EXCLUSIVE: TEAMS PLOT MOSLEY SUCCESSOR
Last Updated: Friday, 11, February, 2005, 01:55
Formula 1 team principals have become so disenchanted with Max Mosley’s governance of the sport that they are considering challenging him in the next FIA presidential election, according to the latest issue of F1 Racing magazine.
The recent meeting between the FIA and Ferrari that was snubbed by all the other teams, and the subsequent heated exchange of views between Mosley and Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, have given renewed impetus to the simmering dispute over F1’s future technical and sporting regulations.
With Ferrari now having aligned themselves with the FIA, the other nine teams are preparing for a long battle of attrition with Mosley, who they believe is increasingly exceeding the powers properly exercised by the governing body in his determination to force through regulatory change.
Stoddart said: “Now, Max, in electing to continue his agenda without involving 90 percent of the teams or even the commercial rights holder [Bernie Ecclestone], is acting counter to the best interests of F1.
“We want to take the sport forward for the good of us all, and Max wants to maintain the status quo with the support of one team.”
Stoddart, whose Minardi outfit might be expected to benefit most from well-conceived cost-cutting measures, has already complained that the late implementation and constant tweaking of the rules have actually increased costs and disproportionately hurt the smaller teams.
Several teams’ engine partners are also said to be unimpressed by the manner in which the debate over the sport’s technical regulations has been handled and what they regard as Mosley’s whimsical approach to making the rules.
Now F1 Racing reports that moves are afoot to field a rival candidate against Mosley when he restands for the FIA presidency this October – and that Stoddart himself may step forward.
When asked whether he would consider a presidential bid, the Australian said: “The FIA presidency is too wide-ranging a role for me. But if the job were to be split up, and a senior vice presidency in charge of F1 to be inaugurated, well, yes, that would certainly interest me.”
Stoddart has emerged as the ringleader of the ‘rebel’ teams since persuading them to sign a joint document at last year’s Brazilian GP, and has the kind of forceful personality to be able to give Mosley a run for his money should he decide to stand.
Another potential candidate is ex-Jaguar Racing boss Tony Purnell, who takes a keen interest in the broader issues facing the sport and, like Stoddart, has sufficient personal wealth to be able to take on what is an unsalaried position. Purnell, however, declined to comment on the matter.
One drawback to both Stoddart and Purnell is that they are not members of the World Motor Sport Council and are therefore not particularly well-known to the FIA’s far-flung presidential electorate, which is made up of the governing body’s 150-odd constituent organisations.
Mosley, meanwhile, is understood to have already anointed a long-term successor and begun lobbying on his behalf – a certain Jean Todt…
Read more about the Mosley/teams saga, with exclusive quotes from Paul Stoddart, in the season preview edition of F1 Racing magazine, on sale next week.
Good luck PS or Purnell, we need Mosley gone and definetely don't need Todt running things.