The FIA Attempt To Clear The Air

Following the penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA have attempted to clear the air with the drivers and fans by clarifying a few things. Max Mosley is present in the Italian paddock this weekend, his first appearance at a grand prix since Monaco, and he himself had a few words to say about the supposed leniency towards Ferrari, and of course, the fans belief that the FIA are overly strict with McLaren.

During the Friday driver’s briefing at Monza, Race Director Charlie Whiting clarified with the pilots what they should do in the event that one of them skips a corner, just like how Hamilton did at Spa Francorchamps less than a week previous. Whiting stated that the drivers should return the position, if gained, to the other driver and wait at least one more corner before attacking again. This way, Whiting believes there can be no argument about possible advantages.

Mark Webber, a GPDA director, welcomed the clarification as he felt the rules were too vague previously. Speaking to Autosport, Webber had the following to say:

We are still trying to find a solution for the second chicane here, because we still think there is a way to roll through there. But generally, it is pretty clear for people to probably not attack immediately again, which wasn’t mega, mega clear in the past. Mark Webber.

Also speaking out today was the FIA’s president, Max Mosley. Max came to the defence of the FIA after certain members of the media (and some of the sport’s fans) have lashed out against the organisation, stating that the FIA are biased towards Ferrari and are trying to prevent McLaren from winning the titles. The feeling of contempt among the fans goes back quite a long way, and in the sport’s more recent past, certain decisions do appear to have helped the red cars. However, Mosley was adamant that the FIA are unbiased and do not get involved with the championship battles.

Any suggestion there is a bias for or against any team or driver is completely untrue, absolutely not. I think it’s a reflection, and I’m sorry to say this, of the stupidity of the people who say it because they haven’t really thought the thing through and put themselves in the position of the people who have to take these very difficult decisions. Max Mosley.

Max then praised Lewis Hamilton for his outstanding driving this year, and went on to say that he thinks Hamilton will make a very good world champion. The FIA president reiterated that the governing body will remain completely neutral and they will not help or hinder any party.

Interestingly, Max then went on to talk about his future as the president of the FIA. Of course, Mosley has been through a lot this year, and all of which was entirely his fault, despite the man’s pleas to the media. However, Max’s activities away from the office put immense pressure on the 68 year old to resign his presidency. Alas, Mosley did not and now a few months have past, it is clear he is once again feeling relaxed in front of the cameras.

But it was during this ‘saga’ that Mosley announced he would not stand again. While it wasn’t an official announcement, Mosley did mention that he had been thinking about standing again next year when his term is up, but ultimately decided not to. However…

I have to say there is an awful lot of pressure coming from different parts of the world saying ‘continue’, which is very nice of them, and is very widespread, I have to say that. But it’s very hard work and I am really quite ready to take a less active role … There comes a point with that sort of thing where you think maybe a slightly quieter life would be ideal, but we shall see.

You can’t rule anything out. No. You should never say never, as the old cliche goes. But at the moment my inclination is that I would like a quiet life. Max Mosley.

Max has changed his mind over running again more times than I care to remember, but I honestly thought (although I did say I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong) that Mosley would not stand again and quietly disappear into the background. Maybe Max is just playing some games with the press, maybe he is seriously considering his decision again… who knows? I don’t believe Mosley would run again, and I firmly believe it is time for someone else to preside over the FIA, but Mosley never ceases to amaze me, mostly for the wrong reasons.

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  1. Mike 12th September 2008
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