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Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Saturday, 19 April 2008 11:30 UK

Mosley scandal 'has disgraced F1'

By Andrew Benson

Max Mosley
Mosley faces a vote of confidence by the FIA in June

Formula One driver Mark Webber has accused Max Mosley of bringing the sport into disrepute following allegations about his private life.

Mosley, the president of governing body the FIA, was accused by a newspaper of taking part in a "Nazi-style orgy". He denies his deeds had Nazi connotations.

Webber said: "The current scandal has brought the sport into disrepute.

"Whether we like it or not, all of us in F1 are role models, and F1 simply cannot have scandals of this type."

The Australian, one of very few Grand Prix drivers to give his view on the Mosley scandal, would not comment on whether he thought the 67-year-old should resign.

Mosley faces a vote of confidence in a secret ballot of FIA members at an extraordinary meeting of the FIA on 3 June.

"Whether Max chooses to resign, or how the vote will go at the extraordinary general meeting of the FIA on 3 June, is a matter for him and the FIA membership," Webber said.

Mark Webber
He's in a very, very influential position and it's a very important role that he has - it makes it difficult when any of these sorts of scandals become public

Mark Webber (above)

"Hopefully that decision will come on 3 June. We have got the confidence in the people - they have all the information they need to make the decision that will see if he can continue."

But, while emphasising he did not want to comment specifically on Mosley's position, the 31-year-old did add that he felt Mosley would now find it more difficult to fulfil his duties.

These involve dealing with heads of government as a representative of the FIA's member automobile clubs, as well as the bosses of the major car manufacturers around the world.

Webber, BBC Sport's columnist, said: "He's in a very, very influential position and it's a very important role that he has.

"It makes it difficult when any of these sorts of scandals are involved, when they become public. It will be more challenging for him to do his role."

Although four of the road-car manufacturers involved in F1 have demanded a response from the FIA, most senior figures in the sport have refused to comment on the situation.

Webber said the relative lack of reaction was because the sport's heavy-hitters were waiting to see what the FIA decides on 3 June.

"I think they are waiting for the extraordinary meeting to take place. A lot of people are sitting on the fence and waiting for the right protocol to happen. And I'm sure on the 4 June there will be a lot more reaction."

Webber's accusation has heavy resonance in F1 - a disrepute charge carries serious penalties for those involved in the sport and has been used by the FIA and Mosley as a means of quietening criticism.

"F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport so a lot of other sports have been tarred with the same brush," Webber said.

"Because F1 is so high profile, we are always very sensitive to not bringing it into [disrepute] because of the amount of people involved in it."

Mosley has been FIA president since 1993. His position is elected by the FIA membership of national automobile clubs and motorsport bodies and his latest four-year term does not expire until October 2009.

see also
Mark Webber column
19 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley skips Spanish GP for rally
16 Apr 08 |  Motorsport
Mosley future hinges on key vote
09 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Mosley takes on critics
05 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley sex scandal 'may cost F1'
06 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Mosley vows to fight on
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Pressure mounts on Mosley to quit
04 Apr 08 |  Formula One
FIA to hold Mosley crisis meeting
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One

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