Is Max Mosley determined to destroy F1?


It would appear that the arrogance of one wretched man is likely to destroy Formula One, as the rest of us, sponsors, teams, drivers and fans look on helpless.

In two brief statements - one from the FIA, the other from the teams' alliance - it was today made clear that Formula One's future can be measured in months, maybe even weeks.

It is pointless to go on about the rights and wrongs for it won't change anything, for what we have - as we have said before - is a clear case of irresistible force and immovable object.

Whatever one thinks of the statement issued by FOTA this evening, there can be no arguments regarding the earlier brief put out by the sport's governing body, it was, to put it mildly, pathetic.

Previously, an agreement was reached which ended the threat of a breakaway series, but because Max Mosley's pride was dented by the way in which the media reported the agreement the Englishman chose to do a complete U-turn and take the sport back to the brink.

The FIA statement claims that the FOTA teams "walked out" of today's meeting, suggesting utter petulance on their part, however, what was the point of them being there, of inviting them, when Mosley had already decreed that they would have no input whatsoever.

The FOTA teams went there with the full intent of getting on with things, armed with all manner of research, even some Powerpoint presentations. However, it was soon made clear, by a clearly embarrassed Charlie Whiting, that their efforts would be to no avail as they were not considered proper F1 teams at this time.

Consequently, the FIA sat down to discuss the future of the sport with Williams, Force India, Campos, Manor and USF1.

"Isn't this all a bit silly," Ross Brawn is understood to have said to Whiting, "can't we just get on with it?"

Unfortunately, echoing another scandal that has hit F1 this week, Whiting had to obey orders.

The suggestion that the meeting be postponed was quickly dismissed, and consequently, as Whiting settled down to discussions with Williams, Force India and the three new teams, the FOTA members, now nothing more than spectators, wallflowers if you will, had no choice but to leave... though "walking out" sounds somewhat more dramatic.

So there it is. F1 is back in crisis. Happy Max?

The fact is that F1 is in this situation because, yet again, Max Mosley wanted his way. He wanted to rail road through a budget cap and thereby save the sport from spending itself into oblivion. Other than his work on safety, it would have been his crowning achievement in F1... that's if you ignore the fact that he presided over the mega-spending era in the first place.

In a week that Bernie Ecclestone has appeared to eulogise Adolf Hitler, Max Mosley appears to have his very own 'final solution' for the sport that has rewarded both of them handsomely.

While Ecclestone talks of dictators I have admired and Mosley prepares to destroy the sport in a fit of pique, one can only wonder what CVC must be thinking as it watches its 2bn investment rest on the heads of Williams, Force India, Campos, Manor and USF1.

Talking to Pitpass in the wake of today's meeting, one insider said: "The teams and CVC are all looking at the big picture, while Max is up to his neck in the details."

In the past, Mosley has said, somewhat patronisingly, that much of the spending in F1 is of no consequence to the fans. Watching on TV or from the stands, fans won't notice whether a car's top speed is 220 mph or 190 mph, nor will they appreciate the difference between a 1m gearbox and a 250,000 version. You get the picture.

Yet now, the fans are well aware that their sport is in danger of imploding, and it is Mosley who is fannying about with the little details that are only of any consequence to him and his enormous ego.

Never mind arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, while the ship is about to go under, Max Mosley can't decide whether the orchestra should be playing Chopin or Wagner.

Then again, under the present circumstances, it would have to be Wagner. Wouldn't it?

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 08/07/2009
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