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DATE News (chronologically)
05/23/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ecclestone withdraws all support for Mosley
  • Allies defend Mosley at Monaco
  • Rosberg not expecting to keep second place
  • Wurz's son holds birthday party in pits
  • Alonso escapes penalty after stewards meeting

Ecclestone withdraws all support for Mosley
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone, angry at the letter sent by Max Mosley to FIA clubs, has finally retracted all support for his beleaguered fellow F1 powerbroker.

Ecclestone is annoyed that Mosley attempted to widen the sex scandal to a "declaration of war" with the sport's commercial rights holder, which is headed by the 77-year-old F1 chief executive.

"Everybody's wrong except him," Ecclestone mocked in the Monte Carlo paddock on Thursday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

"Everybody was involved in the orgy except him.  He is just lashing out at anything he can.

"If he wants me to be the enemy he should be very careful because if he makes me an enemy I could make sure that he never whips anybody again," he warned.

Ecclestone said the Mosley letter was insulting to the 222 FIA clubs because it effectively branded them as "idiots" who could not take over responsibility for the Paris based governing body.

"Normally Max is more together instead of making silly, outrageous mistakes," Bernie, whose former alliance with Mosley stretched back decades, continued.

Ecclestone also put his signature to a formal letter of reply to the clubs, vigorously denying that he wants to take over all the FIA's F1 powers.

In the letter, he moved to correct the "misunderstandings and inaccurate conclusions" that Mosley invited the club presidents to come to.

"The (commercial rights holder) does not wish to have control over the formula one regulations," Ecclestone wrote.

He also clarified that the only changes he wants to F1's agreements with the FIA are to clear up some "unintended consequences" of the original documents.

"We intend to continue our successful relationship with the FIA," Ecclestone said.

Allies defend Mosley at Monaco
(GMM)  The F1 press smelled a rat on Thursday afternoon, when figures in the official FIA press conference were asked to comment on Max Mosley's presence at Monaco.

It is suspected that Richard Woods, the FIA official who has been at the side of the beleaguered president throughout his swift movements in the paddock so far this weekend, specifically reminded press conference moderator Bob Constanduros to put the question.

Another suspicious element were the selected figures on Thursday's press conference panel: representatives for Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams - all of whom have contractually sided with the FIA for the future - and Force India's Vijay Mallya, also chief of India's motor racing bodies.

Personal friend Gerhard Berger, meanwhile - who is known to have gone on skiing trips with Mosley in the past - was the first to comment on the sex scandal.

"I think it's an entirely private thing.  It's something that has happened with grown-up people, nothing which is against the law and I have to say I'm very surprised how many angels there are around in formula one," he said.

"Suddenly everyone seems to be very clean and very nice," the Austrian, a former grand prix winner, added.

"But to connect this to the job of Max Mosley, as an FIA president, I don't think is right.  I've been in formula one a long time now.  I think there are very few people – maybe nobody – who has had such an impact on safety for motor sport as Max."

Berger went on to detail Mosley's admirable reaction to the 1994 Imola fatalities, and the improvements to circuit, car, and even road car safety.

"I think it's not fair to see it through the glasses as some people have tried to see it at the moment.  I think it should be totally decided by the automobile clubs and by himself, how the future of the FIA goes, but it should not be run by newspapers or us," he added.

"I just know one thing: the sport needs a strong guy, a competitive guy, a strong guy who understands the business, and we definitely have this with Max and hopefully we will have in the future.  That's all I want to say."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner agreed that Mosley has "done many, many good things".

Rosberg not expecting to keep second place
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg does not think he will be able to remain the second quickest runner on the streets of Monte Carlo throughout the race weekend.

Williams' German driver was beaten for pace only by Lewis Hamilton in Thursday free practice, but expects to fall back in the crucial qualifying rounds on Saturday.

"I do not think it will be repeatable for qualifying," the Monaco resident told the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

"I do think we can be among the fastest six though.

"I am glad that we seem to be pretty good, but we must also be careful.  To beat Ferrari in qualifying is going to be very, very difficult.

"But I tend to think we might have a BMW behind us."

Nico's Finnish father Keke Rosberg, then the reigning champion, won the 1983 Monaco grand prix in a Williams-Ford.

Wurz's son holds birthday party in pits
(GMM)  A group of Monaco schoolchildren got the treat of their young lives on Wednesday.

Felix, the six-year-old son of Honda test driver Alex Wurz, invited his entire class to the Monte Carlo paddock for his birthday party, the Austrian portal sportnet.at said.

Despite getting a close look at Jenson Button's RA108 in the Honda garage, however, Wurz revealed that the children were more impressed by the GP2 cars.

"The F1 car was missing its nose while the GP2 cars were fully assembled," he smiled.

Alonso escapes penalty after stewards meeting
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso was summoned to the stewards room after the final free practice session at Monte Carlo on Thursday.

The Renault driver was asked to explain why he had driven an entire lap of the tight Monaco street layout after his slide into the Ste. Devote barrier.

Rubens Barrichello, who it must be said is not the Spaniard's closest friend, showed his displeasure of Alonso's tactics by waving his finger at the 26-year-old as he passed the flailing R28.

The red flags had to be waved in the wake of the incident, so that marshals could clear the extensive debris, including Alonso's rear wing that broke off at the Mirabeau corner.

"I told them that I thought I had driven safely, without endangering anyone, and also that there wasn't any good areas to stop," Alonso is quoted as saying to the Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

The stewards decided not to penalize the former double world champion.

"I thanked them, and that's it," Alonso added.

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