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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 16:55 GMT
'Showdown looming' over F1 future
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

Max Mosley
Mosley has divided opinion in Formula One circles
Formula One is heading towards a final confrontation that will determine how the rows splitting the sport will be resolved, says Frank Williams.

Most of F1's teams and car makers are in dispute with Max Mosley, the president of governing body the FIA, over the way he is running the sport.

"There will be a denouement in all this - an event which may crystallise what happens to Max," Williams said.

"His position is not in any way unsafe but he may decide, 'I've had enough.'"

Williams, boss of the team which bears his name, added that the political situation in F1 was "uncomfortable and almost dysfunctional".

Williams co-owner Patrick Head, the team's director of engineering, said it was the "willy-nilly" way Mosley was running the sport's rules that had hardened the attitude of the car manufacturers and driven Honda and Toyota into that camp.

They don't believe Max is any more - if he ever was - a safe pair of hands
Patrick Head
Williams co-owner

Five of the car manufacturers in F1 - DaimlerChrysler, Renault, BMW, Honda and Toyota - have threatened to set up their own championship in 2008 if their wishes are not accepted.

They want more stability in the way the sport is governed and a greater share of F1's revenues.

Honda and Toyota signed up for the rival organisation - the Grand Prix World Championship - only last month.

"I've been surprised and quite impressed with the strength of cohesion and view between all the major manufacturers and some of the teams they're associated with," Head said.

The biggest thing winding up the manufacturers, Head said, was Mosley's attitude.

He described it as: "Autocratic and non-consultative, albeit smothered with this veneer of smooth rationale and 'they're all children' sort of stuff."

Head said the manufacturers were angry at the late change in the rules last year forcing them to make 2005 engines last for two Grands Prix, after they had already designed new engines to last for one race.

The change had cost each of the manufacturers "hundreds of millions of euros" making engines that were designed for one race last for two, Head said.

He added: "They (the manufacturers) are saying: 'This is bad technical governance. It's costing us a fortune and meanwhile we're seeing all this from one man saying how good he is because he's saving us money'.

"That's what has got people saying it is beyond the pale. They're all joining in saying: 'Enough is enough'.

"They don't believe Max is any more - if he ever was - a safe pair of hands."

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