new president should be head-hunted from outwith the sport, so there is no conflict of interest.
"This has nothing to do with me and Max," claims Stewart, "nor am I acting in any way, shape or form, on behalf of the McLaren team - but I honestly think that decisions are being made which are detrimental to our business and we have to accept that it is time for a change."
Referring to the FIA's decision to appoint a special scrutineer - dubbed the 'fair play Tsar' by Pitpass - Stewart said: "This is absurd and I have no doubts that it is setting a very dangerous precedent for the future. Formula One is a domain in which the owners pay the drivers and recruit the mechanics to design the car, and the governing body should have no say in the internal workings of any team.
"But apart from that, it is also hypocritical," added, referring to a point raised by Pitpass at the time of the FIA's confirmation of the special scrutineer. "Can you imagine the FIA going to Ferrari, while Michael Schumacher was at the helm, and insisting that his No.2 Rubens Barrichello or Eddie Irvine, was accorded the same privileges and that both men had to race on an equal footing?
"It would never have happened and, for that reason, I hope that McLaren do their best for Lewis next weekend in Brazil, because the lad has responded magnificently to everything he has faced in the last few months.
"But you have to be concerned for him in the current climate: he could be taken out at the first corner and it sounds as if the FIA would do nothing about it."