Ecclestone's Mosley fear

F1 commercial supremo worried about reaction to FIA vote

Bernie Ecclestone fears Max Mosley may become a 'lame-duck' if he continues to face opposition to his presidency of the FIA.

Mosley won a vote of confidence to continue in his present role on Tuesday, but despite the clear majority in favour of the 68-year-old, there remains significant opposition.

A number of motoring associations, including national bodies representing Germany and the United States, were so outraged by the outcome they are threatening to breakaway from the FIA.

In the time since allegations about Mosley's private life were published by the News of the World he has, on the whole, kept a low profile.

However, Mosley has also been snubbed by royalty in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco ahead of grands prix and Ecclestone, who controls Formula One's commercial rights, is worried about how the sport's image might be tainted by the scandal.

He said: "I hope it (the decision) hasn't destabilised sponsors or manufacturers."

Ecclestone also said that, in the run-up to the vote taken by the FIA's general assembly, he had come under pressure from F1 stakeholders to force Mosley to resign.


But Mosley is instead staying put, a situation that creates both the likelihood of ructions within the FIA and also has the potential to damage the credibility of world motorsport's governing body.

Ecclestone added: "We are now in a position where nobody quite knows what will happen.

"All those who said things in the past, I don't imagine they are going to change their opinion now. They won't feel differently to the way they felt before.

"So it's going to be difficult for him to act as president of the FIA if the people who said before they don't want to meet with him maintain that position."

Should that continue to be the case, Mosley will entrust deputies Marco Piccinini and Franco Lucchese to act as the FIA's public face while he continues to assume a background role until his mandate expires in October 2009.

To the outside world the situation seems farcical, and for the motoring clubs who refused to back Mosley, it will likely lead to rebellion.

The 24 motoring organisations who last week joined forces and penned a letter urging his resignation represent 86 percent of motorists worldwide.

The American Automobile Association, whose membership numbers 50 million, are amongst those who will now consider pulling out from under the FIA umbrella.

Passive role

And German organisation ADAC have confirmed they will now take a far more passive role in FIA affairs until Mosley has departed.

AAA head Robert Darbelnet said: "There's a possibility we will withdraw, or do something similar.

"I think there is a willingness to call for alternate structures to ensure the motorist is appropriately covered.

"I don't know what the future of the FIA is, but we will have to give it some thought.

"These are very troubling times after what was an unfortunate outcome, and a very unfortunate day for the FIA.

"It was not the right decision - absolutely not."

Nevertheless, Mosley received 103 of the 169 votes cast, with many taking a decision based on his ability to run the FIA rather than his private life.

George Yanakiev, Bulgarian sporting club president, remarked: "We have voted for a very successful president who has made this organisation (FIA) a very respectable body throughout the world.

"We considered it would be good for the FIA for Max to finish his mandate. This was the right decision."