Motor racing-Embattled Mosley meets F1 team bosses
MONACO May 21 (Reuters) - Embattled motor racing chief Max Mosley made a low-key return to the Formula One arena on Wednesday following his involvement in a sex scandal.
Although the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president stayed out of sight and away from Monaco's harbour-side paddock, a spokesman said it had been 'business as usual' for the 68-year-old Briton.
He said Monaco resident Mosley had met Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali and Renault's Flavio Briatore in his office at the race control tower in the afternoon to discuss cost-cutting measures.
Former Ferrari designer Rory Byrne, now a consultant to the champions, and Renault's engineering head Pat Symonds were also present.
Sunday's race will be the first that Mosley, who faces a confidence vote in Paris on June 3 and has ignored calls for his resignation since the scandal broke in March, has attended this season.
The FIA has said he will perform no official duties in Monaco, with vice-president Marco Piccinini representing the governing body at the prize-giving and gala dinner.
The Briton is taking legal action against Britain's News of the World tabloid for breach of privacy after they published details of his involvement in what was described as a nazi-style sado-masochistic orgy with prostitutes.
Formula One's German and Japanese manufacturers have questioned Mosley's position and some team bosses have privately made clear they will not be seeking contact with him this weekend.
BMW Sauber's Mario Theissen said, however, that the controversy would not be allowed to overshadow Sunday's race.
"I don't believe it will be the dominant issue this weekend," he told reporters. Asked whether he would deliberately shun Mosley, he replied: "I am not looking for him."
Australian Mark Webber, one of the few drivers to have openly called for Mosley to go, said he was not losing any sleep over the FIA president's likely appearance in the paddock.
"He's big enough and old enough to make his own decisions for himself, and what will be will be this weekend," said the Red Bull driver.
"We'll see what happens. And we'll see what happens on June the third as well."
Mosley wrote to FIA member clubs last week, warning them that the body faced a major challenge from commercial interests seeking control of the sport. He also urged them to let him stay in office until October next year.
That letter produced a sharp response from Bernie Ecclestone, who represents Formula One's commercial rights holder CVC.
"I sincerely hope that it isn't a declaration of war because, if that's what the message should be, then we'll have to defend ourselves," Ecclestone told the Times newspaper.
"This whole business is really about what was printed in the News of the World and whether this in any way damaged the FIA clubs or the FIA -- that's all. (Editing by Rex Gowar)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this