Mosley Writes Against Critics: “I was outvoted (so much for the accusations of dictatorship)”


What Happens When Old News Makes New News

12:02am EST — In The Sunday Telegraph, former FIA president Max Mosley railed against those who said that his tenure as president was a dictatorship and began the long-awaited re-telling of (at least his side of the story) of some of the various scandals in Formula1 during his presidency, namely the McLaren/Ferrari spying situation and the near breakaway of FOTA this season.  In an article he wrote himself, Mosley began abruptly by recounting some of the information regarding the McLaren spy scandal.

Most of the information is already known and has been recounted multiple times (one such example is the legal analysis comparing the Renault race-fixing decision and the McLaren decision here at On Any Sunday, These Days).  Mosley provides little new information, but noted that “no one on the council believed them, we had to acquit” McLaren of the charges the first time they came before the WMSC.  It was the team’s second hearing that resulted in the $100 million fine and exclusion from the championship.  Apparently, though, Mosley himself “was for a ban. [He] understood the consequences but [he] believe[s] in the old legal maxim “hard cases make bad law” and was outvoted by the rest of the WMSC for the fine imposed. He used this as an example: “so much for the accusations of dictatorship.”

From there, Mosley continued on to the FOTA dispute this season, though he briefly passed by the “revelations about [his] private life” that make so much fodder for commentators and comedians alike.  While the semi-minute details of some of the fighting between Mosley/FIA and FOTA this season regarding budgets and new series make for interesting reading, what seems to jump off the page is the boastful mention that Mosley recognized and prophesied the current economic recession.  He wrote that he brought forth “the possibility of a worldwide recession that would have an effect on the motoring industry” at a meeting in January 2008, and later continued by writing “I was kicking myself: we had probably been one of the few sports or businesses that had foreseen the problems of 2008 and taken steps to prepare ourselves – but (for all the wrong reasons) we had not finished the job.”  While the cost-cutting discussion were perceptive to the future of the world economy, it seems to be asking a bit much to believe that the head of certain world motorsports rules was one of the extremely tiny group of people noting that the economy would collapse, and soon.

Also mentioned Sunday by the Telegraph, though not specifically in the article written by Mosley, are some of his thoughts regarding the Renault race-fixing situation and former team principal Flavio Briatore’s pending case in the French courts for reinstatement as a participant in F1.  Mosley is quoted as saying, “he declined to turn up and declined to appeal.  The fact is he knew damn well he was guilty.  And so he goes to a French court, makes all sorts of allegations and tries to distract everybody’s attention.”  The French court will hand down its decision January 5, 2010.

Love, hate, or remain indifferent to Max Mosley, but the article is both an interesting telling of important recent instances in F1 and a compelling study of the nature of the man who ruled many worldwide motorsports.

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