Embattled motor racing chief Max Mosley has accused Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Group of trying to seize control of Formula One in his latest attempt to cling to power.
The FIA president, who is fighting to keep his job following a lurid sex sting by the News of the World, sent a letter to FIA club presidents on Friday pleading with them to let him stay on as president until 2009.
In the letter (see HERE ), which was made public by the sport’s governing body, Mosley warns delegates that voting him out of office would leave Formula One’s sporting regulations subject to a take over by commercial rights holders CVC and Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Group.
Mosley – who believes that giving up this function “would be to abandon core elements of the FIA’s patrimony” – claims that negotiations are already well underway to this end and that a vote of no confidence would prevent him from protecting the FIA’s interests.
“Commercial Rights Holder (CRH) has also now asked for control over the Formula One regulations and the right to sell the business to anyone – in effect to take over Formula One completely. I do not believe the FIA should agree to this,” Mosley said in the letter to Club Presidents.
“I believe that unless invited to do so by the clear majority of FIA member clubs, it would be irresponsible, even a breach of duty, to walk away from a number of negotiations currently under way.”
He warned that if he was forced to stand down an election would have to be held within two to four months and this could produce a poor choice of candidate and even a Formula One Group sympathiser.
“Literally anyone could stand and there would be no list to stabilise the process and ensure that each candidate had the support of a real cross section of FIA member clubs.”
“A new president would then take over with no knowledge of the background and, worse, might perhaps have been elected with the support of the very people with whom we are negotiating.”
The FIA president also reiterated his belief that the News of the World were tipped off by someone who wanted to undermine the negotiations.
“I have been determined to fight for the rights and role of the FIA in Formula One and it is possibly for this reason that the media have been encouraged by those who have an interest in undermining my Presidency,” said Mosley.
“I believe, therefore, that whatever the Extraordinary General Assembly decides, it should no reward those who have deliberately set out to destabilise the FIA at such a crucial time in its history.”
Mosley will face a decision on his future at an Emergency General Meeting of the FIA General Assembly, the FIA’s supreme body, on June 3. The FIA president claims to have secured a total of 75 votes in the General Assembly, 62 supporting him and 13 against.
“Given this majority, it would clearly have been wrong to ignore the views expressed and step down with no further discussion.”
“At the very least, I felt bound to ask the membership of the FIA as a whole to express a view. This is why I asked the Senate to call and Extraordinary General Assembly.
The publication of Mosley’s letter follows news from Monaco that the Royal Palace do not want him to meet Prince Albert at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The beleaguered FIA president will delegate his duties to Vice-president Marco Piccinini.
Mosley had already been asked by the Bahraini royal family not to attend their Grand Prix. And at the Spanish Grand Prix Bernie Ecclestone was reported to have held a meeting with ten of the Formula One team principals. Ecclestone encouraged the team chiefs to sign a letter asking for Mosley to resign, offering to sign it himself if all agreed. Seven of the teams signed, with Williams, Toro Rosso and Ferrari declining.
In the latest twist in the on-going scandal British newspaper The Sunday Times have reported that an agent of the British intelligence service MI5 had to resign because his wife was one of the five sadomasochistic prostitutes.
A Whitehall official told the newspaper that prostitute’s husband left MI5 because of the “high standards of behaviour” that are expected even of its staff’s private lives.