Mosley can’t stop being contradictory

I have not had sufficient time to sit down and write about my reaction to the Fota’s threat to set up a breakaway championship. I have had a busy day, and when I came home I spent three or four hours solidly catching up on all the news in my RSS reader.

I first heard about it when I came home from the pub last night and they were talking about it on the radio! Incidentally, my gut reaction was to phone up Radio 5 Live to try and get on air to speak about it. But in the emotion of the moment I became inarticulate and it’s no surprise that I didn’t get on the air.

Probably just as well. If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you won’t be surprised to learn what I think about Max Mosley’s behaviour in this situation.

I have not had the chance to watch Max Mosley’s interview with the BBC, but I presume I have read about all the highlights. A story by Autosport about this interview particularly caught my eye though.

Here is the reason why Max Mosley thinks he has to stay as President of the FIA:

I don’t want to go on too long, but the difficulty they are putting me in is that even if I wanted to stop this October, they are making it very difficult for me to do so.

So actually everything they are doing is counterproductive because the people in the FIA are saying we have all this trouble, we are being attacked and you must stay.

Whereas if we had peace and I said I would actually like to stop in October, then they are very nice. They all say they want me to stay, but they wouldn’t really mind and someone else would come along.

In other words, Max Mosley is the only man capable of doing the job as FIA President. This is a view that Mosley has expressed time and again since at least 2004, and probably before.

But by the end of the article it’s a very different picture indeed!

I am the figurehead because I happen to be the president, but I cannot move without the authority of all these different countries. We have 120 different countries and each is represented by the head of motorsport in that country. It is a huge organisation, so the idea that it is somehow me, that is really not the issue.

What it is is that they want to take over the governance of the sport from the FIA and run it themselves. They want to take over the money from Bernie and have that for themselves.

Well, the first thing they have to do is get rid of me, but then whoever replaced me would be exactly the same – he would defend the interests of the FIA because the championship belongs to them. So, unless they found somebody who was prepared to let it all go, it wouldn’t work. If I dropped dead tomorrow there would be somebody taking exactly the same position.

In other words, Max Mosley is not the only man capable of doing the job of FIA President!

I keep on trying to work out what the ideology of Max Mosley is, in a vain attempt to work out what his long term plan for F1 is. Time and again, though, his policies are directly contradictory (take the drive for cutting costs which coincides with the introduction of the hideously expensive kers for just one example).

It’s no different this time. He is only interested in his power, which is why he keeps on adopting these contradictory positions — whatever suits his needs best at that particular time. He appears to have done a complete U-turn in just one interview.

Can’t Max Mosley make his mind up? He is tying himself in knots with his increasingly desperate justifications for his actions.


  1. Duncan, what did you think of Ian’s discussion during FP1 about Bernie being the essential man, the one who makes the trains run on time?

    The discussion was that 30 years ago, nobody knew what time to show up, where to park, which days were for practice, etc….

    I remember a camera following Bernie around the paddock a couple years ago during warm up to a race or something. Some young visitor –friend of sponsor probably– waved and smiled at Bernie, and Bernie greeted him back… We got the sense that he’d probably been introduced at a luncheon or coffee a few hours earlier. But after returning the hello, Bernie walked straight over and pulled the lanyard with the fellow’s pit pass out of his pocket to make sure it was plainly visible, and admonished him to leave it out. As Ian said, “Bernie picks the colors for the passes.”

    Earth is Bernie’s planet, the rest of us are visitors.

    And he’s 78 years old! We don’t have anyone with the sheer ego to do this if he leaves us, with the possible exception of Briatore. I’m certainly not convinced there’s anyone who can do this in competition with Bernie. Again, Earth is only one planet.

    Is there a mastermind behind the London Olympics? Does he like his job? Do you suppose he could assemble and execute an international motor series as a side venture?

  2. Another great post, Duncan.

    Mosley’s interview made my flesh creep – he was so patronising. The tone was almost like a stern parent whose children have run away who says “oh, they’ll come home when they’re hungry.”

    Except it’s not kids he’s talking about – it’s 80% of the teams, most of the big name drivers, powerful people with decades of experience in F1 who have made a hard decision to walk away unless there are significant changes.

    Being so dismissive of them is typical of Max and shows exactly why he is bad for the sport.

  3. WOW! 120 Countries!. No wonder why it is such a mess.
    Just imagine how many “heads of motorsports” do really know what is F1. Think about those countries where corruption is rampant, where cars are a luxury, without democracy…

  4. Ponzonha makes the comment of the month!

    > Think about those countries where
    > corruption is rampant, where cars
    > are a luxury, without democracy

    I was just thinking that: Part of the problem might be that Max’s supportive army is composed of idiot nephews of village Big Men and so forth. Maybe the regulatory body shouldn’t be such a deeply international enterprise. Let it be entirely French (or Brit or German or what-have-you) but from some entirely modern, automotive economy.

  5. I don’t think the problem is so much that so many corrupt countries have a say, although that is no doubt a problem. Take Mohammed Ben Sulayem who had personal control of 41 votes in the last WMSC vote on Max Mosley’s position. That was enough for Mosley to keep his job.

    But the biggest problem is the fact that the FIA members are not primarily concerned with the sport of Formula 1. Some of the clubs that have votes are caravan clubs. Most of them are organisations like the (British) AA. They don’t care what the F1 teams think and are uninterested in how to improve the sport. They are more interested in other issues to do with road cars etc.

    What needs to happen is for a body that is solely concerned with the governance of motorsport to be formed, and for there to be a system of accountability which means that stakeholders of the major motorsport championships actually have a damn say in how their sport is run.

    Update: Wikipedia has a list of FIA member organisations. As the article states, “only a select few of these are actually regarded as motorsport groups – a great number of them are motorist service organizations or touring groups, concerned more with road travel than competition.”

    Not all of these organisations have a vote. I believe it is one vote per country.