Ferrari's Jean Todt gave FIA President Max Mosley his full support at Magny-Cours on Sunday. The English president of motor sport's governing body is under pressure from most of the Formula One team owners over several issues, including the...
Ferrari's Jean Todt gave FIA President Max Mosley his full support at Magny-Cours on Sunday. The English president of motor sport's governing body is under pressure from most of the Formula One team owners over several issues, including the handling of the Michelin tyre crisis at the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis two weeks ago. There have been calls for his resignation, which Mosley has rejected.
It is suggested that Mosley is also the most able adversary of the bid by the automotive manufacturers involved in Formula One to take over the sport. Todt said that the team owners are using every issue to undermine Mosley's authority.
Asked if a driver safety issue was becoming a fundamental dispute about safety as a whole, Todt said "it's become a very political situation. Lots of people don't like Max Mosley that's clear. I like Max Mosley, so that's the first fundamental difference. I like him, I rate him, I appreciate what he does, I respect what he does.
"They don't like him, they don't rate what he does and they don't want him to stand again for (presidency of) the FIA. So everything that they can try to do to avoid that, they are trying to do. So we are not on safety, we are not on tyres, we are on politics.
"Politically I support him," continued Todt. "Politically I feel he's a great president for the FIA, even if I don't always share his opinion, his decisions. But you know when you have this position you have to have an opinion, you have to make decisions. Sometimes it's good."
"You know it's exactly that: political. In countries you have 50 percent or 52 on one side and 48 and sometimes less on the other side. It is part of life. So at the moment you have seven teams, probably more than seven teams who are trying to go against him. So for me, that's why we are not talking about safety or about anything else."
Coincidentally, Todt paid tribute to Mosley's achievements in the world of safety as one of the reasons why he deserves more respect from those in motor sport. "You know the reason I feel it's so unfair is that he did so much for safety. When you see now the unbelievable accidents that happen, if you take this kind of accident ten years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, most of the people would not be there to explain the accident to you or to us. Now they are still there.
"So the guy deserves respect. For me it's just fundamental, what he has been doing. Saying that, again, I don't share his views on everything."
But as far as Todt is concerned, each manoeuvre is directed at trying to oust Mosley. "In my fair opinion I think that is the wrong strategy," concluded Todt, "because the best way to push somebody to stand for a position is to try to push them not to do it." That way, Todt suggested, the team owners are simply be strengthening Mosley's resolve...