D-Day for Mosley

Paris meeting set to decide fate of FIA president

The FIA will decide on Tuesday whether its president, Max Mosley, can continue in the role after allegations relating to his private life surfaced at the end of March.

Mosley has not denied the claims, published in the News of the World, but has since insisted his actions were "harmless and completely legal" and also strongly refuted a Nazi connotation implied in the article.

On the premise of an invasion of privacy, the 68-year-old has launched a legal case against the Sunday tabloid in pursuit of clearing his name.

However, before then Formula One's governing body must decide whether he is fit to continue in a role he has held for 15 years - and one he is determined to see through to the end of his current mandate in October 2009.

An extraordinary meeting of the FIA's general assembly will convene in Paris to sit in judgement on Mosley.

And, by all accounts, the vote appears to be too close to call.

Up until a week ago Mosley's supporters were confident he would win the secret ballot. But a groundswell of opposition has since cast doubt on his future.


Last Wednesday, a heavyweight contingent of motoring associations wrote a letter to Mosley imploring him to resign, claiming that the FIA's "image, reputation and credibility are being severely eroded".

Less than 72 hours later, Bernie Ecclestone called on Mosley to quit, F1's commercial rights controller saying: "The big problem is he can no longer represent the FIA worldwide because of these incidents.

"The general feeling is that people would no longer be comfortable speaking to him in the same way.

"I have spoken to Max about this and advised him to stand down in November, and not to go to the vote."

However, Mosley has defiantly repeated his right to privacy - to such a degree that Lord Stevens has conducted an investigation into whether there was a conspiracy against him, and if so, by whom.

Mosley is due to reveal more details when he addresses the members of the general assembly, who will then deliver their verdict.

Low profile

Since the allegations surfaced, Mosley has kept a low profile, although he has also been snubbed by royalty in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco.

Manufacturing giants BMW, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota have all voiced their concerns; many motoring clubs have had their say, alongside former World Champions such as Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda.

Ecclestone added: "He should stand down out of responsibility for the institution he represents, including F1.

"Everyone I speak to in a position of authority across F1 rings me to say he should leave. It is regretful he has not made that decision."

The general assembly that will decide Mosley's fate comprises 222 clubs - representing both the sporting side such as the UK's Motor Sports Association, and the automobile side, like the AA and RAC - in 130 countries.

Only around 180 are expected to be eligible to vote, because the remainder have not paid their dues within the last month to the FIA.

It is understood that in this particular confidence motion - where a majority is deemed as half plus one - an abstention would count against Mosley.

The FIA faces a potential split should Mosley survive the vote, with a number of high-profile clubs likely to push for a breakaway faction.