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Formula One is the winner as Mosley agrees to quit

Formula One racing was the winner when Max Mosley caved in to a group of rebel teams to ensure the future of the sport, insiders and the international media said on Thursday.

other Updated: Jun 25, 2009 16:53 IST

Formula One racing was the winner when Max Mosley caved in to a group of rebel teams to ensure the future of the sport, insiders and the international media said on Thursday.

A deal struck on Wednesday between eight teams organized in the umbrella body FOTA and the world governing body FIA run by Mosley ended a bitter two-month standoff in which the teams had threatened to form a breakaway deal.

Mosley withdrew a budget cap and promised he won't stand for re-election in October. The teams led by Ferrari ended their breakaway plans, will cut costs over the next two years and help new teams. They are also reportedly ready to sign a new Concorde Agreement governing the sport.

"Mosley has capitulated. Formula One is the big winner. (FOTA and Ferrari boss Luca di) Montezemolo left the Place de La Concorde with Mosley's head," said Italy's La Gazetta dello Sport.

Other Italian papers naturally also celebrated the triumph of Ferrari and the other teams, with Tuttosport saying "A triumph for Ferrari, Mosley quits" and the Corriere dello Sport reporting "Ferrari has won - Formula One is saved."

French sports daily L'Equipe said "Reactions in Mosley's native Britain were similar although not quite as drastic.

"Max Mosley stands down to appease Formula One's dissident teams," said The Guardian.

The Times said: "It had become increasingly clear that Mosley had miscalculated in his attempt to impose a budget cap on the teams - not because they did not want to save money, but because they did not want him interfering in their businesses."

Di Montezemolo and seemingly commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone as well convinced Mosley at the crucial FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting Wednesday that his time was up.

Di Montezemolo reiterated that the teams could not accept the budget cap imposed on them, saying: "That would have been like telling Manchester United and Juve how much they are allowed to spend."

But the Ferrari boss was also diplomatic as he praised Mosley.

"He has done a very good fix of the problem. When you have reached an agreement, everyone has to help in the same way," said di Montezemolo.

"Polemics is not good for F1 and particularly for the public because F1 is a fantastic sport that has to be relaunched, not only protected."

Contrary to statements in a letter sent Tuesday to all FIA members, Mosley said he had never planned to seek another term and insisted Wednesday's outcome was no defeat. He relinquished all Formula One duties with immediate effect, with FIA Senate head Michel Boeri taking over.

"When the dispute began to get increasingly bitter, I used the possibility of re-election as a bargaining chip to bring the teams into line. I am happy that we have now reached a compromise that, if the teams keep their word, should safeguard the future of the sport," he told The Times.

"As far as I'm concerned, the teams were always going to get rid of me in October. Well they still are. Whether the person who succeeds me will be more to their liking remains to be seen."

Former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the FIA job while Mosley could finally find some peace after a turbulent year with an infamous video affair and the death of his son Alexander.

"It has been a truly horrible time coming to terms with what happened to Alexander. Although my decision to step down from the FIA predated Alexander's death, I think it made it even more obvious that it was time to spend more time with my family," Mosley said.

"I now look forward to getting a better balance in my family life," said the man whom The Times also named "the king of intrigue."

First Published: Jun 25, 2009 16:51 IST