JULY 16, 2004

The FIA crawls back to Mosley

Max Mosley will remain as the FIA President until the end of next year. The FIA Senate met on Friday in London and it failed to find any solution other than begging Mosley to rescind his decision and return as the head of the FIA until October next year. The news is a huge victory for Mosley over those who were seeking to replace him but at the same time a major defeat for the rank and file of the FIA who have proved unable to come up with a workable replacement. The problem it seems was that all the potential candidates wanted assurances that were either unworkable or unacceptable. The candidates included Michel Boeri and Australia's John Large. The American Robert Darbnelnet did not wish to step in this early but we believe he will be the man who will take over from Mosley at the end of next year. Others who were discussed as possible compromise candidates included Gabriele Cadringher.

The entire process means that opposition to Mosley within the FIA will have almost no power between now and the end of his tenure of office in 2005. Whether or not Mosley then decides to stay on for another term of office will have to be seen but it is hard to imagine that he will be able to do that given his remarks about having achieved everything he wanted to achieve and being tired of the job.

For the Formula 1 team principals the news will come as a blow as it will mean that Mosley will return much stronger than before and will therefore push forward his plans for change with more vehemence. The whole process is reminiscent of what happened to Jean-Marie Balestre back in the early 1980s when he resigned and was then put back in power when the FIA members realised that no-one else was up to the job.