Breakaway still possible
The threat of a breakaway Formula One championship has not gone away despite a peace deal announced this week, motor racing chief Max Mosley warned on Friday.
A day after suggesting that the agreement could collapse unless Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo apologise for comments about him, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president saw trouble ahead.
In two separate letters, he called on FIA members to stand firm against the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and the manufacturers behind them.
“The FIA has to be free to confront the car industry whenever necessary," he told the 26-strong world motor sport council, the FIA body that agreed the deal on Wednesday.
“No doubt we face a difficult period,” added the Briton, who has announced he will stand down in October but on Thursday said he was keeping his options open after comments by FOTA members about the need for his potential successor to be more independent.
“It is possible that FOTA will set up an independent series. That is their right, provided they do so under the International Sporting Code,” added Mosley.
“But the Formula One World Championship will continue to be run by the FIA.
“The Championship has had difficult times in the past and no doubt will again in the future but that is no reason to hand control to an outside body, still less one with little or no understanding of sporting ethics and under the control of an industry we have constantly to monitor.”
Mosley said one, unnamed, Formula One team had lobbied him “wholly improperly” to intervene with the FIA's court of appeal earlier in the season to have the rear diffuser on the championship-leading Brawn cars declared illegal.