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Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 18:50 UK

Mosley stays on as FIA president

Max Mosley
Mosley was elected to the position of FIA president in 1993

Max Mosley has won a vote of confidence to stay on as president of motorsport's governing body, the FIA.

More than a third of delegates did not back Mosley at Tuesday's meeting in Paris but he won 103 of 169 votes.

Mosley called the vote following a newspaper report that he took part in a "Nazi-style orgy" with prostitutes, though he denied Nazi connotations.

US delegate Robert Darbelnet said he was disappointed with the outcome and may withdraw his country's membership.

Mosley, 68, has apologised for any embarrassment caused by his behaviour, but has vehemently denied there were Nazi connotations, and has launched a legal action against the News of the World.

We view with regret and incredulity the FIA general assembly's decision in Paris

German motoring federation ADAC spokesman

He has also made it known that he will refuse to speak to the media until the case has been heard and a verdict delivered in court.

But following a two-hour discussion on Tuesday at the FIA during which frank views were reportedly exchanged, he was understood to be delighted after the result was announced.

The reaction from some delegates, however, has been markedly different.

President of the American Automobile Association, which serves over 50 million members, Darbelnet said the result could split motorsport and lead to a breakaway from members from the FIA.

"We should not rush to judgement on this," he said.

"But one of the potential ramifications is the division or a split way from the organisation that might in fact provide an opportunity for like-minded clubs to find a representative body in a different form."

He also told BBC Radio Five Live: "It doesn't seem consistent with the manner in which an organisation of this type should run itself but you have to respect the decision of the voters.

"This will force us into considering our options to ensure we belong to an international entity that properly governs itself and ensures proper representation to motorists."

US delegate Darbelnet says unhappy members could split from the FIA

There has been mounting pressure for Mosley to go over the past two months, both from leading national motorsport federations and industry giants such as BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda, who feared for their image and sponsorship money.

The American, Japanese, French, Australian and Spanish automobile federations all voted against Mosley as did the German motoring federation ADAC - Europe's largest automobile organisation - who said it has now frozen all its activities with FIA.

"We view with regret and incredulity the FIA general assembly's decision in Paris, confirming Max Mosley in office as FIA president," said a spokesman.

"ADAC will stay with its decision as long as Max Mosley holds the top FIA office of president."

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill said he was 'astonished' by the result.

"In my position as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club trying to safeguard the future of the British Grand Prix, we really need an organisation like the FIA to help us protect our position so that we can have reasonable terms with the commercial rights holders.

"But it's very difficult when you have a president who is as controversial as Max is to go to governments and argue the case for Formula One.

"Not taking on board the political atmosphere can be a strength sometimes, but in this case it just seems to be inconsiderate for the sport.

"Even Bernie Ecclestone [F1's chief commercial rights holder] has said Max has pushed his boundaries beyond the limit."

Mosley had said that if he won the vote of confidence he would continue to lead the FIA through to October 2009 when his fourth term ends.

Eddie Jordan hopes Mosley will now step down

Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan said he was not surprised that Mosley won the vote - but still hoped he would consider his position.

"My hope is he will think about the damage [done]. This is not a moral issue, it's a practical one," he said.

"There are a lot of countries where F1 goes and lots of the rulers of those countries don't want to deal with him."

Speaking from where the FIA's EGM was held in ParisBBC sports news correspondent Adam Parsons said that, despite Mosley's victory, the damage done to the FIA has become very evident.

"He won by a clear majority, but among those who opposed him there is overt anger and resentment.

"The US, German and Dutch raised the spectre of breaking away from the FIA in protest is an unprecedented threat.

"That is clearly not acceptable. My hope is that he will listen to the comments and then go." "Today the FIA is an organisation in crisis, facing the prospect of being ripped apart."

Former owner of the Minardi F1 team Paul Stoddart said he was "totally unsurprised" by the result - but insisted it would be catastrophic for motorsport.

"It is a sad, sad day for motorsport and it will signal the end of the FIA as we know it," he said.


"This will prompt a mass exodus of sponsors, and members will now either break away from the FIA or form a breakaway group themselves.

"He is acting like a dictator and history tells us that dictators never abdicate power.

"The damage that has been done and continues to be done by Max every day he is the president, is irreparable.

"We have to get rid of this guy."

As evidenced by the voting, not all federations were against Mosley and some have questioned the outrage shown at the result.

Australian motorsport chief Gary Connelly told BBC Sport: "Look, people voted and democracy ran its course.

"The FIA is a large organisation comprised of many people and I think you've seen a vote of confidence for the president. That's it."

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see also
The manoeuvres of Mosley
03 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Mosley should go, says Ecclestone
31 May 08 |  Formula One
Mosley hits back in war of words
29 May 08 |  Formula One
Mosley sues over Nazi orgy claim
28 May 08 |  UK News
Mosley aims to stand down in 2009
20 Apr 08 |  Formula One
FIA to hold Mosley crisis meeting
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One

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