Mosley - FIA could lose F1
"Breach of duty" to walk away from negotiations, says president
With less than three weeks to go before the FIA General Assembly vote of confidence in its president, Max Mosley has warned that Formula One's governing body risks losing control of the sport if he is sacked.
Mosley's position as president of the FIA has appeared increasingly untenable since allegations relating to his private life surfaced in the News of the World in March.
Calls have since come from the great and the good of the sport for Mosley's resignation, with a number of national motoring organisations affiliated to the FIA also questioning the 68-year-old's future.
However, ahead of the FIA General Assembley's vote of confidence in Mosley on June 3rd, he has written to motorsport club presidents, warning them of the dangers of sacking him.
In a letter seen by autosport.com, Mosley revealed that he, on behalf of the FIA, is currently fighting with F1 commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone and financial backers CVC for control of Formula One.
And, according to the letter, he reckons it would be "irresponsible, even a breach of duty, to walk away from (them)".
Mosley writes: "We are in the middle of a renegotiations of the 100-year commercial agreement between the FIA and the Formula One Commercial Rights Holder (CRH). In effect, this agreement governs Formula One.
"The CRH originally asked us to accept changes to the agreement in order to reduce the CRH's liability to tax. These we can probably concede.
"But the CRH has also now asked for control over the F1 regulations and the right to sell the business to anyone - in effect to take over F1 completely. I do not believe the FIA should agree to this.
"To do so would be to abandon core elements of the FIA's patrimony including, for example, our ability to protect the traditional grands prix.
"We would also be weaker financially but, even more importantly, we would put at risk the viability of the FIA as the regulatory authority of international motor sport and lose a valuable communication platform for the wider interests of the organisation."
The original 100-year deal between the FIA and Ecclestone was agreed in 2000, when the latter paid a reported $315 million (USD) for F1's commercial rights.
Further to his warning of the FIA being frozen out, Mosley also raised concerns that, given the 'financial crisis' he says is impending, the sport could be damaged at a time when F1's 'Concorde Agreement' - the sporting and commercial protocol existing between teams, the governing body and Ecclestone - is being renegotiated.
"In my view, we should only sign a new Concorde Agreement if it reinforces the authority of the FIA and deals properly with the major financial crisis which appears imminent in F1," he continued.
"Costs have gone out of control, income is insufficient and major manufacturers are in difficulty with their core businesses. Only with fair and realistic financial arrangements will we avoid losing more teams."
Assuming he was to be thrown out of the FIA in next month's meeting, Mosley also wondered who might replace him, suggesting that any new president might be supportive of Ecclestone and CVC.
"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," he said.
"During the two to four month election period, the complex negotiations (with the CRH)....would necessarily slow or even cease.
"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."
Mosley added that, assuming he survives the FIA's vote of confidence, he will, as president, continue the negotiations with Ecclestone before stepping down in October 2009.