Bernie Ecclestone has warned that Max Mosley is not entertaining any thoughts of stepping down and if the members of the FIA vote to retain their disgraced president, he will probably stand for re-election in 2009 and therefore remain in office for a further six years.
On the eve of the extraordinary general meeting being held at the FIA headquarters in Paris, Ecclestone has warned that if Mosley wins a vote of confidence at the meeting, he will attempt to remain in power for a further term.
“The problem is, if he stays until 2009, he will run again,â€ Ecclestone explained in an interview with British newspaper The Times. “I am 100 per cent certain about that; no, one million per cent certain. That’s what he said. He says: I don’t have to do anything. There’ll be another election and I can stand if I want. â€
However, Ecclestone s comments are not in-line with Mosley s Mosley has maintained that he is only intending to stay in his post as FIA President until October so that he can hand-over the position in an orderly fashion to successor, the most likely candidate being former Ferrrai team principal Jean Todt.
Mosley s official spokesperon Richard Woods has also confirmed that Mosley is not intending to stay in power after his current term ends. “The president has made his position very clear about stepping down in October next year,â€ Woods explained. “He is going to step down next year.â€ However during Mosley s time as president, there have been many U-turns and changes of heart therefore it would not come as a surprise to many if, when the time came, he changed his mind and ran for president again.
Ecclestone is not sure how today s vote will go but he believes that Formula 1 in general is hoping that this will be the end of the matter. “It has been difficult for me,â€ he explained. “The people I deal with are commercial people, manufacturers, sponsors and teams. They want peace and they want to get on with the business and the sport. Max doesn’t care – he’s not commercial – he hasn’t got one single dollar invested, so he doesn’t give a stuff.â€
Today s extraordinary meeting will be held at the FIA s headquarters on the Place de la Concorde and will be chaired by Michel Boeri, the president of the FIA Senate. No press will be permitted into the session which, from the agenda, looks to be biased towards Mosley there will be statements from members prior to Mosley s address however there will be no chance for members to question Mosley, nor for the opposing case to be heard.
The FIA have confirmed that 177 members will be casting their votes. This is down from 222 to take into account those clubs who do not have voting rights or who have failed to pay their dues. Currently, there is no official list of who is being permitted to vote.