Ecclestone Backs Mosley to Win Rules Battle

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is backing FIA president Max Mosley to see off his opponents in a battle over the sport's rules.

Ecclestone Backs Mosley to Win Rules Battle

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is backing FIA president Max Mosley to see off his opponents in a battle over the sport's rules.

"You can be assured of one thing: I've known Max for 35 years and he wouldn't embark on something that he thought he couldn't win or wasn't in the right position to defend," Ecclestone told reporters. "So I've put my few dollars on him as it happens."

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) boss has introduced wide-ranging changes for the 2003 season to cut costs and liven up the Championship after a year of Ferrari domination and waning television audiences.

The way in which the measures, including the banning of so-called 'driver aids' such as traction control, have been introduced was challenged by Williams and McLaren who wrote to Mosley last week announcing they were taking the FIA to arbitration.

Mosley sent team bosses Ron Dennis and Frank Williams a stinging reply on Tuesday with a six-page letter that Ecclestone alluded to with the wry comment: "Max is becoming pen friends with Frank and Ron, which is nice."

Ecclestone suggested the teams had only themselves to blame for the way in which the changes were introduced.

"The teams have all the opportunities in the world with all the (FIA) commissions to really write all the regulations themselves and give them to the FIA to implement," said Ecclestone.

"It's just a fact that they can't agree amongst themselves to do anything. Some teams are running with budgets of $400 million plus in some cases and others are trying to run with budgets of 60 or 70 million, which is still in my opinion much too much.

"So you can see how difficult it is for them to agree. The 'haves' want to spend more money because they want to race with money rather than with their talent."

Ecclestone said last season "was not good for the brand at all" but emphasises that it had little to do with Michael Schumacher's domination at Ferrari.

"They read the rules and they did what they could with them. It's a case of the other teams were sleeping a little bit."

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