Mosley Cancels Meeting Due to Coulthard

FIA president Max Mosley has cancelled his planned meeting with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association planned for this Friday after accusing David Coulthard of turning a debate about safety into one about the sport's politics, Autosport-Atlas can exclusively reveal

Mosley Cancels Meeting Due to Coulthard

In the wake of concerns voiced by some drivers about the tone of a telephone conversation between Mosley and Coulthard following the drivers' reaction to the United States Grand Prix tyre fiasco, the GPDA had planned to hold a meeting this week to discuss concerns they have about safety.

But with Coulthard having openly criticised some of the rules introduced by the FIA this year, ironically on the same day that the FIA sent their plans for 2008 regulations to the drivers for their input, Mosley has decided to cancel the meeting because he fears that it will turn into a political debate rather than a rational discussion about safety.

In a letter to Coulthard, obtained by Autosport-Atlas, Mosley said he would rather hold a meeting with drivers away from a grand prix weekend when tensions had calmed down.

"You asked me to meet the drivers at Silverstone to discuss the possibility of the FIA imposing safety measures at private test sessions equal to those in force at a Grand Prix," wrote Mosley.

"We are very sympathetic to the drivers' concerns on this issue and I was happy to meet on that basis. Regrettably, you have now used the prospect of this meeting as a reason to air your personal views on current regulations to the press."

Mosley added: "As you know we consider improving driver safety to be of paramount importance. I should therefore be happy to invite all the drivers to a formal meeting in Paris or Monaco on a mutually convenient date and discuss any issues which trouble them.

"However, your press comments have distorted the purpose of the Silverstone meeting and made a calm discussion of a major safety issue impossible. As a result the meeting will not now take place."

Coulthard has refused to speak publicly about his telephone conversation with Mosley, but has not held back in slamming regulations that he believes have damaged the sport.

"All these rules - qualifying, single laps and ten-place penalties - are not designed to wreck races, but the consequence is that they do," Coulthard told reporters in France.

"If you go out early in one race, you have to start early in qualifying for the next. That means you have a bad qualifying, because physically you just cannot go quicker than someone else who has an equal lap later in the session because the track is in a better condition.

"So it is a handicapped F1 system we have. You are handicapped if you have an engine failure, even if it is no fault of the driver, and then the crowd are deprived of what may be a fantastic race, as they were in France."

In his letter to Coulthard, Mosley responds to the allegations and claims that the FIA was not solely responsible for the implementation of the rules.

"Single-lap qualifying was agreed by all the teams in 2002, as was the ten-grid position penalty for engine changes," said Mosley. "The single-tyre rule was supported unanimously by the teams in the Technical Working Group on 6 September 2004. Any driver who dislikes the 2005 rules should perhaps ask his team, rather than the FIA, why he was not consulted.

"The current Concorde Agreement makes no provision for the FIA to consult the drivers. However, it expires at the end of 2007 and the FIA has taken the initiative of consulting the drivers on the 2008 regulations. This was first announced in our press release of April 15, 2005, and the detailed 2008 proposals were sent to the drivers yesterday in common with other stakeholders. We look forward to their comments."








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