Ecclestone plays down talk of Mosley feud

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes FIA president Max Mosley is using concerns about the future of the sport as a 'smokescreen' to divert attention away from talk about his own position

Ecclestone plays down talk of Mosley feud

Mosley wrote to the presidents of national automobile clubs last week telling them that the FIA risked losing control of F1 if he was forced out of office at the June 3 General Assembly meeting.

He claimed that he was locked in hard negotiations with F1's commercial rights holders, Bernie Ecclestone and financial backers CVC Capital Partners, to prevent the FIA losing control of F1's regulations and a veto to any potential future sale.

But Ecclestone has moved to play down talk of a feud between himself and Mosley, and suggested that the talking up of the issue is purely to shift the focus away from the controversy about Mosley's private life.

"Max is at the moment is blowing a bit of a smokescreen to stop all the other nonsense," said Ecclestone. "He is going to say whatever he thinks is the right thing to say.

"The bottom line is simple: if this incident had not happened to him, which is totally private, would he have informed the clubs in the way that he has informed them?"

When asked if he was at war with Mosley, Ecclestone said: "No, I don't think so."

Ecclestone has claimed that there is no need for discussions about the future of F1 - even though Mosley claims that the commercial rights holders have asked for a renegotiation of the 100-year commercial rights deal.

"Well we know what the future of F1 is, there is nothing that needs to be discussed," he said.

Ecclestone said earlier this week that CVC were set to write their own letter to the national automobile clubs explaining their version of what was going on.

He explained on Thursday, however, that that letter had not been written yet. When asked if was going to happen this weekend, Ecclestone said: "We will see."

CVC's managing partner Donald McKenzie is due to attend this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, where he is likely to shed more light on his view of the situation.

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