April 27, 2008 / 10:25 AM / 10 years ago

Formula One bosses divided over Mosley

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One bosses were divided at the Spanish Grand Prix over a call for Max Mosley to stand down as head of the sport’s governing body after a sex scandal.

International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley speaks with journalists on the first day of the Jordan Rally near the Dead Sea April 25, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

Bosses of all teams except struggling Super Aguri held what some described as a heated meeting with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

One of those present at the Saturday meeting told Reuters that a proposal for a united petition calling on Mosley to quit failed after clear reluctance from Williams, Toro Rosso and champions Ferrari.

A Ferrari spokesman said the team had not been asked to sign anything, while others had no comment.

Mosley has come under pressure to quit after the News of the World published details of what it described as a Nazi-style sado-masochistic orgy with prostitutes.

The 68-year-old Briton is refusing to stand down as International Automobile Federation (FIA) President but faces a confidence vote by secret ballot of the governing body’s general assembly on June 3.

While the Formula One teams have no vote, Ecclestone sits on the FIA’s world motor sport council.

Some media reports said Ecclestone had added his voice to those calling for Mosley to go. However one of those at the meeting said the Briton had offered to put forward the teams’ views to the FIA assembly if they could agree a united stance.

The meeting at the Circuit de Catalunya was hosted by Toyota and sources said its intended focus was on the planned introduction of the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) next year.

Mosley has been a champion of the new technology, which has been embraced particularly by Williams, but some teams are concerned about the costs of development.

“I didn’t get heated, I got passionate,” McLaren boss Ron Dennis told reporters.

“It was a meeting about costs...it was to determine the future development of KERS and obviously not everyone agreed.

“What I find frustrating was that a lot of the people who were there were not the people who sign the cheques. So I was keen to make very clear the consequences of us not finding a constructive way forward.”

Dennis would not comment on Mosley.

Editing by Clare Fallon

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