Max Mosley has hinted that he is not yet ready to retire and may well stand as FIA President in the next elections in October 2009.
Mosley, who is 67 years old, has confirmed that he is looking to play an active part in the sport, and in particular, wants to see through a series of reforms in F1 – reforms that include team budget capping and seeing Formula 1 become more environmentally friendly.
Although a budget cap figure has not yet been decided, Mosley has said that the cap will start on the high side, and will be reduced from season to season.
“One of the big manufacturers said if we can get the budgets down, so they are not having to spend €200m, but €50m or less, they’d be in the sport for ever,” Mosley explained. “But if they keep on having to spend big, they have to be winning, and clearly they can’t all win.”
“It’s absurd that teams spend vast amounts scratching around for tiny gains. Running wind-tunnels night and day, using huge amounts of power, to find a tenth of a second can’t be justified. That’s what’s so sad about F1 at the moment. But thinking of something really clever which doesn’t cost a lot of money is one of the skills of engineering. The attraction for me of the cap is that it gives you the maximum freedom without giving you the maximum budget.”
Mosley’s figures may concern some teams – it is estimated that Toyota, a team with one of the largest budgets in F1, currently has a budget of around £250 million, with Ferrari thought to have spent around £215 million last season.
Mosley has courted controversy in his time as FIA President, most notably last season when the FIA disqualified McLaren Mercedes from the constructor’s championship and fining them £50 million for being in possession of confidential Ferrari data, whilst not punishing Renault when they admitted to being in possession of confidential McLaren data.
“Provided I remain relatively sane, I won’t quit before October 2009,” Mosley said. “Beyond that, I have to think very, very carefully. There is a tendency to stay a little bit too long, especially when things seem to be going relatively well. But this is a sport which you almost certainly have to conclude works best with one person capable of taking a decision – a disinterested person, capable of understanding the issues, with very good advisors and prepared to listen to everybody, with absolute separation from the judiciary.
“I don’t mind flak – I come from a family where we have had flak all our lives – but I realise some people do. I love reading the blogs when they are being furious about me, it’s very entertaining, and there is the odd one which defends me. But F1 simply cannot divorce itself from the zeitgeist.”
Should Mosley stand again in 2009, it is believed he would be unopposed making it an almost certainty that he would remain as FIA President until at least 2013 when he will be 72 years old.