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Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 07:36 UK

F1 boss fears for Mosley future

Max Mosley after the FIA meeting on Tuesday
Mosley dodges the media as he leaves the FIA meeting on Tuesday

Max Mosley may not be able to function as boss of motorsport's governing body, despite winning a vote of confidence.

That is the view of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who fears Mosley will continue to be shunned by major figures in the wake of a sex scandal.

"It will be difficult for him to act as FIA president if the people who said before they don't want to meet him maintain that," said Ecclestone.

"We are now in a position where nobody quite knows what will happen."

On Tuesday Mosley won 103 of 169 votes in a process he called after the News of the World reported that he had taken part in a "Nazi-style orgy" with prostitutes.

Mosley, the son of former British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, accepts he visited the prostitutes but denies there were Nazi overtones.

"If I was still a team owner I would be quite concerned... what Max is doing is possibly a bit selfish

Eddie Jordan
Ex-F1 team owner

He has launched a legal action against the newspaper alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.

Before Tuesday's vote, Mosley had been asked by the rulers of Bahrain not to attend their grand prix and was shunned by the Monaco royal family at the Principality's race in May.

If he continues to be avoided by major figures, Mosley will entrust deputies Marco Piccinini and Franco Lucchese to do his bidding while he performs to the best of his constrictive abilities.

And Ecclestone said he feared the fall-out could go further than that and affect F1 teams' ability to find financial backing.

"I hope that it will not destabilise (F1's) sponsors and the constructors," stated Ecclestone.

Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan told the BBC: "If I was still a team owner I would be quite concerned because it is a difficult climate at the moment to attract new sponsorship to the sport and this makes it even more so.

Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone fears Mosley's presidency could have a negative effect on F1

"What Max is doing is possibly a bit selfish but that is the way he thinks and you can't blame him for that. These people came out and attacked him, he is taking it personally and he is taking on this fight against them.

"But the Americans and the Germans, who are very powerful in the FIA, will have things to say about this and my gut feeling is that he will resign sooner rather than later but under his own terms.

"I hope that can happen and I hope the break up of Formula One does not happen - it's a wonderful sport, it gives great pleasure to so many people so from that point of view I think that sense will prevail albeit after some considerable time."

Reaction from within F1 has been muted so far.

BMW, which had damned Mosley's activities as "disgraceful", released a statement calling for the sport to move on.

The FIA delegates obviously feel Mr Mosley is the best man for the job of president and that's now the end of the matter

Mark Webber
Formula One driver

And Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who said Mosley had brought the sport into disrepute, added that now the FIA delegates had voted they "obviously feel Mr Mosley is the best man for the job of president and that's now the end of the matter".

Ecclestone said he was "happy" his associate of 40 years had won the vote, even though he had called for his resignation.

"What I did not want to happen, indeed the last thing I wanted, was for Max to go today (Tuesday)," said the 76-year-old.

"Up till now I have asked a million times that he resign at the end of November (his present mandate runs until the autumn of 2009).

"Before this saga, he had often confided to me that he had had enough, that he wanted to go and do something else in life.

"Today (Tuesday), he got what he wanted. He is still there, that is all.

"I was under all sorts of pressure from other people who said to me that Max could not carry on representing us. They said they could not support him and that I had to convince him to resign. I am no longer in that position."

A number of major motoring organisations indicated after the vote that they would suspend their relations with the FIA and there has been talk of a breakaway faction.

The American, Japanese, French, Australian and Spanish automobile federations were among those to vote against Mosley, as did the German motoring federation ADAC - Europe's largest automobile organisation - which said it had now frozen all its activities with FIA.

The ADAC added: "In the next weeks, ADAC will contact the automobile clubs who also wanted Mosley to retire as FIA president to discuss further reactions. And we also look forward to reactions of the industry."

Dutch federation member Guido van Woerkem said: "[Mosley] has a lot of contacts with the smaller clubs and what we have seen in the general assembly is that more or less the smaller clubs are in favour. When you look at the bigger clubs, they are all against."


The Bulgarian sporting club was one of those to back Mosley.

Its president George Yanakiev said: "We have voted for a very successful president who has made this organisation a very respectable body throughout the world.

"We considered it would be good for the FIA for Max to finish his mandate. This was the right decision."

An FIA statement said: "The vote was not a comment on the president's private life but a confirmation that the decision-making of the FIA must never be manipulated by external forces who may attempt to undermine its independent authority."

see also
Mosley stays on as FIA president
03 Jun 08 |  Formula One
The manoeuvres of Mosley
04 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 scandal 'has disgraced F1'
19 Apr 08 |  Formula One
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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