Despite insisting on attending his home grand prix for the last few weeks, FIA president Max Mosley has apparently been forced to step back from the glitz and glamour of Formula One’s most prestigious race, instead having to rely on deputy FIA president Marco Piccinini to attend the formal engagements. It has been reported that the Monaco Royal Family would rather not be seen with Mosley, and the FIA have had to carefully orchestrate their movements for the weekend. Max will not even be present at the Gala Dinner on Sunday evening.
Max Mosley had previously hoped for support from Prince Albert of Monaco, but it would now seem this isn’t happening, and the reports in the Daily Mail today even go as far as saying that the Grimaldi’s (Monaco Royal Family) are “unwilling even to shake hands with him”.
The embarrassment now faced by the FIA must be as clear as the clearest summer’s day. The Crown Prince of Bahrain had written to Mosley just prior to the planned visit to the Bahrain Grand Prix, requesting the FIA president to not attend. Shortly after, Max chose to attend the inaugural Rally of Jordan, and discussions with Israeli government officials led to an invitation to discuss the future of motor sport in Israel. However, the invitation was immediately and publicly withdrawn as soon as it was internally-known of Mosley’s extra-curricular activities. And now this.
For the umpteenth time, I feel the need to ask how exactly Max Mosley is currently and intending to continue with his job and duties when he cannot even be seen with those who he has previously. I cannot blame the Crown Prince of Bahrain, the Israeli Government or Prince Albert for their reactions. I understand why they feel the way they do. It is unfortunate, but more importantly, it is damaging to Formula One and every other sport and concern under the FIA’s control.
In the mean time, we are now being told that possible changes to the way the pitlane is controlled during a safety car period will have to wait until after the two safety car popular races have passed. I’m not suggesting Mosley would have dealt with this issue sooner had he been better able to, in fact I doubt it is even a part of his duties, but the fact remains that the FIA cannot even hold a discussion at the moment which could help the sport at two of its most popular races. Change, I say with a tiring sigh, is needed.
And that neatly brings me to the mentioning of a rather superbly-detailed, intelligently speculative (if ever there was such a phrase) and well-written article on GrandPrix.com from earlier in the week. Joe Saward talks about the possible changes the FIA may go through following next months EGM, and what Mosley might be preparing for as the June 3rd meeting draws tantalisingly closer.