BBC Sport motorsport

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 16:49 UK

FIA to hold Mosley crisis meeting

By Andrew Benson

Max Mosley
Mosley has denied any Nazi connotations to his actions

Motorsport boss Max Mosley has asked for an extraordinary general assembly of the sport's governing body amid allegations about his private life.

The request comes after four Formula One car makers expressed concerns about the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president's conduct.

A newspaper alleged Mosley was in a "Nazi-style orgy in a torture dungeon".

Mosley, who will not attend the Bahrain GP, has denied any Nazi connotations and apologised for any embarrassment.

The FIA released a statement detailing Mosley's request for a meeting to discuss the "widespread publicity" surrounding the 67-year-old.

"The full membership of the FIA will be invited to attend the meeting at which the widespread publicity following an apparently illegal invasion of the FIA president's privacy will be discussed," read the statement.

It will be for the FIA to decide whether Mr Mosley has met the moral obligations which come with the position of FIA president

Toyota Motorsport statement

"It is anticipated that the meeting will take place in Paris, and will be held on the earliest practicable date."

Earlier on Thursday, a joint statement from BMW and Mercedes demanded a response from the FIA, which represents the interests of motoring organisations and car users as well as motorsport.

Honda and Toyota also released their own statements, both emphasising that high standards of conduct were required of senior figures in sport and business, and demanding that the FIA gives the matter "careful consideration".

Mosley responded in a statement of his own: "Given the history of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, particularly before and during the Second World War, I fully understand why they would wish to strongly distance themselves from what they rightly describe as the disgraceful content of these publications.

"Unfortunately they did not contact me before putting out their statement to ask whether the content was in fact true.

"No doubt the FIA will respond to them in due course, as I am about to respond to the newspaper in question."

The BMW and Mercedes statement said: "The content of the publications is disgraceful. As a company, we strongly distance ourselves from it.

"This incident concerns Max Mosley both personally and as president of the FIA, the global umbrella organisation for motoring clubs.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen lead the field at the start of the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix
Many of the world's biggest car-makers have teams in F1

"Its consequences therefore extend far beyond the motorsport industry. We await a response from the relevant FIA bodies."

BMW refused a request by the BBC for further clarification of the statement, while a Mercedes spokesman was unavailable for comment.

BBC Sport understands the statement is referring to Mosley's behaviour rather than the newspaper's decision to publish.

The Toyota statement said: "Toyota Motorsport does not approve of any behaviour which could be seen to damage Formula One's image, in particular any behaviour which could be understood to be racist or anti-Semitic.

"Senior figures within any sport or business, including motorsport, must adhere to high standards of behaviour.

"When all the facts are known, it will be for the FIA to decide whether Mr Mosley has met the moral obligations which come with the position of FIA president."

Honda added: "It is necessary that senior figures in sport and business maintain the highest standards of conduct in order to fulfil their duties with integrity and respect.

"The Honda Racing F1 Team is extremely disappointed by recent events surrounding Mr Mosley and we are concerned that the reputation of Formula One and all its participants is being damaged.

It is necessary that senior figures in sport and business maintain the highest standards of conduct in order to fulfil their duties with integrity and respect

Honda statement

"We request that the FIA gives this matter careful consideration and reaches an immediate decision in the best interests of F1 and motorsport."

McLaren star Lewis Hamilton said he agreed that senior figures in the sport should be role models.

"I totally agree with what they're saying," said Hamilton.

"As young people we are always looking up to others to show us the way and set a good example, which is key."

In a letter sent to FIA members on Tuesday, Mosley said he would take legal action against the News of the World, which first published the allegations on Sunday.

He said he had been the victim of "a covert investigation of my private life and background", described his "highly personal and private activities" as "embarrassing", but said any Nazi connotation was "entirely false". He added that he intended to continue in his role.

The letters from the car companies are the first public sign of disapproval of Mosley by stakeholders in F1 - previous condemnations had come only from former world champions Jackie Stewart and Jody Scheckter.

Former F1 team owner Paul Stoddart told BBC Sport on Thursday that Mosley had no choice but to resign.

Anyone in public office cannot survive a scandal like this - Mosley is actually dragging the FIA down into the gutter and until he goes it will have no credibility

Paul Stoddart
Former F1 team owner

"He has to go," said Stoddart, who had a series of disagreements with Mosley when he owned the Minardi team, which was bought by Red Bull in 2005.

"Anyone in public office cannot survive a scandal like this.

"Mosley is actually dragging the FIA down into the gutter and until he goes it will have no credibility.

"Part of his job is to meet with world leaders and already we have seen instances where people are refusing to meet him.

"You cannot hold a job which is an international job, a multi-million pound enterprise that deals at government level, if your own personal credibility is tarnished, as his is."

It had already been made clear to Mosley this week that his presence at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix would not be welcome.

And now the car manufacturers in F1 have so publicly condemned his behaviour, Mosley is likely to come under increasing pressure to stand down.

His behaviour is regarded widely as having reflected badly on F1, and many insiders believe the sport will be viewed in a dim light if Mosley continues in his role.

There have been questions about how he can continue to represent both F1 and the wider automotive world in international corridors of power following the revelations about his activities.

BBC 5 Live F1 commentator David Croft said he thought this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix would be an "acid test" as to whether Mosley could carry on or not.




see also
Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Mosley vows to fight on
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.