Mosley goes on the offensive

FIA president Max Mosley has once again demonstrated the kind of political skills that are way underused in a mere motor racing environment, by effectively accusing the F1 teams and manufacturers of irresponsibility in wanting to continue with the use of V10 engines

Mosley goes on the offensive

Teams have argued that the planned introduction of V8 engines in 2006 is politically driven rather than safety driven, and that extra tyre grooves, for example, would be a more effective and far more cost-effective method of capping speeds.

The Concorde Agreement governing F1 until the end of 2007 demands engine stability but Mosley intends introducing 2.4-litre V8s in 2006 on safety grounds, which the statutes allow him to do.

It has been suggested that those manufacturers opposed to the change may take the FIA to arbitration, citing an alleged breach of the Concorde Agreement. In Shanghai, Mosley revealed his response to any such claims.

"Power equals speed equals danger," Mosley said. "Irrespective of what other changes are made, you cannot deny that teams find more power each year - usually in the order of four percent - which increases speed."

He added that any manufacturer determined to race a V10 and which went to arbitration to force the FIA to act against its wishes could be held liable in the event of a serious accident. To do so, claimed Mosley, would be to act irresponsibly. He hinted that such a stance would be taken publicly and vigorously if such a situation arose.

"The governing body has to be able to defend the sport because as well as the threat of people actually pulling out (as Mercedes did after the Le Mans disaster in 1955), governments can either say that motor sport is prohibited, or they can say that it's got to be supervised by someone responsible.

"I want to see neither of those things and that's one of the reasons why we are going to take a tough line about engine power. Because it's on record in the Technical Working Group (TWG), in the minutes - and this is the point - that they've said reduce the power. And if we don't do it, we've got nowhere to hide. And conversely, if we do it, then we have done everything reasonable.

"You always have to picture yourself either in a court or on television being questioned about it, and you've always got to have an answer to the questions. I'm quite determined that as long as I stay in the job, I am going to have those answers. And if one or two manufacturers don't like it, tough."

The fact that to some extent the call for a reduction in engine power is a by-product of technical directors becoming fed up with bearing the brunt of the responsibility to modify chassis while engine manufacturers go unchecked, is irrelevant. Mosley is right - it is minuted.

But that did not stop raised blood pressure among the teams and engine manufacturers that would be implicated in any such 'irresponsibility' accusations.

"It would be irresponsible and unpresidential of Max to infer that we would do that," countered McLaren boss Ron Dennis as temperatures in the F1 paddock continue to rise.

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