OCTOBER 4, 1999

The future of Max Mosley

WE have heard whispers in recent days that FIA President Max Mosley may quit his job before he comes up for re-election when his current term of office ends in October 2001. If this is the case we would expect Mosley to stand down a year from now. This would enable him to hand over to one of his deputies who would then have a year in office before the next election. This would be a big advantage as the FIA is unlikely to unseat an incumbent president - particularly if he is a Mosley nominee. This would mean that power could be transferred without any disruption in the commercial arrangements between the FIA and Formula One Holdings, which holds all the Commercial Rights to the F1 World Championship.

Mosley has two FIA deputy presidents: German Otto Flimm, head of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) and Italy's Marco Piccinini.

Flimm is a veteran of FIA politics and was involved with the federation long before Mosley appeared on the scene, while Piccinini is still only 47 years old and was Ferrari's sporting director in the 1970s. An investment banker in Monaco, he raced in his youth before being picked by Enzo Ferrari to run the Ferrari F1 team in 1977. He survived 11 years and is still a member of the board of directors of Ferrari SpA. He has also been President of the Italian national sporting authority.

He has been friends with Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone since the early 1980s when they were the architects of the original Concorde Agreement. Piccinini's relationship with Ecclestone is important and it should be noted that he was listed as one of the intended deputy chief executives when Ecclestone tried to float Formula One Holdings in 1998.

If, as we believe, Mosley is tiring of the job after eight years in office the obvious replacement would be the Italian.