Italian GP: Mosley time

Any audience with Max Mosley usually has the same outcome. You go armed with questions which you think will either catch him out or prove difficult to answer. And you invariably come away wondering what all the fuss was about and feel apologetic for asking.

Sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? But that is the measure of the FIA president’s eloquence and extraordinary self-assurance, even in the aftermath of events that would have upset the equilibrium of most people. I’m talking about the opprobrium heaped upon the FIA in the aftermath of Spa and, on a more personal basis, the revelations about Mosley’s private life splashed across the News of the World.

Mosley had a semi-informal meeting on Friday with seven journalists from Britain’s national daily newspapers. And he kicked off by criticising us for generating the outrage among F1 fans over the FIA’s methods when dealing with the incident at Spa.

‘I am sorry to have to say this but I think the British press have gone into complete hysteria over this matter,’ said Mosley. ‘They are utterly incapable, or so it seems, of writing objectively and the proof of that is the fact that five drivers sat in the press conference yesterday (Thursday) and expressed a view about what happened in Belgium which may or not be right. That view does not accord with the view of the British press. I have just been through the cuttings and did not find one single mention of that press conference.’

Mosley was referring to Massa, Rosberg, Trulli, Bourdais and Fisichella agreeing that Lewis Hamilton had gained an advantage by cutting the chicane, but that the subsequent penalty was harsh (as reported on this website). These remarks indicated Mosley’s wish to take no prisoners and triggered some hard questions from the accused sitting before him.

Because the subject is a matter for the appeal court in Paris on 22 September, Mosley was naturally unwilling to pass any opinion on the track activity between Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

But he did make two significant points. It had been wrong of McLaren to ask Race Director Charlie Whiting for an opinion and it had wrong for Whiting to give one. Mosley’s argument is that Whiting needed to be focussed on running the race at a potentially treacherous time as drivers tackled a wet track on grooved slicks. Whiting’s apparent approval (at that point) of
Hamilton’s actions is likely to form the central plank of McLaren’s defence and it will be interesting to see how this pans out in the appeal court in the light of Mosley’s comment.

Mosley, who was in Peru at the time, categorically denied that he had been in touch with his officials before the verdict had been reached. He also defended the present system of stewards rather than have a referee delivering on-the-spot judgement in order to eliminate the damaging delay in declaring a result. With so much invested in every F1 team in terms of people and finance, it would be wrong for one person to make a snap decision without examining all the evidence. Mosley told us that we could make up our own minds about Hamilton after hearing the details in court on 22 September.

Mosley was adamant that the FIA is not out to ‘get’ Hamilton. ‘I think he is a brilliant driver and it would be really excellent for Formula One and the world championship, if he won it,’ said Mosley. ‘But that doesn’t mean we are going to help him or hinder him. We are going to be utterly neutral. But that said, it would be brilliant if he won because he is a supreme talent and when it’s difficult, that’s when we see it. He has done a great job, and whilst we can admire, we mustn’t assist or hinder.’

Does this help or hinder your understanding of what happened at Spa?

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hinder. the FIA messed up and are just hopeing that no one properly questions their authority. interesting quali. kovalainen surely must be favourte for the win though

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My opinion since reading that is still the same as my opinion over the last week, and that is that the only over-reaction and misunderstanding of the situation was by the British media.

I’m no fan of Mosley, but he is right in that regard.

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sounds like a bit of PR spin from Herr mosley,aint ignorance bliss ?

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of course he didnt give an opinion, and to be honest, i didnt expect him to give one. good point about the british press though.

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I still keep my opinion that Hamilton was fairly punished. It doesn’t matter what Mosley said, though the british press really made a big fuss, and Whiting really shouldn’t have passed judgement, because there were more cars on the track likely to spin or crash, not just Hamilton or Kimi.

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Isn’t this dreck from the same Max that states that scruffy looking drivers besmerch the sport whereas getting caught in flagrant delecto with fascist clad hookers is a “personal matter.” Regardless what this guy says to the press, there is an obvious double standard how the FIA meets out their arbitrary punishment. Does anyone remember Kimi running around with exhaust parts flapping in the wind with possible tragic consequences to competitors who happen to get in the way of the shrapnel……..guess the FIA didn’t care since none of them personally were put at risk. Nuff said! Do us all (and the sport especially) a favor and step down. What ever happened to personal responsibility and chivalry?

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Annoyingly, i have a little more respect for Mosley now. Putting myself in his shoes, i think he said exactly the right things and, providing the FIA’s actions speak just as loudly as his words, he’s absolutely right. I do think Lewis winning the championship this year would do the sport good. It would relieve the bitterness that McLaren fans have towards Ferrari and the FIA. At the same time, the FIA can’t intervene, else it’d no longer be a sport – it’d become the petrolhead’s EastEnders.

On the flipside, I do think he’s cleverly and conveniently overlooking the fact that the FIA have screwed up. A number of decisions have conflicted with what they claim. For example, they claim to make decisions based on the rulebook, and then let Massa get away with his pitstop fiasco, as well as letting Raikkonnen get away with running through the yellow light and subsequently hospitalising his mechanic. Yet when it comes to McLaren drivers, they throw the book at them. They cannot say they don’t understand the british stance – and the stance of McLaren fans in particular – when it comes to the FIA’s decisions.

All he can do as chair of the FIA is to deny the accusations and tough it out. I’ll be amazed if they withdraw the penalty though.

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mosley has got it in for mclaren FULL STOP it is hard not to see the fia being biased against hamilton. haven’t you guys at top gear noticed? Hamilton is always penalised when he is a possibel winner at a race. Remember when hamilton went in the back of kimi? instant penalty. But then kimi went in the back of sutil ending force india’s best ever race. No penalty. See? Completely and totally biased.

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Get that piece of sh*t out of F1 world.

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How can Mosley have any staus as a honest and reliable person,He has lied to his nearest and dearest all his married life.
If you can lie and be decietful to those, it is certain you dont give a toss when making a fair and honest unbiased judgement with regards to Mcclaren/Ferrari.

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how come Charlie and McLaren were wrong in asking for clarification / saying they were ok when today in Monza we saw the FIA (im assuming it was Charlie) asking Massa to give position back to rosberg?

more inconsistencies. why didnt they give him a drive through instead of letting him let rosberg through. Kimi got past lewis anyway at spa.

anyway im not saying Massa deserves a drive through. im not a fanboy. all im saying is we have yet more inconsistencies.

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Hmm…didn’t I hear something about some famous Germans taking off to South America after a difficult period in their life? Makes me wonder…

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sack max now.give lewis his points back

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Massa’s pitlane error in Valencia has a potentially more serious effect to a fellow race car driver than Hamilton’ s cutting of a chicane is. But what penalty did Massa get? Just a slap on the wrist and a 10,000 euros, which amounts to almost nothing. Where is fairness there? Yes, Hailton should be punished but with a similar degree as Massa’s.

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To Sabs… I’ve said time and time again that I agree the FIA is Ferrari-biased, but that example is crap and it annoys me that people keep using it. Hamilton hit someone in the pit lane when there was an easy-to-see red light. Kimi lost his car under RACING CONDITIONS, hitting Sutil and causing a RACING INCIDENT.

There’s an enormous difference between failing to stop for a red light going 80km/h and crashing out whilst driving a car at 200km/h.

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