Mosley dismisses Stewart's resignation call

The war of words between Jackie Stewart and FIA president Max Mosley showed no signs of abating on Monday, as the FIA president hit back at calls from the former world champion for him to resign

Mosley and Stewart have been at loggerheads over the FIA's handling of the McLaren spy saga, and more recently Stewart has been considering legal action about comments from Mosley calling him a 'certified half-wit.'

Now, Stewart has called on Mosley to resign over his handling of recent events in the sport.

Speaking in an interview with Scottish newspaper The Herald, Stewart said: "There is an escalating awareness that Mosley is being called into question over the proper governance of the FIA and his authority is being undermined, to an increasing degree, largely because we are in the most exciting F1 campaign there has been for years, and yet the papers are full of negative publicity.

"As far as I am concerned, it looks as if we are shooting ourselves in both feet, not with a pistol, but with a semi-automatic rifle, and the governing body is damaging the reputation of the whole sport and bringing it into disrepute.

"They are acting in self-interest and I believe there has to be greater accountability. Perhaps Max Mosley has been in the job too long. I definitely think that he should consider his position and that a new president should be headhunted from outside the sport, so there is no conflict of interest.

"This has nothing to do with me and Max - nor am I acting in any way, shape or form, on behalf of the McLaren team - but I honestly think that decisions are being made which are detrimental to our business and we have to accept that it is time for a change."

Stewart also said that he was flabbergasted at the FIA's decision to use a scrutineer at McLaren in Brazil this weekend to ensure equal treatment between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

"This is absurd and I have no doubts that it is setting a very dangerous precedent for the future," declared Stewart. "Formula One is a domain in which the owners pay the drivers and recruit the mechanics to design the car, and the governing body should have no say in the internal workings of any team.

"But apart from that, it is also hypocritical. Can you imagine the FIA going to Ferrari, while Michael Schumacher was at the helm, and insisting that his No.2 Rubens Barrichello or Eddie Irvine, was accorded the same privileges and that both men had to race on an equal footing?

"It would never have happened and, for that reason, I hope that McLaren do their best for Lewis next weekend in Brazil, because the lad has responded magnificently to everything he has faced in the last few months.

"But you have to be concerned for him in the current climate: he could be taken out at the first corner and it sounds as if the FIA would do nothing about it."

Stewart's comments have not impressed Mosley, who stands by all the decisions the FIA has made this season and cheekily suggests that Stewart's outspoken remarks may be part of a publicity drive for his new autobiography.

"Jackie Stewart's latest comments are as misconceived as those he made prior to the McLaren World Council hearing in September," he told

"During a highly charged and controversial season it is of course understandable that many in the United Kingdom feel great sympathy for the plight of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton. In the same way it is understandable for many on the continent to feel great sympathy for the plight of double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"However, it is not the role of the FIA to court popularity by supporting one party or the other. It is the role of the FIA to ensure that the rules of the sport are respected and that fairness is applied consistently for all competitors.

"If drivers from another team complain about what they consider to be the unsafe driving of a race leader in atrocious weather conditions which then results in an accident, does anyone, even Jackie Stewart, honestly believe the sporting authorities should not examine the new evidence presented to them?

"When the Spanish Motor Sport Authority seeks safeguards to ensure fair play should the international governing body ignore their request?"

Mosley added: "Jackie Stewart seems to have forgotten that McLaren received information on a daily basis for over three months plus a dossier of 780 pages from a spy in its main rival. It was for this they incurred a record sanction and expulsion from the Constructors' Championship. They did not appeal as they undoubtedly would have done had Jackie's ill-considered views had any merit.

"The bandying of partisan and ill informed comments in the media may well result in increased book sales for his new autobiography but they can do little more than confirm my view that Jackie is in no position to provide useful observations upon issues of motor sport governance."

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