It appears a new F1 storm may be brewing – FIA president Max Mosley recently criticsed former world champion Jackie Stewart with Stewart now contemplating legal action over the remarks.
Mosley recently insulted Stewart calling him a figure of fun and certified halfwit whilst talking to British journalists. Mosley himself has no qualms about his comments and stands by them he explained he is aware that his comments will not be universally agreed with, however his job is not to be liked by the F1 circus and fans.
Mosley also points out that Stewart himself has made some poor comments about the FIA in the past, in particular over the McLaren-Ferrari espionage saga.
“Jackie claimed the World Council were witch hunting against McLaren,â€ Mosley explained. “A witch hunt if the irrational and unjustified persecution of the innocent. To make this and other unfounded and partisan accusations without viewing any of the evidence was not only inept, but thoroughly irresponsible. Such comments could do nothing but damage to the sport. I have no apology to make for having said as much publicly and I am more than happy to repeat this view about him now and in the future.â€
Talking to Autosport, Stewart responded, “That legal option is still very open. My lawyers advised me I have every right to do so and that s an option I am able to take up. We are in communication I m not personally, but my lawyers are in communication with Mr. Mosley.â€
Stewart feels that the comments made by Mosley were wrong, particularly given his position as president of the body that governs Formula 1.
It seems Stewart has the support of many in the Formula One community. Ex-champion Damon Hill has publicly shown his support for Stewart saying, “Many dyslexic people are highly intelligent and extraordinarily gifted, as I believe is the case with Sir Jackie. To call him, therefore, a certified halfwit would be on the first level unkind, but on another level indeed the level at which Mr. Mosley would like us to understand he operates on is nothing other than a wicked joke designed to visit the utmost humiliation on its victim.
“Regardless or nor of whether he was alluding to his dyslexia, what he said was a gross insult to one of the sport s leading figures over the last four decades and a thrice world champion. Not only it is bad manners, it also calls into question the character and judgement of the man who represents motor sport throughout the world through the institution of the FIA. It is most unbecoming of an FIA president and, in my humble view, brought the sport into disrepute a crime he seems to keen to eradicate.â€