OCTOBER 21, 2000

Mosley sends critical letter to McLaren chief Dennis

MAX MOSLEY, the president of Formula One's governing body the FIA, has released copies of a damning letter that he has sent to McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.

MAX MOSLEY, the president of Formula One's governing body the FIA, has released copies of a damning letter that he has sent to McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.

Mosley addressed the letter, dated October 19, to Dennis at the team's Woking headquarters after growing disheartened at the team chief's repeated criticism of the sport's governing body.

The letter was circulated around the Sepang circuit media center on Saturday and largely argued against Dennis' complaints this season that the governing body are biased towards Ferrari.

Dennis has led complaints about the FIA this season and relations between himself and Mosley have degenerated. The issue came to a head in Japan two weeks ago when Dennis questioned the legitimacy of the FIA appointing an Italian steward, Roberto Causo, for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Mosley wrote: "I would ask you to think things through more carefully before expressing your opinions. It may also help if you contact me occasionally. This might enable you to understand better the FIA's position and perhaps form a balanced view.

"It is too late now to undo the damage you caused in Japan, but for the record, I would like nevertheless point out the FIA's side."

Mosley went on to justify lawyer Causo's appointment and asked Dennis to reconsider his questioning of the role. Dennis was unhappy because Italian team Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was fighting his driver Mika Hakkinen for the world championship.

"Do you not see the absurdity of your position?" added Mosley. "Imagine what would happen if Italy and Ferrari, not to mention Benetton, Jordan, Minardi, Prost and Sauber, took the same line about the British as you do about the Italians. Fortunately, their approach is more rational."

The letter was critical of Dennis and at one point suggested his recent actions "at a certain level... can be a breach of the International Sporting Code."

Mosley also detailed how the FIA plan to introduce flags to help eliminate unsporting driving, and referred to McLaren driver David Coulthard's battle with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher at the United States Grand Prix as one example of questionable on-track behavior.

The letter continued: "Instead of attacking the FIA, you should be grateful that you have a governing body which attempts to prevent difficulties from arising rather than try to deal with them when it is too late.

"Motor sport is very complex. Much more so than most sports and the FIA Formula One World Championship is probably the most complex of all. We do our utmost to run it safely, fairly and well.

"If you think you could do better you can start your own series with your own sporting and technical rules...

"What you should not do, however, is enter our Formula One World Championship on whose rule-making body you sit and whose regulations and procedures have been known to you for more than 30 years and then undermine it by constantly complaining to anyone in the media who will listen."