Mosley returns to the F1 paddock


Making his first visit to the F1 paddock since Monaco, but, more importantly, meeting the F1 media for the first time since the News of the World revealed his predilection for sado-masochistic sex, Max Mosley claims that he is under pressure not to step down as FIA President next year.

"I have to say there is an awful lot of pressure coming from different parts of the world saying 'continue', which is very nice of them, and is very widespread," he told reporters at Monza today.

"But it's very hard work and I am really quite ready to take a less active role," he continued. There comes a point with that sort of thing where you think maybe a slightly quieter life would be ideal, but we shall see. You can't rule anything out. No. You should never say never, as the old cliché goes. But at the moment my inclination is that I would like a quiet life."

Having previously called on Mosley to resign, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone recently called on the inhabitants of Planet Paddock to forgive and forget, a move some see as an attempt to consign the sex scandal to history, while others believe it to be Ecclestone's way of heading off a confrontation with the FIA over the ownership of the sport.

Asked if his return to the paddock, was a means of saying 'business as usual', Mosley replied: "I've been doing what I normally do. You see, I only go to one Grand Prix a year normally and last year it was Belgium, and of course Monaco because I live there. Now I'm doing this Grand Prix so it's all quite normal. The work really is all in the office and then talking to people on the phone and meeting people. As far as Formula One is concerned, everything has just gone on."

Then, in a move which is unlikely to go down with certain people within the paddock, he referred to the press releases from BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda, issued days after the sex scandal broke.

"The only thing that happened in Formula One is the two German and Japanese teams put out rather ill-considered press releases," he said. "At the time, I put out a rather ill-considered response to the German one.

"But they should have picked the phone up and asked me what the truth of the matter was," he continued. "They didn't bother to do that. They are probably a little ashamed at that now and they should be. But apart from that very minor thing, everything has flowed along, the discussions backwards and forwards about the regulations have been completely normal."

At a time of further allegations of Ferrari bias at the FIA, following the penalty handed to Lewis Hamilton in Spa, Mosley will have probably poured a little more gasoline on the fire when he welcomed (Ferrari President) Luca di Montezemolo's appointment as head of the new Formula One Teams Association (FOTA).

"He will know that it is a situation where we've got to act unless we're going to endanger Formula One," he said, referring to the move to cut costs. "Formula One can't go on as if nothing had happened when the whole world is in some degree or another of economic difficulty."

Referring directly to the claims of Ferrari bias since Hamilton was penalised, he said: "Any suggestion there is a bias for or against any team or driver is completely untrue. Absolutely not.

"I think it's a reflection, and I'm sorry to say this, of the stupidity of the people who say it because they haven't really thought the thing through and put themselves in the position of the people who have to take these very difficult decisions."

"I think he is a brilliant driver," he continued, referring to Hamilton, "and it would be really excellent for Formula One and the World Championship, if he won it. But that doesn't mean we are going to help him or hinder him. We are going to be utterly neutral.

"That said, it would be brilliant if he won because he is a supreme talent and when it's difficult, that's when we see it. He has done a great job, and whilst we can admire, we mustn't assist or hinder."

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Published: 12/09/2008
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