x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Mosley digs his heels in at FIA

The FIA president tells Formula One teams threatening to breakaway from the sport that he will not be forced out.

Max Mosley has said he will not be forced out of the FIA by the dispute over voluntary spending caps, and may seek re-election.
Max Mosley has said he will not be forced out of the FIA by the dispute over voluntary spending caps, and may seek re-election.

Max Mosley yesterday told the Formula One teams threatening to breakaway from the sport that he would not be forced out of his position as president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and said he was considering standing for re-election later this year. Mosley was re-elected FIA president in 2005, with his term finishing in October.

He had said he would be stepping aside at the end of the year, but has decided he could stay on in the wake of the dispute with teams over voluntary budget caps. "Over recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that one of the objectives of the dissident teams is that I should resign," he said in a letter to teams that was leaked to the press yesterday. "However, in light of the attack on the mandate you have entrusted to me, I must now reflect on whether my original decision not to stand for re-election was the right one.

"It is for the FIA membership, and the FIA membership alone, to decide on its democratically elected leadership, not the motor industry and still less the individuals the industry employs to run its Formula One teams." His comments came on the eve of a meeting of FIA's world motor sport council. The 26-member group, made up of national federations, meets in Paris today. Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and the Ferrari president and Formula One Teams Association (Fota) chairman Luca di Montezemolo will all be present

FOTA have written to council members asking them to "facilitate solutions" to the stand-off. Eight teams have said they will form their own rival championship if the FIA do not back down over the voluntary budget cap. The FIA want to give teams who have an operating budget of less than £40 million (Dh227m) greater freedoms. This has angered teams like Ferrari, who spend around 10 times that amount. Nick Fry, the chief executive of BrawnGP, said they were serious about their breakaway threat.

"The meeting is critical to what happens,"he said. "We have entered the championship with conditions and the question now is whether those conditions will be fulfilled. The ball is very much in the court of the FIA and we hope there is a balanced discussion at the world council." lthornhill@thenational.ae