FIA needs strong president, says Mosley

Max Mosley has issued a rallying cry to members of motor racing's governing body - telling them that it is important they stand firm against the desire expressed by Formula 1 teams for a soft-line FIA president

FIA needs strong president, says Mosley

In the wake of Mosley's anger at the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) for 'deliberately misleading' the media about the manner of a breakthrough deal reached earlier this week, he has now written to FIA member clubs making clear his feelings.

He says he is not only upset at claims made by FOTA that he was stepping back from any involvement in F1, but also concerned by sentiments expressed by the teams' organisation on Thursday that they wanted an 'independent' president.

In the letter, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT, Mosley urges the FIA to maintain a president ready to defend the interests of the governing body against the teams - which could perhaps be viewed as a hint that he may stand again.

"The question of FIA president is a matter exclusively for you, the members clubs of the FIA, and most definitely not for the vehicle manufacturers who make up FOTA," wrote Mosley in the letter.

"To have an FIA president under the influence of vehicle manufacturers would put at jeopardy all the excellent work our organisation and your clubs do in promoting better safety and environmental outcomes in the vehicle fleet.

"If nothing else, this attempt to tell FIA members who they should or should not elect demonstrates precisely why the FIA needs a strong President who is experienced and knowledgeable about motor sport, in particular Formula One, as well as general motoring matters."

He added: "We must continue to defend the independence of the FIA, even if this leads to difficulties in the sport."

Such preferred qualities for the next FIA president could also hint that former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt be viewed by FIA members as a leading candidate for the role.

The letter also makes it clear to FIA members that suggestions Mosley suffered defeat in the agreement reached with teams last week were wide of the mark.

"Some have sought to interpret this outcome as a back-down by the FIA and a coup by teams wishing to remove me from my post," he said. "There have even been claims that I have ceased to fulfil my role as president effective immediately. These claims are completely false.

"I will continue to fulfil my role as FIA president up until and including our General Assembly in October. For me to do otherwise would be to betray the support I received last year when my role as president was confirmed by FIA Clubs at the Extraordinary General Assembly.

"In regard to the claims that the FIA was somehow bullied into submission by teams, I can only again stress that the FIA achieved the two goals it set itself - that of very significantly reduced costs and additional teams."

Mosley's suggestions about the strength of the FIA president come a day after FOTA vice-chairman and Toyota F1 president John Howett said the teams wanted an 'independent' man in charge of the governing body.

"From the teams' point of view, we would like to see someone who actually is independent," said Howett. "Perhaps independent from any of us currently or historically.

"The federation covers much more than just motorsport. It is involved in worldwide touring and from the position of the manufacturers; they would wish to have somebody that was able to represent appropriately the requirements of worldwide motorsports as well as purely focusing on the sport."

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