Here I am back at Eurotunnel, bound for Paris, where on Wednesday the next round of the current F1 political saga will take place. Will the FIA World Council members support Max Mosley against “the loonies” or will they tut-tut and suggest that the time has come for Mosley to find a Bath chair somewhere quiet. My feeling is that the council will probably support him as their careers within the FIA are bound to his. However these kind of club people are generally very political and if they smell the scent of blood in the water they can jump, in order to be on the winning side.
The word in F1 circles is that a big part will be played by Michel Boeri, a lawyer from Monaco, who has headed the Automobile Club there since 1972. His only real aim is to ensure that Monaco retains the prestige of having the Monte Carlo Rally and the Monaco GP but he is too old for the job himself. What he knows is that the Prince will not be happy if he messes up as much of Monaco’s income depends on tourism. So… which side will he be on? Will he want to see the Monaco GP being disputed between a Manor and a Campos, or would he perhaps prefer Ferrari versus McLaren? His crowd is made up largely of Italians…
Also at the World Council will be Bernie Ecclestone and Luca do Montezemolo to help with the arguments. FOTA says it does not care what happens as it will continue to plan for a rival series.
A year ago Max Mosley won a vote of confidence regarding his management style at the FIA. Well, boil it down and that is what it meant: the federation accepted that it was acceptable that the president could do what he liked in his private life. No-one asked whether it was a good thing that Max’s unusual tastes were a secret and thus that he might have been vulnerable to blackmail and such things. This is one reason that politicians and bishops resign when caught in whatever act they are caught doing.
Let us forget others questions about whether the sport was brought into disrepute… This is a broad term.
The fact was that Mosley won the vote and an Arab gentleman later admitted that he had personally organized the necessary votes. A few months later said gent became FIA Vice President. These sort of things say much about the way an organisation works. You can call it politics if you like…
The aim in politics is to be in power. Being in opposition is dull.
At the time a number of big FIA clubs expressed their distaste at the result of the no confidence vote. They are still out there and they may think that once again they to try to remove Mosley. They might not. Who knows? They might also see a breakaway in F1 as being an opportunity. FOTA needs a sanctioning body and would be quite entitled to ask the American Automobile Association if it would like be run the AAA Formula 1 World Championship. No-one owns the rights to that. The FIA might then decide to expel the AAA but in doing so it would wipe out 50% of it’s membership as the AAA is a huge club. And there might be other clubs happy to join a rival US-inspired federation. I am not saying this will happen, rather that it could… So the FIA World Council members must bear these sort of things in mind when they get into their discussions about F1.
I have no idea what will happen in the months ahead, except to say that from a commercial point of view I will be reporting on whichever series has Ferrari and Monaco.
That is business. I hope that it will still be an FIA series as it seems madness to two series when one is quite enough.