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JUNE 3, 2008

Mosley wins vote - now what?

Max Mosley has won a vote of confidence from the FIA General Assembly and the federation is waiting nervously to see the reaction to the decision. Mosley won by 103 votes to 55, with seven abstentions and four invalid votes.

The vote took place after a meeting lasting two and a half hours during which 15 delegates spoke. Anthony Scrivener also gave his legal opinions about the Mosley Scandal and pointed out that the films of Mosley's orgy included a part in which the reporter from the News of the World told the prostitutes involved to try to get Mosley to make Nazi references. If this allegation is true it will have a big effect on the legal actions going on.

The participants all seemed to agree that the vote had been conducted in a fair manner with four scrutineers, selected from the members on the proposal of Michel Boeri, who chaired the meeting. It was overseen by an external huissier de justice, a state-appointed public witness.

But not everyone was happy with the decision. Immediately after the result was known Germany's ADAC issued a press statement saying that it was freezing its activities with the federation.

"ADAC views with regret and incredulity the FIA General Assembly's decision in Paris confirming Max Mosley in office. This is a reason for Europe's largest automobile club to let its functions and cooperation in FIA working groups rest at world level. ADAC will stay with its decision as long as Max Mosley hold the top FIA office of president."

This will not affect the German Grand Prix as this year's event is being run at Hockenheim under the sanction of the AVD, another German club. If Mosley stays in office until October 2009 it will mean that next year's European GP at the Nurburgring may not happen.

Robert Darbelnet, the president of the AAA, the FIA's largest club said that the AAA would have to "consider very seriously if it wants to be part of an organisation that condones things like this."

Darbelnet said that the decision "calls into question the credibility of the federation".

Guido Van Woerkom, the president of the Royal Dutch Automobile Club (ANWB) said that his club would be thinking seriously about its future with the federation and said that there would be discussions about the establishment of a new federation but suggested that the big problem may come in 15 months when Mosley's term of office ends.

"If a purely sporting man is elected as the next FIA president," he said. "It will be the end," he said.

Others were looking to move on.

"There was a frank exchange of views," said Australia's Garry Connelly. "It was all expressed in a logical, polite and dispassionate way. There is a strong argument about the stability and the future of the FIA. It is time to move on. The organisation is more important than one issue or one individual."

Others made the point that while the vote for Mosley sends out a bad signal it was necessary for the longterm stability of the federation to keep Mosley in power, although some would have preferred to have made the point that the FIA does not condone Max's activities. This is a point that had not yet been made.

In the months ahead Mosley's public role will be taken over by the two deputy presidents of the FIA - a clear indication that Mosley understands that he cannot do the job as he used to do it. They two are both Italian: Franco Lucchesi on the touring side and former Ferrari sporting director Marco Piccinini on the sporting side.