Mosley: F1 peace deal in doubt over dictator gibe
AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) – FIA president Max Mosley warned that Formula One’s peace deal may collapse unless Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo apologizes for branding him a “dictator.”
Di Montezemolo made the comment after Ferrari and seven other teams claimed a significant victory over Mosley when he abandoned a planned voluntary budget cap on Wednesday to ensure there would be no breakaway series.
With the FIA and Formula One Teams Association united again, Mosley announced he would be stepping down after 16 years in office.
Now angered by FOTA’s apparent gloating, he says he will keep his “options open” over staying on while throwing that peace pact into doubt.
“If you wish the agreement we made to have any chance of survival, you and FOTA must immediately rectify your actions,” Mosley wrote to Di Montezemolo early Thursday. “You must correct the false statements which have been made and make no further such statements.
“You yourself must issue a suitable correction and apology at your press conference (for FOTA) this afternoon.”
Di Montezemolo did not do so in Bologna, although he did praise Mosley’s contribution to enhancing safety during his four terms in office.
Mosley hinted in the letter that he might reverse plans not to seek a fifth term in October.
“There was no need for me to involve myself further in Formula 1 once we had a settlement,” he wrote. “Given your and FOTA’s deliberate attempt to mislead the media, I now consider my options open. At least until October, I am president of the FIA with the full authority of that office.
“After that it is the FIA member clubs, not you or FOTA, who will decide on the future leadership of the FIA.”
Mosley claimed that the FIA and FOTA agreed to present a “positive” account of the reconciliation in Paris on Wednesday.
Instead, Di Montezemolo and other teams declared that they had won the power battle, since Mosley completely scrapped plans for the $65-million budget cap.
“The satisfaction is that all of our requests have been accepted,” Di Montezemolo said after Wednesday’s Paris meeting. “To us, three things were most important: That F1 stay F1 and not become F3; that there is no dictator, but that there was a choice of rules, agreed and not imposed; and that whoever had a team was consulted and had a voice.”
His comments angered Mosley, who wrote to Di Montezemolo: “You have suggested to the media that I was a ‘dictator,’ an accusation which is grossly insulting to the 26 members of the World Motor Sport Council who have discussed and voted all the rules and procedures of Formula 1 since the 1980s, not to mention the representatives of the FIA’s 122 countries who have democratically endorsed everything I and my World Motor Sport Council colleagues have done during the last 18 years.”
Despite Mosley vowing on Wednesday to “step back” this summer, he was unhappy that teams were saying FIA Senate president Michel Boeri was effectively in control as a result of the deal.
“A fundamental part of this was that we would both present a positive and truthful account to the media,” Mosley wrote.
“I was therefore astonished to learn that FOTA has been briefing the press that Mr. Boeri has taken charge of Formula One, something which you know is completely untrue; that I had been forced out of office, also false; and, apparently, that I would have no role in the FIA after October, something which is plain nonsense, if only because of the FIA statutes.”
Last weekend’s British Grand Prix was overshadowed by the split between the FIA and FOTA members, some of whom were branded “loonies” by Mosley after their decision to form a rival series.