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JUNE 24, 2004

Regis attacks Mosley

Jacques Regis, the President of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile and an FIA Vice-President, has launched an stinging attack on the way in which Max Mosley runs the international automobile federation. In an interview with the French magazine Autohedbo, Regis argues that Mosley needs to change his policies if he wants to be re-elected FIA President in the autumn of 2005.

"Mosley does not consult me and I have the impression that I am not alone in this respect," he says. "He lives in his glass bubble and makes decisions by himself and with his staff, they are certainly of a high level but they ignore all those on the ground. A federation is an association of clubs and this federation must defend the interests of those clubs. Today we are faced with a federation which imposes its decisions on the clubs and defends its own interests. That is the root of the problem. Its international policies are decided without the clubs. For me the FIA should represent the national clubs and its role must be to develop the sport in these countries and not simply concentrate its energies on the international circuses which features 20 F1 cars and 10 rally cars."

Regis adds that he may be a lone voice at the moment but argues that there are other discontented FIA members.

"I am not alone in thinking this, but perhaps I am the only one who is saying anything. One day the people will have a voice. It is too early to talk of an opposition, or of different factions. The FFSA is not satisfied by the way in which world motor sport is run and it is not alone in that. Max Mosley needs to change his policies. If not we will change the president."

Regis, who this year is running the French GP because the previous promoter gave up the task, says that part of the problem is that Mosley is not paying attention to the race promoters.

"He completely forgets the problems faced by the race organizers," Regis argues. "No-one talks about that. When one sees the way in which the F1 teams are run, certain factories and the staff, it makes me laugh when I hear about the worries about. Are they making any savings? Do they even want to do that? Private jets and gigantic yachts are not just the toys of the drivers but also of the team bosses and even the technical directors. The principal objective should not be cost-cutting but rather creating a better show for those who pay, because if tomorrow we have races without spectators there won't be any race organizers left."

Regis says that he believes Mosley's idea to separate the sports from the automobile side of the FIA is a good idea.

"So long as the sporting president is really elected and not a man put in place by Mosley," he argues. "He is already the president of everything and decides everything. We cannot accept this concentration of power."

But Regis says that he is not necessarily setting himself up as an opponent.

"My number one aim is to go back to the true values of the FIA. There is not war. There is a desire and a need for debate. I have been a member of the FIA World Council for 12 years or more and the more things develop the more I find it is not what I want. I do not agree with the policies and I want to change them. That is all I am saying."

We rang the FIA for a response to the criticism and were told that Mosley has nothing to say on the subject and that Regis has his own opinions but that they are not necessarily a correct assessment of the situation.

The most interesting point is not what Regis is saying but rather that he is being as outspoken as he is. There is a suspicion that the remarks are designed to give him more international exposure and that his long-term goal is to become the FIA Deputy President in charge of sport when the federation divides itself up in the autumn of 2005.