Max Mosley insists he always intended to step down as FIA president later this year, contradicting claims his departure is the key to the peace deal agreed on Wednesday. With the crisis averted when the 69-year-old Briton, Luca di...
Max Mosley insists he always intended to step down as FIA president later this year, contradicting claims his departure is the key to the peace deal agreed on Wednesday.
With the crisis averted when the 69-year-old Briton, Luca di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone met before the World Motor Sport Council in Paris, the FIA then confirmed that Mosley is to step back in October due to "the prospect of a stable future for Formula One".
The international press, however, saw it a different way. Britain's The Times said he had been "sacrificed" and "forced out", while The Guardian believes Mosley stood down "to appease (the) dissident teams".
The Independent hailed "Mosley the martyr", while Spain's El Mundo said F1 had been "saved by Mosley's surrender".
After sixteen years in the job, however, Mosley had hinted long before the crisis that he might retire this year.
"I told most of the senior staff here last year that I planned not to seek re-election," he revealed on Wednesday, "but I did not want that decision to leak out as it would have undermined my authority."
Elsewhere, he said his departure was previously "planned, agreed, arranged".
But Ferrari and FOTA's di Montezemolo suggested that Mosley's step down from power, replaced in terms of F1 negotiations immediately by Michel Boeri, is important.
"Mosley has announced that in October he will stand down, with an irrevocable decision, and that from now on he won't get involved in F1," the Italian noted.
Triple world champion Niki Lauda said the interpretation of the outcome relating to Mosley is not relevant. "No winners or losers, just a good compromise," said the Austrian.
According to the Spanish motor federation president Carlos Gracia, Wednesday's announcement was not surprising.
It is believed that on Thursday, FOTA had planned to formally launch its breakaway series from Bologna, while Mosley had collated a grid of ten mostly unknown teams for the official 2010 series.
"Both sides had to come to an understanding," Gracia told Diario AS newspaper. "It was not so complicated, there was no option, it had to be solved."
F1 chief executive Ecclestone agrees, describing the entire affair as "silly" to the Mirror newspaper.
"In fairness to Max he wanted to leave last year and I asked him not to go until things were sorted out. People forget he achieved a lot in his time," the 78-year-old said.
"They forget the positive and concentrate on the negative. We've been friends for 40 years. He understood the sport and we knew how to do things together."
Mosley returned the compliment: "Bernie contributed a lot to this agreement."