text which follows is an unedited and rough transcript of informal exchanges
during lunches hosted by Max Mosley for the representatives of the British media,
in London on 7 and 8 February.
names of the journalists asking the questions have been omitted.
Is the governing body trying to keep down costs in Formula One in any way?
FIA President Max Mosley
Mosley: I think there are things that could be done which would reduce the
costs without reducing the spectacle. You can never stop people spending money,
but I think there are savings to be made and we are talking to the teams about
various measures. For example, reducing the number of engines they use, having
a rule about the number of engines you can use.
Would that also increase the spectacle. For instance if Schumacher blew his
engine and finishes his supplyÖ
Mosley: Ö. And has, for example, to start at the back of the grid, or halfway
down the grid. Absolutely. I think everybody feels this is a sensible way to
go, and everybody knows that an engine could last all weekend if you ran it
slower. But itís not quite that simple, because if you know that an engine has
to do, letís say, 800 kilometers rather than 350, although you could make todayís
engines do 800 kilometers, you need toÖ if you built an engine specifically
to do 800 kilometers it would not be the same as an engine that has been built
to do 350 but is being made to do 800 by running it slower. To optimize would
take them some time, but thatís not necessarily an argument against doing it
But if you just limited it to three engines, wouldnít that save costs enormously.
Mosley speaks at recent Tobacco Free Sports conference
Mosley: Yes, but I think a lot of teamsÖthey all have different arrangements.
Some teams probably only use two engines per weekend; others use more. Some
people use qualifying engines in that they run the engine faster and they run
it hotter, and they only run it for a short distance. So probably the fairest
thing to do is to have a fairly radical change so itís the same for everybody,
but itís something we need to negotiateÖ we are actually talking about it to
How has it gone down with the teams?
Mosley: Most of them are in favor. In fact the only argument has been about
when, not if. I donít think thereís much debate about the if.
So that would be just one engine for the weekend, would it?
Mosley: Ultimately, yes.
Surely people can relate to that easier as well, because their engine lastsÖ.
Mosley: Exactly. If you tell the average person watching that they change
the engine before qualifying, and they change it again after qualifying before
the race, he would be astonished. It brings nothing. As long as the rules are
the same for everybody, itís actually fairer. All you do is save a lot of money.
Is there a limit at the moment?
Mosley: None at all. You can change them as often as you like.
It would be one engine per car per weekend?
Mosley: And then using the spare car would have to count as using an engine.
So if Schumacherís engine blew in practice on Friday, (then indistinguishable)
Mosley: No, then he puts in another engine and has to start at the back
of the grid.
So one engineÖ
Mosley: One engine per car and if you are forcedÖ Obviously if it blows
up in the race, thatís the end of it anyway. If it blows up before the race,
you can change it for the race, but you have to start from, letís say, the back
of the grid. Thatís whatís being talked about at the moment. Or ten places back.
So itís a penalty of some sort.
Mosley: Big penalty, yes.
So what did you say about the spare car Max?
Mosley: If you use the spare car, that would have to count as using an engine,
using a second engine.
What if say, thereís an incident at the first corner of the race, and they
go back to takeÖ
Mosley: No, that would be alright. Once youíre into the race, that would
be OK. No, youíve got to have a rule to stop them systematicallyÖ.
That could jumble up the gridÖ
Mosley: Well, every now and then you would get a leader of the championship
forced to start either half way down or at the back of the grid, and every time
thatís happened, very rarely in the last few years, because of rain or something,
it has improved the race enormously.
Whatís the earliest date when you can introduce the engine restriction ruling?
Mosley: 2003, because itís a sporting regulation, so we can bring it in
2003 provided itís voted through before the 31st of October. I think
thereís a strong body of opinion within the teams in favour of doing something
and it remains to be seen whether we can actually get it through all the instances.
Formula One Commission has to pass it which means getting 18 votes out of 26
and the teams have got 12 votes, the organizers and promoters have got eight
votes and then thereís a few others like us.
What about the manufacturers? Are they sympathetic to this?
Mosley: Yes, and no. They all like the idea because it will save them money,
but there is a reluctance to do it too quickly, because theyíve just developed
whatever it is, and they donít want to have all the cards thrown up in the air.
But on the other hand there is an argument for doing it fairly quickly. Thereís
no doubt that money is going to be tighter.
But weíve gone through recessions before, havenít we?
Mosley: Yes, there are a lot of economies that a team can make before it
actually packs up.
Are there any other teams having real problems?
Mosley: I think yes is the answer. I think a lot of them are having great
difficulty putting together the sort of budge they need to be reasonably competitive.
But thatís always been the case because unless youíve got the same budget as
whichever is the richest team, you havenít got enough money.
Is there anyone close to getting into the situation Prost did?
Mosley: Not that I know of. No, but then when you are in that situation,
you tend to keep it very quiet, because the creditors start pressing.
Isnít there a danger in a limitation like this that youíre effectively reducing
Formula One, youíre bringing it down to the common denominator and bringing
everybody down to the level of Tom Walkinshaw and Eddie Jordan, rather than
making them come up to the level of Ferrari and McLaren and Williams?
Mosley: Well, first of all I think thatís only true financially, itís not
true in any other respect, and in a way itís more of a challenge to build an
engine for 800 kilometers than for 350. Or a more interesting challenge, or
a more relevant challenge. The thing is that the top teams will still be the
top teams but everybodyís costs, whether they are at the front or the back,
will go down and for the people at the back, thatís actually very important.
Thatís very relevant for the road car market too, isnít it?
Mosley: I donít know enough about engines in detail, but in principle, it
must be more relevant to build something that does 800 kms than something that
does 300 kms. Ultimately, I think we should get rid of a lot of the exotic materials.
We should try not to use materials which would never ever be used in a road
car. An example that we have got rid of is aluminum beryllium. The chance of
using that in a road car was just about nil. What has happened is that the whole
of the American space and defense program has been opened up. Companies have
made these exotic materials for the American defense industry and are now offering
them on the open market so they go round the Formula One teams offering these
magic materials. Because they are the only people making it, whatever it costs
to actually manufacture, they can charge more or less what they like because
they do the job. Something like aluminum beryllium is just so much better than
any available material that you would probably never use it in a road car. Itís
also toxic to work on.
Surely that line of argument is that if somebody comes across an exotic material
that is more enduring and is better than something else but then spends a fortune
trying to find that and using it but will have no road application, no application
for cars, because itís too expensive. You would have a million pound Ford Fiesta.
Mosley: Yes, well that is the argument against it. The purists would say
that you should have the freedom to do that. We canít do that (banning materials)
without the teams all agreeing. We canít ban titanium or whatever unless everybody
Donít you think you will have Mario Illien or Paolo Martinelli locking themselves
away for six months to develop some phenomenally high powered engine that will
last for 800 kilometers and the actual expenditure that they have piled into
that development are just the figuresÖ
Mosley Thatís undoubtedly true as far as development is concerned but the
resulting extremely expensive engine, if you are only allowed to use one per
weekend, will not be as expensive as if you are allowed to use two, or three
or four. And they are doing that already. Whatever it takes, they are prepared
to do, because the honor of whoever it is, Mercedes, BMW or Ferrari, is at
stake. But if you limit the number, then it doesnít matter what they do, they
canít spend as much money as if theyíve got a smaller number of engines.
Do you think itís the FIAís responsibility to limit the amount of money if the
teams are prepared to spend it?
Mosley: To some extent we should not interfere in anything unless the sport
itself is threatened, but when it gets to the stage where it becomes threatening
to the sport, then I think we do because otherwise we risk having no Formula
One, and if we donít do it, who is going to? The small teams Ė everybody says,
well of course they want that Ė and the big teams want to defend what theyíve
got. If youíre the referee or the neutral arbiter, arguably itís your duty then
to try and solve the problem. But again, we can only do it if the majority of
the teams are in favor.
Is there any interest in the twelfth place on the grid (the twelfth place in
Mosley: A lot of people have made inquiries. But there are only two possibilities.
One is that somebody goes along to the liquidator, acquires whatever Prost is,
and then comes to us and says ĎI satisfy all the conditions, Iíve got an entry,
Iím going to be in Australia.í And provided they really did satisfy all the
conditions in the various agreements, there is an entry, heís paid the fee and
he could turn up in Australia. Thatís possibility number one. Possibility number
two is that Prost disappears in which case no one will fill that place this
year and then it will be open to a new organization to enter the championship
in 2003. If they want to do that, theyíve got to put up $48 million with their
entry, which is what keeps people serious. You know that if somebody sends you
a cheque for 48 mil they are serious. And then of course, as you know, we then
give it them back in 12 monthly installments starting with their first race.
For example, Toyota will start to get their money back, as of Australia, with
interest. In fact what weíve done, in their case, weíve got a bank guarantee
which they pay for, so if they donít turn up we cash it. They havenít actually
stumped up the cash. If we were actually given the 48 mil, it would just sit
on account, the interest would accumulate and we would give it them back in
Would the team have to be called Prost?
Mosley: If they want to be in Australia? Thereís a complicated rule. They
can change the team name anyway. It could be called Mosley Racing, but the chassis
name can be named with the consent of the FIA which we wouldnít unreasonably
withhold, but only every five years. Now the chassis name changed from Ligier
to Prost, which is a point, but when the five years is up, I donít know. Itís
probably just up. So then they can also change the chassis name, so strictly
speaking, I can pitch up, it could be March Engineering Limited and it could
be a March. Thatís a thought, isnít it!?
But thereís actually no chance of anybody pitching up in Australia, is there?
Mosley: I wouldnít go that far. If somebody really wanted to.
Couldnít Craig PollockÖ
Mosley: If heíd got the money. He wouldnít need the 48 mil but he would
have to satisfy the liquidator. You could probably do a deal with the liquidator
because Iím sure he would rather take some of the money than none of it, but
whoever it is would have to get going. Thereís not a lot of time for that but
it could happen.
Jean Todt suggested that there was no way they could supply engines, and there
are so many debts as well, of course.
Mosley: Well first of all youíve got to pay off last yearís money. Ferrari
are going to say if you donít pay, weíre not going to give you an engine. Thatís
what the liquidator said. Then they probably will want money on account, and
then might not have the engines anyway. I donít know. I just suspect that if
somebody had unlimited funds, I suspect they could be in Australia.
Do you know of anybody with unlimited funds?
Mosley: No. I donít believe thereís anybody on the horizon.
So itís more likely to be the 48 million dollars then?
Mosley: Yes. I think it is.
What about companies like General Motors, Volkswagen? Have you had indications
Mosley: There have been no serious inquiries from any of the major manufacturers,
but there is constant interest, thereís a dialogue going on, but thereís no
reason to suppose they are about to come in.
What is the technical situation at the FIA in relation to the administration
of a possible new series by the manufacturers in 2008? Would there be a seamless
transition in the FIAís role?
Mosley: I think if that were to happen, you would almost certainly have
two series because I think whoever, at that stage, owned the rights to the Formula
One World Championship, would run the FIA Formula One World Championship and
they would get engines from somewhere and they would get teams, even if it was
only Formula 3000. And we would be under certain obligations which we are under.
At the same time, we would regulate the new series. Under our system it would
be an international series, like there are many others already, which we would
regulate, which we would put on the calendar, providing it was safe and all
the rest of it. In the worst caseÖ if you donít get a deal, you will get a split
and when you have a split, in the end, somebody wins and somebody loses and
it just destroys everything. Weíve seen it in America but as far as we go, we
would regulate the new series and we would obviously fulfill our obligations
under the existing mandate. But I think in real life this would never happen,
there would be a deal. Itís very easy to say that ĎIím going to do whatever
in 2008í. I think that the reality is that the single championship is so much
more valuable than the sum of the value of two championships that there is no
way a deal is not going to be done, because there is so much scope for the negotiations.
They canít fail to come to an arrangement and as there are another five or six
years to go, thereís obviously going to be a deal. Itís just a question of what
the deal is. My own bet would be that we will see a deal within the next 12
to 18 months.
If the Kirch Group goes broke, this could mean that the Formula One rights are
hawked around like a packet of chips?
Mosley: Yes, that could happen. Up to a point, we have a right of veto,
we still have the ĎDon King clauseí in there. Itís not that simple. They canít
just go off and sell it.
What about Murdoch?
Mosley: Interesting. And of course, somehow, I donít see that happening
but I might be wrong, but quite genuinely, if somebody did acquire the whole
thing from Kirch, our first objective would be to work with them, provided we
have sensible people to work with, we will work with them. In the end, we just
want a very very good successful championship. Whoever bought it would really
want the same thing, so there shouldnít be any great difficulty.
Some of the people Iíve spoken to say that there needs to be a deal done before
the start of the season.
Mosley: Relating to Kirch? I donít think thatís the case. I think the manufacturersí
calculation is that Kirch desperately needs to do a deal, that heís under pressure
at the moment, and Iím not sure that thatís necessarily the case. You see, people
close to Kirch, if you suggest heís in trouble, say that heís been like that
for 40 years. Heís always run his business on the edge, he really has. The way
the whole of that thing happened is extraordinary, starting off with Morgan
Grenfell and so on. Extraordinary story.
What do you think are the prospects of the World Rally championship in its televised
Mosley: I think it could work. What I like about it is that the view from
those cars is hardly ever through the windscreen, it is always through one side
window or the other, and particularly on the snow, when you see the on-board
camera, you can actually see and live with what theyíre doing. You can really
understand whatís happening. I donít know if anybodyís had a go on the PlayStation.
Iíd never had a go on it, but they had one in Monaco. Can you imagine, Iíd never
touched the thing? I was made to sit down in front of all the journalistsÖ obviously
I turned the thing over in no time, but with that funny steering wheel thing,
you can absolutely feel it, you feel the understeer, the oversteer, you can
feel the vibrations. Itís so realistic. I got off it and asked Richard Burns
Ďitís much more difficult than the real thing isnít it?í and he confirmed that
it was. I think itís going to be a huge success. I donít think it will damage
Formula One in any way. Itís so different. Itís not like oval racing where thereís
some sort of relationship, the cars are vaguely similar and it is a close circuit.
Itís ordinary cars or apparently, on open roads, they have to be road legal
to get from one stage to another, thereís a passenger, there has to be. You
can associate with it, itís got so many elements that people can associate with.
I once went for a ride with Colin McRae up in the forests and I must say, it
was very very impressive, but at a certain point, to my surprise, he said Ďwhy
donít we swap seats?í So I found myself driving this World Rally car, and he
was completely calm. I didnít really know the way so a lot of the time I was
going at what the police would call an inappropriate speed and all he would
say was ĎI think this oneís a bit tightí, meaning Ď youíd better slow down!í
I thought I was going like hell, but then I watched the video afterwards and
he was impressive, but then there was this pathetic old boy pootling along.
And you suddenly realize what the difference is betweenÖThe only difficult thing
was starting. Itís like starting a racing car, you forget what youíre doing
and you stall it. And everybody is standing around. So the second time you remember
that itís got turbos and limiters and stuff; the thing to do is to wind it up
and you drop the clutch and shower everyone with stones and take off like a
rocket. Colin said afterwards Ďif we go on like this thereís going to be a big
crash.í Of course, we didnít. After that, itís incredibly easy to drive, except
the gearchange is funny because itís up on the dashboard, but the feel of the
car, the way it slides around on the gravel, to drive it slowly is very easy.
Itís like all racing cars, whatís difficult is driving them quickly. The other
thing they do is if they get into a big slide, all of us would lift off. They
just floor it and rely on the four wheel drive to pull them out of it. Itís
extraordinary. I think they are amazing drivers. So I think rallying is going
to be a big success. I think that if David Richards keeps on at it and doesnít
have problems of any kind, it should be a really big big success.
Do you think that he can manage both Formula One and the World Rally championship?
Mosley: Yes, in a way itís probably good that heís doing both, because he
simply cannot get too involved in either team, which if heís going to run the
World Rally championship commercial side, itís better that he doesnít. Whereas,
if he just had the Subaru team, he might be too involved in the team. Now, everybody
knows is that heís pretty independent.
first thing I said to him about BAR was Ďare you going to sit on the pit wall
with the headphones?í because that to me is the great test. And he said he was
not, so if he doesnít and he has a sporting director, he keeps back a bit, but
keeps an eye on it. I think he will probably be very successful.
He seems to have the same entrepreneurial spirit that you recognize in Bernie,
hasnít he? One of the few peopleÖ.
Mosley: He has a completely different sort of approach to Bernie but demonstrably
successful. Prodrive is big business. David is very very good. Thereís no reason
why he shouldnít build the World Rally championship into something that is as
commercially valuable and successful as Formula One, no reason at all. If he does
that, he will become very rich. I doubt if he will get as much out of it as
Bernie managed. That was a bit specialÖ
Could he buy the rights for 100 years?
Mosley: We are negotiating with David. We currently have a deal with him
until 2010, just like in Formula One, and the plan is to change it into a 100
year deal and we have the understanding with the European Commission that we
will do that within a reasonable period and thatís all part of the deal with
the European Commission, that we will divest ourselves of the rally commercial
rights for a very long period, just like Formula One. We are well down the road
with that. In fact itís more our fault than Davidís that it hasnít made more
progress but weíre well within the time frame that weíve agreed with the Commission.
So now youíve got this war chest, what are you going to do with it, the foundation,
your long term plans?
Mosley: Well weíve moved the whole lot into the foundation. Weíve got 313.6
million dollars, that was from Formula One, and we put 300 of that into a foundation,
and the foundation of the board has 11 people. The chairman is Rosario Alessi,
he used to be president of the Automobile Club of Italy. Heís no longer in that
position, heís finished his term. Heís the chairman, and various other major
figures, more from motoring than from motor sport. We divided the 300 million
into three funds and weíve got three fund managers looking after the three and
we anticipate being able to spend about 10 million Euros a year and itís going
to be mainly on safety issues to do with motor sport and also the roads, lot
of road safety things. Weíre talking to the World Health Organization about
a worldwide campaign and also various other international organizations, which
means weíve got a bigger road safety budget than the EU which is actually quite
good. And so, for example, what are we working on at the moment? Weíre finishing
off the FIA crash helmet. Weíre looking at safety to do with safety fences and
things of that kind in Formula One. Weíre pursuing crash testing in ordinary
road cars. Weíve got a whole stack of projects in 2002, all of which are under
way for which we have put the money aside already. And then we will be looking
at applications from all over the place for different programs of one kind
Does car jacking come into your remit?
Mosley: It could do. Itís not something weíve looked at. We havenít had
an application or anything to do that but itís clearly becoming a problem.
Concerning Silverstone: how long is it going be before we see the circuit reconstructed?
Mosley: I donít know. You will have to ask them. Because our immediate priority
has been to try and get the traffic flow in and out. Itís not purely altruism.
Itís just that the image for motor sport, the way itís been run, is so bad.
Octagon have got all sorts of plans for improving the circuit, and the message
theyíre getting from us, and also from Bernie, is first the roads, then the
public, then the team facilities. What theyíre actually doing, beyond the roads,
I donít know.
It is a fact that itís one of the few circuits in the world that doesnít have
permanent facilities in terms of grandstands.
Mosley: Some of the stands are permanent, arenít they? The thing is, youíll
have to ask Bernie. I know thatís always the great get-out but I actually donít
know what the plans are. As far as the stands are concerned, whether they are
safe or not is the local health and safety, so we donít really get involved.
To be honest with you, I didnít realize they were still semi-permanent.
Whatís the situation about other potential Grands Prix in other countries; are
they coming and going?
Mosley: As far as I know, the Moscow one seems to be getting quite serious.
There are some very serious projects in the Middle East. The problem is that
we are at the limit. There really should be 16 and weíre still running on 17,
so we have to lose one or two.
What are the ones at risk in Europe?
Mosley: The one that was a little bit on the end of the rope was Austria,
but thatís now calmed down. Spa? Only if thereís a big problem over the tobacco.
You see on the tobacco front, everythingís building up to 2006 being the last
year, and we are seeking international agreement on that. The World Health
is on board, the Australians have done that, which is really south-east Asia.
I think itís probable that the EU will move their date from July 2005 to 2006.
If Belgium maintains their 2003 date then they would come off until we get to
2007 when everybody will be no tobacco, and of course if youíre out for three
or four years, you might not come back. But they do know that and Belgium, of
all places, is not the most obvious country to be completely out of step with
the rest of the EU. Assuming that the dates get moved we think it probably will.
Is Moscow really serious; arenít there problems?
Mosley: It does depend who one talks to, but of the ones being talked about,
that seems the most imminent. There are a lot of people with ideas; even Turkey.
The new member of the World Council is from Turkey. He wants to get a World
Championship rally, he wants to have a Grand Prix.
What will be the Grand Prix split in five years time?
Mosley: Well, it ought to be less in Europe and more outside, but itís incredibly
difficult to get that done. When you want to get rid of one of the Grands Prix,
you have a complete uproar in the locality, which is nice in one way because
it shows how important they are. I wouldnít like to predict, but we will probably
lose two or three in the EU, I would guess, over the next five years. I think
we will have to.
Can it be done by limiting those who have two races to one?
Mosley: The rational approach is that. On the other hand, at the moment
the importance of Germany economically in Formula One is so great that it entirely
two. It wouldnít be fair to mention them, but if you compare Austria or Hungary
to either of the German or even either of the Italian races, they just are less
important, but you canít really say that, it seems unkind, but it is a fact.
Things change so quickly, but at the moment, Germany is massive. But they could
all retire, those drivers, and suddenly it could change. Tennis was massive
in Germany ten years ago with Boris Becker and now itísÖ.
Do you see countries in the Far East taking over?
Mosley: I think we will probably see maybe one in the Middle East, maybe
one in Russia and maybe another in the Far East and maybe another one in the
China is the obvious place for commercial expansionÖ
Mosley: China is very difficult because of the money and the need to build
the infrastructure and the political difficulties within China, but there are
three very serious consortia in China. One is based in Shanghai, one based in
a town whose name I canít remember but where Renault and one or two big car
manufacturers have factories, and then one near Beijing. Thatís quite apart
from Zhuhai which has been around for some time. It is suitable but we found
that it was logistically impossible. We got very close to having one there,
but it sounds silly, but you couldnít get the low-loaders under the bridges
and there were no facilities for unloading the plane at the time. It was really
quite complicated, but now thatís all gone a little bit quiet.
What would be the ultimate Grand Prix?
Mosley: China. Certainly we do need China. The other place that thereís
a very serious plan is India. If youíve got India and China, youíve got almost
half the worldís population or getting on that way.
How serious is the Indian one? Where is it?
Mosley: Itís nearby Bombay. I havenít talked to them myself, they talk to
Bernie. The beauty of Bernie doing the commercial side is that we donít have
to bother with these endless conversations. When heís got a deal, he comes along
to us and says Ďis this OK?í and we go and have a look at the circuit. You get
two or three people a week. They write to us and we shift it all off to Bernie.
Whatís going to happen post-Bernie? Who is going to control the commercial side
of the sport?
Mosley: First of all, Iím sure Bernie will out-last me, so itís not really
my number one worry, but I think his successor would be an individual and I
think he would more likely be a manager than an entrepreneur and I think he
would probably be somebody from outside motor sport, as you would get someone
to manage any big successful enterprise. There are ways of finding them. I think
it would a person of that kind.
think the idea of it being a retired team manager or a retired driver is pure
fantasy. Or even a retired motor industry executive. There are a lot of people
fantasizing about this, but I think it would be a serious manager recruited
on the same basis as if you were recruiting somebody to run ICI or whatever.
The question would then be who would do the recruiting?
Mosley: Currently, that would be the Kirch Group and they would undoubtedly
consult us because we would have to work very closely with the person. It would
be down to them. I suppose they would use head-hunters Ė all the classic methods.
You seem to be more involved in the traditional side of running the sport, the
Mosley: The deal with the European Commission is that weíre not involved
in the commercial side at all. Weíre the regulator, so we are concerned with
the safe, fair and orderly conduct of motor sport, which is a very broad remit,
but how people make money out of it is their problem. Thatís why, if the manufacturers
did start a series, we would be able to regulate that and regulate Formula One
and what we must not do is discriminate against another series. What the Commission
was concerned aboutÖ they said Ďif youíve got big financial interests in Formula
One, however fair-minded you may be, you have an incentive to suppress any potential
rival, so why donít you get rid of all of that and then you have no incentive
to suppress a rival?í Itís going to be interesting to see if other sports follow
Do you think Premier I will get off the ground?
Mosley: Weíre delighted if thereís any new forms of motor sport coming along
and we will give them every assistance.
What are your thoughts about Formula 3000, Max?
Mosley: Itís a little bit worrying, because, on the one side, if you donít
say Ďeverybody who comes into Formula One has to go through Formula 3000í youíre
weakening itÖpeople spend a fortune doing Formula 3000 and then someone comes
out of Formula Renault or whatever, straight into Formula One. But on the other
hand, if you bring in regulations, somebody might say that youíre suppressing
natural talent and so on. Iím uncertain what the right thing to do is. I was
the one who was against giving Raikkonen a super license, but that was simply
on the grounds that we had a regulation, we have an exceptional circumstances
clause, there were no exceptional circumstances, therefore why give him a
But the other 24 people on the Formula One Commission all wanted to give him
one and weíre a democracyÖWeíve made Formula 3000 much much cheaper by making
it a single engine, single make, single everything, but itís still quite expensive
to do. It is one of the problems that we are going to have to deal with. I donít
pretend to have an immediate solution.
Someone has said this week that it isnít promoted well enough?
Mosley: The trouble is that they say this about all forms of motor sport.
You could go to the Caterham Seven class and you will find someone who will
say Ďwe ought to have more television coverage.í If you did that, you would
have nothing on television all day long except motor sportÖYou see, the fact
that itís at a Grand Prix means that there is television, even if itís not live.
You can put it on television, it costs very little to originate it because all
the equipment is in place, but what you cannot do is make the public watch.
You did a bit of 180 degree on tobacco. You said you wouldnít interfere with
it and now you have put a deadline on it. Some people feel that thatís wrong,
that itís a legal product and should be allowed to be advertised.
Mosley: My personal view remainsÖ We asked for and did not get evidence
that thereís a link between sponsorship in Formula One and people taking up
smoking, which is what weíre really talking about. But there is a general worldwide
movement against tobacco and although I donít think it will actually make any
difference to the number of people who smoke, or any of those issues Ė thatís
my personal view Ė the fact remains that the trend is against. If you were to
allow Formula One to go on with tobacco advertising, two things would happen.
You would gradually restrict the number of countries in which you can have a
Grand Prix and secondly, you would tend to push Formula One into a kind of side
road of sponsorship and you might well find that general sports sponsorship
overtook you. You were stuck there with tobacco, completely in their hands,
and even though the money was going up everywhere else, you couldnít introduce
any of that into Formula One because none of them would come in because youíve
got tobacco. So you have a double risk: cutting down the countries, losing out
on sponsorship. It seemed to me that the right course was to try to get out
of tobacco and bring Formula One back into the mainstream of sports sponsorship.
Now 2006, we actually chose that date because it was the original EU Commission
date. Strictly speaking, you could argue that we couldnít do it for another
year because of the Concorde Agreement but nobody has raised that point. It
seems to be working out quite well and I think that what weíre going to see
now is, over the next four or five years, weíre going to see one team after
another moving off tobacco. Weíre going to see that.
Ron Dennis has suggested that there are loopholes in technical regulations;
are you bracing yourself for further problems here?
Mosley: Heís always saying that. He was one of the ones telling everybody
that we couldnít check traction control, and in the end, such a body of opinion
built up saying that we couldnít check traction control that we felt bound to
let it in and then the quid pro quo was getting rid of electronics in other
once traction control and launch control and all these technologies became legal
whose cars were sitting on the grid? Ron Dennisís, because the systems having
become legal, he wasnít able to make them work, and it does lead us to believe
that he would also not have been able to make a secret system, which we couldnít
detect, that worked.
it also makes us think that if he has the biggest electronics department of
any team in Formula One, probably nobody else could either. Probably all that
proved was that the whole of that business about we couldnít check the traction
control was rubbish and a smokescreen. Dear old Ron, to his dying day, when
heís long retired and in his bathchair, will still be saying people are bending
the rules. When he says this, we say to him Ďtell us what?í and he canít. Then
he says the problem is that the rules are not clear. The rules are clear, they
are alright for everybody. We then say to him ĎRon, tell you what, you and your
very expensive lawyers, write a set of specific clear rules and weíll have a
look at them.í That was seven years ago and Iím still waiting. Iím very fond
of Ron, but I donít take too much notice of him any more. The question was:
are people bending the rules? No, we do not believe they are and we are checking
very carefully and there are certain controversial things being discussed for
Melbourne at this very moment, things we know about, but the only think we think
is illegal, we have told the people concerned itís illegal and I hope they wonít
turn up with it in Melbourne.
Can you tell us what it is?
Mosley: There is supposed to be a new tire, with asymmetric grooves which
is not allowed. The grooves have to be uniform, which we think means they have
to be same whichever way you look at them. Some people think that if one of
the shoulders slopes more than the other it will be alright and we donít think
it will. Thatís just one example of thousands of things. I probably should never
have mentioned it.
Youíve got three weeks to sort it outÖ
Mosley: Well you see, what happens is that generally speaking a team has
a new development or whatever, they have a new twin clutch gearbox, letís say.
We will ask them to give us details and we will give them an opinion. If they
disagree with our opinion, there is nothing to stop them making their gearbox
and turning up at a race with it. If they turn up at a race with it and itís
illegal, then they canít run it. So we give them an opinion and they usually
follow it. Since we started that system, there have been about five hundred
enquiries. I think we got two of them wrong. One of them was the famous McLaren
differential and I canít remember what the other one was. On the whole we get
it right, but it is an opinion.
Could you not just say Ďnoí to things?
Mosley: We could do, but it would mean changing the sporting code and if
the teams wanted us to do that, we would do it, but at the moment the way it
works is that Charlie gives his opinion and then it goes through the classic
system which is the stewards and the court of appeal, which they have every
right to pursue. But generally speaking people donít try it.
I thought that there was controversy going on about gearbox systems?
Mosley: Thereís a little bit of controversy about twin clutch gearboxes.
Cars these days have seven forward gears, and obviously the more forward gears
you are allowed, the narrower the torque band for the engine can be and therefore
the greater the power Ė you can have a really peaky engine Ė particularly now
itís all done by computer. You couldnít have a seven speed box if you had to
do it manually. But they canít have more than seven speeds so if you then narrow
this right down, what you really need is CVT. Now thatís illegal, but maybe
if you have seven gearsÖ with these twin plates clutches, what happens is that
one set of gears is engaged while the other one is driving the car, so the gearchange
becomes almost instant. You just swap clutches, instead of having to engage
different gears. Now you could arrange it that the clutches worked in such a
way that on that particularly awkward corner where fifth was too short and sixth
was too long, it just got you over that little bit. It would generate a bit
of heat and so on, but it would just get you over that bit. Iíve explained that
very badly and crudely, but you can see the essence of it. Well, we make it
clear that you canít do that and of course we will be looking at the software
to see that it doesnít do it. But thatís in essence, as I understand it, the
danger with the twin clutch system. I think there is more than one team that
have these and theyíve existed for a long time. If they are just used as a means
of speeding up the gearchange, it is unobjectionable. Itís only if it is used
to expand the range of the gearbox.
This is not clear, something about a previous stance by MM about his philosophy
of a driverís skill
Mosley: To me, there still remain three big areas of skill: steering the
car, braking the car and using the accelerator. In a Formula One car, using
the accelerator is extremely tricky. Obviously in a road-going Fiat Panda itís
less of an issue. And it is a pity and itís a pity that the gearboxes are fully
automatic in a way, but then the other side of that is, suppose we went to the
opposite extreme and we said we will allow total electronic control of everything,
including the steering, the brakes, the lot? Would the best drivers still be
winning the races? And the answer, I think is that he would. And in a way thatís
what itís all about because, what traction control or current electronics do
is they enable me or Niki Lauda to drive the car, where previously that would
have been difficult, but when you get to the difference between Verstappen and
FrentzenÖ whatís the difference, if any, between Coulthard and Schumacher? We
would find it very hard to define, but youíve got your computer programmer sitting
there, howís he going to program that difference into whatever system youíve
got? I donít think he can. Certainly the top drivers seem to think Ė and Schumacher
certainly thinks Ė even if you had a totally electronic car, he would still
have an edge, if he had an edge at all. Itís still a pity.
Itís still a shame that a driver isnít penalized for missing a gear, for instance.
Mosley: Itís absolutely true. The old fashioned Hewland with clutch and
gearbox provided opportunities for overtaking. The downside, of course, is that
it blew up
particularly on the down change. But the reason that they originally talked
us into the sem-automatic gearchange was you can avoid overrevving on the upchange
because you just have a rev limiter. But on the downchange, if somebody engages
a gear that is too low too soon, it pushes the engine right round beyond its
limits. And so we said, OK to semi-automatic. But now of course, the technology
exists that you could have a completely ordinary gearchange and still have a
device that disengaged the clutch if you did what weíve just mentioned. But
itís too late now, you canít go back. A pity.
Yet it allows the young drivers to come in and drive a Formula One car very
Mosley: Well the other side of that is that all the formulae they come through
and in which they are successful all have manual gearchanges, including Formula
3000, Formula Renault, all these things, so the chances are, if you had those
sort of gearchanges, they would do it just as well if not better. The trouble
is now that so much is understood about the cars that even the worst car today
isnít that difficult to drive if youíre that level of racing driver. Itís a
little bit like road cars. There are fewer and fewer really bad road cars.
The absolutely last priority for teams is drivers. They are almost immaterialÖ
Mosley: Absolutely right. The other side of that is that, if we ever achieved
our dream of having regulations that, no matter how much money you spend, you
donít get any advantage, so itís much fairer, all the money would go to the
drivers, because that would be the only wayÖ
Niki Lauda said that driving grooved tires on the limit was much harder than
the tires in his day.
Mosley: He explained all that to me on the basis that therefore we shouldnít
have grooved tires, and I was mentally picturing more grooves and more grooves!
Grooved tires may be a bit controversial this year when they start wearing but
they did achieve their objective, they did keep speeds under control for a long
time. We had that big leap in speed last year with the tire war but actually
if you go back to the start of my presidency, go back to í92, when they had
big slicks, the full automatic suspension and all the rest of it, and you look
at Mansellís time around Magny Cours, which I think was only broken last year
by a tenth or two, but only a few tenths in ten years, so we did succeed to
some extent. Do you remember when we went from 18 inch slicks at the rear to
15 inch? Patrese said that it was going to kill all the drivers but now we have
15 inches with bloody great grooves in them. In the end, there are problems
now. By not changing the bodywork, everybody is iterating down onto little tiny
things, and they are working 24 hours a day in the wind tunnel on some tiny
advantage, and also they are taking liberties, like those, what they call brake
ducts. They are super sophisticated aerodynamic devices which have a knock-on
effect; itís all tuned, you know, the turning vane, the so-called brake duct,
the underneath, the this, the that. They are all massively important but unfortunately
I canít think of any way to attack them. I would if I could. All the things
you do with the aerodynamics they can negate. What they canít do is, if you
put the thing on bicycle tires and give it 10,000 horsepower, you canít get
the power on the road. I canít see us giving up the grooves in the near future.
All this money, all these developments, and the public still doesnít get much
of a show, how do you get around that? Thereís no denying that!
Mosley: Well, Iím now about to deny it. The thing is that youíve got a huge
television audience. There are two views to this. At the moment, you do get
overtaking on occasions, but you donít get much because most people donít want
to take the risk. If they are at the back of the grid, they will do it to come
through the field, but once they are in the points, itís generally speaking not
worth risking a collision for the sake of a point unless itís special circumstances.
But the overtaking is a whole maneuver now. You get two people, one in front
of the other. One of them goes into the pits, the other goes like hell to try
and make up time. This one comes out of the pits, he goes like hell. He goes
into the pits and then thereís a complete drama about which oneís going to be
first when he come out of the pits. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
Itís intensely exciting. To me that is a real drama of the race. Youíre waiting,
provided they donít screw up the television shot which they often do, for the
shot down the pit straight. Thereís one man in the pits as the other one comes
around the corner, whoís going to get there first? Itís really really exciting,
at least it is to me. You have the whole thing about did he pull in at the right
moment? Did they put in the right amount of fuel? Was it right just to put in
a bit of fuel so that he can do another one but he came out in front? All those
questions, compared to letís say Monza 1971 where there were 114 overtaking
maneuvers which was completely boring and the only interesting question there
was who comes out of the Parabolica second on the last lap because he was the
one who traditionally won the race because he had a little bit of a slipstream.
Itís not a thing you can discuss really, because all the racers say overtaking
is everything, but if thatís true, why isnít oval racing a mega-world show,
because they overtake constantly, television is available, anybody who wants
to buy CART or IRL can do so. But theyíve got no audience. Formula One, with
all its drama, has an audience. I think weíve got it about right. But why does
nobody watch CART? Itís great, itís fantastic, but it doesnít grip a worldwide
audience of non-racing enthusiasts. Thatís the secret. This is the problem that
rally has got. Itís one thing to present rallies so that the rally enthusiast
sees it well on the television and thinks itís fantastic, but the challenge
is to grab an audience that doesnít even know what a rally is. Where Formula
One has succeeded is that it has grabbed an audience worldwide who ten years
ago, certainly 15 ago, didnít know what motor sport was, witness the fact that
total television receipts in the mid-eighties for everybody, was of the order
of between one and two million dollars and now weíve got all this Kirch-Murdoch
and all the rest of it. Thatís a measure of the popularity. I think the fundamental
error that we all tend to make is that we are basically racers and we judge
it by our standards but the world that pays for Formula One now, which is the
big wide world, they are not racers. All sport is available to them, they can
chose football, horse racing, show jumping, skiing whatever they want.
But surely if you just have one or two overtaking maneuvers, like Schumacher
and Montoya at Brazil last yearÖif there was a hundred overtaking maneuvers,
people wouldnít remember them.
Mosley: I agree with that. Itís like an amazing goal in football, like BeckhamÖ
That was a drama, because first of all he had the balls to do it himself, and
secondly he did actually score. Iím not a Beckham Ė Posh fan, but it was a spectacular
thing to do. As you say, you talk about it. The famous overtaking at Spa when
they went either side of Zonta, that was an amazing thing to see.
But itís much more exciting to see cars racing, if you donít want that, why
not have them starting five minutes apart like rallying?
Mosley: Iím not saying that one car behind another, racing, is not exciting,
because it is, but thereís nothing particularly magic about the actual overtaking
maneuver. Very often, one catches the other and the one behind is significantly
quicker. The one in front has a bit of a problem towards the end of the race.
Youíre always wondering all the time if maybe if one might slip inside the other
and then youíve got the drama of the pit stop and who gets in and who gets out.
It is the fact of them being together creates the whole thing. I think that
is the weakness of rallying. They are going to have to rely on other things,
like artificially running the cars together, and of course letting you drive
the car down the stage, which is coming. Youíre going to be in the rally before
long. In the end, you will have Virtual Formula One, you will have the whole
Did you help with the Melbourne Coronersí inquiry?
Mosley: Weíve had a certain amount of correspondence. The trouble was that
he himself (the Coroner) didnít deign to make any sort of contact. It was all
done by a traffic policeman, quite a junior one, a sergeant in the Melbourne
traffic police, whose start-off point was to write to everybody famous so anybody
he had heard of, people like Jackie StewartÖ He didnít seem to understand that
this has become a massively scientific business, with university departments
and the transport research laboratory and all these people working on it, a
bit boring to begin with but in the endÖThe policeman wanted various information.
Officially he was a policeman writing on behalf of the coroner to seek their
view or something. The problem is that watching a Grand Prix is at least one,
if not two orders of magnitude safer than driving to the circuit and away from
it if you are, say, 50 kilometers away, just on ordinary figures. I would like
to see greater spectator safety and safety for everybody, but the fact of the
matter is, if you go and watch a Grand Prix anywhere in the world, the dangerous
bit is driving to the circuit and coming away again.
Max, whatís the current thinking about increasing the World Rally championship?
Mosley: The number of rounds? There hasnít been much discussed lately, and
whenever it is discussed, thereís a certain amount of resistance from the teams.
They really donít want any more and I think the next step may be to change one
or two of the events rather than the number.
Well we did that, we chopped Portugal and brought in Germany. How do you see
Mosley: I think the German event will be a very good one. Itís a pity about
Portugal but that business with the stage where you couldnít have got an ambulance
in was just indefensible. But the next time we put a new one on the calendar
it really needs to be outside Europe. There are still too many in Europe. But
again, itís very difficult. The more successful the championship becomes, the
harder it is going to be to cancel rounds.
Mosley: It depends which ones. If itís a question of whether to sell it
to Channel 4 or Channel 3, thatís ISC. If itís a question of whether to run
the British rally in November or to move it, that would be us, or to run a new
event would be us. Theyíve got very little say in that sort of thing.
Is Mr. Richards the media chief in the World Rally championship, as is quoted
in Motorsport News this week?
Mosley: Heís the media chief in the sense that we have sold to him, or he
has got the commercial rights to the World Rally championship for a period of
ten years, so subject to certain constraints, he can do what he wants to with
television. He can propose a calendar, but in the end itís the commission and
then the World Council that decides.
Where does the power really lie?
Mosley: At the moment with us. Now when we do the 100 year deal, we may
give him more power, we may give him, for example, power over the calendar,
analogous to that which Bernie has in Formula One. And what Bernie has in Formula
One is the right to propose the calendar, largely the right to fix the calendar,
subject to certain constraints. For example, the one that he canít cancel a
classic event without our consent, if they are prepared to normal the money,
like anybody else. So we may well give David Richards that, but that hasnít
Did the powers that be do enough to help Alain Prost?
Mosley: I think he got a lot of help from the only source that could help
him, for example Bernie. I think he had moneyÖ I donít know, but I suspect he
had money in advance, things like that. But thereís nothing we can do and the
French government Ė I donít know how much help he got in France.
How likely is that we will see 12 teams on the grid next year?
Mosley: Unlikely, because a lot of people have been enquiring about entering,
but of course we have that rule now that you can enter and you could secure
that place today, but you have to give us $48 mil which then comes back with
interest over the period. That tends to eliminate the non-serious people. Otherwise
there would be two or three entries now. I could name three groups that all
say they want to do it, but we just say Ďterrific, whoever gets the 48 mil here
first has got theÖ
Presumably if Bill Ford has a re-emergence of his green philosophies, Jaguar
might disappear anyway?
Mosley: This is the weakness of the whole that manufacturersí championship,
that itís not a core business to any of the manufacturers. As Leo Kirch himself
says, any of us might be dead in seven years time, including him, but the only
certainty is that none of the people currently be running the big companies
will still be doing so in seven years time.
Whatís the state of play of the Concorde Agreement for rallies?
Mosley: Thereís a certain amount of talk about it and there ought to be
one, but nobody has started drafting one. If they have, they havenít told us.
The first thing you need to do to do one is to get hold of the Formula One Concorde
Agreement and follow the pattern. I think thatís what they need to do with the
regulations: get hold of the Formula One regulations.
What sort of sense of weakness to do the teams feel that they need to have such
an agreement? What is it going to do to strengthen them?
Mosley: What the Formula One teams have in the Concorde Agreement is the
guarantee that certain things wonít change in the regulations without their
consent. I suppose that strictly speaking, at the moment, we could change say
two liters whatever it is with the restrictor and make it one liter and no restrictor,
certainly in 2004 and arguably in 2003, or we could say itís two wheel drive
canít do that in Formula One. Regulation stability is one factor. The quid pro
quo is they then have to sign up for several years because at the moment, we
donít have any means of ensuring that any of the rally teams will turn up in
Mitsubishi have said that they will stay in the championship for three years
on account of certain agreements with the FIA. Have any other teams made assurances
in that way?
Mosley: Not that I know of. Anyway, with assurances, what happens is the
big manufacturers turn up and say ĎIím really sorryÖmy predecessorÖI canít maintain
this.í Even if youíve got a contract. All they do is give you a cheque. That
happened with ITC. When we changed the DTM into ITC, we did so on the basis
of commitment of three big manufacturers and in the end we made them commit
for $8m. We ended up picking up $5.3m from two of them. Itís a completely different
thing with the small teams. If Prost goes out of business, what can you do?
But at least you know he wonít stop doing Formula One unless he goes out of
business, he wonít just stop because the accountants donít like it.
On Justin Wilson?
Mosley: We canít make the Formula One teams take or even try someone like
Justin Wilson. One suspects that if they gave him a trial he would be very quick
and he would probably be quicker than some of the existing Formula One drivers,
but I suppose itís inconvenient because heís 6ft 3in and they just canít be
think itís a great pity. Actually Formula 3000 last year was very competitive,
and to win as he did, he did all the things you needed to do: he didnít go off
the road, he won the races, sometimes very close races, and heís obviously a
very very good driver.
What about scrapping Fridays at Grands Prix?
Mosley: That seems to me to be completely sensible. The rational thing to
do is not to run on Friday. You run on Saturday and Sunday, keeping the existing
time-table. You are allowed one engine. If it blows up in the race, youíre history
anyway. If it blows up before the race, thatís OK, but you start at the back
or in the middle of the grid.
then we need to review the question of how many teams each engine supplier supplies
because you canít go on having a situation where the small teams havenít got
an engine, or worse than that, have got an engine which is manifestly uncompetitive.
We just need to get an agreement. If they donít agree, they donít agree, we
canít force them, but if the majority of the teams agree, we can do it.
Indistinct (start of tape), but about the Citroen penalty in Monte Carlo rally?
Mosley: The answer is that the stewards decided, for whatever reason, that
the penalty should be suspensive, as they call it, and the moment that you do
that, itís as if you havenít applied it. They didnít give a reason why. The
whole question of suspending is something weíre going to look at with the World
Council. Youíve got two separate points. Should it be suspended for example,
something like exclusion where you canít put the man back if he wins the appeal,
and then should you suspend if you easily can put him back? Obviously, if you
can easily readjust the result, like two minutes, thereís no need to suspend
the penalty. Somewhere like Australia there might be an argument for suspending
it, because you might alter where he ran on the road and that might improve
or diminish his chances, as the case may be. Or maybe you could say that he
canít put it back. But there is an argument for saying even where you canít
put things right afterwards, you should still not suspend it. If you think of
football, when somebody gets a red card, it would be absurd for him to say Ďwell
Iím not going to leave the pitch because my managerís appealing, Iím going to
go on playing.í The whole thing would break down. Itís a fairly big discussion.
as far as Monaco is concerned, I donít know why they suspended it. Had he been
excluded there would have been a case for suspending it.
Youíve spoken about draconian penalties for people who do illegal servicing.
Two minutes is draconian?
Mosley: There are two possibilities. One is that they were changing the
wheels because they had something that they wished to conceal which was illegal.
The other is they were changing them so that the car would look nicer in the
parc ferme, which seems to be the generally accepted explanation. Any suspicion
that they were doing something illegal, they should have been excluded. If it
was purely stupidity, because they had forgotten to tell the mechanics and the
mechanics, having washed the car, wanted to take the dirty wheels off and put
the cleans ones on, so it looked nice in parc ferme, that really was what happened,
then you could argue there should be a
And maybe because they had been told not to do it specifically, there should
be a big fine. But it seems to me itís one or the other. It should either be
exclusion if there is a real illegal service, or if it was just a very simple
mistake which has no bearing on the outcome of the event, then itís different.
I donít know, but I suspect the view of the stewards that this wasnít illegal
Weíve had some horrendous businesses, $300,000 for Goodyear and Toyota, weíve
had Tommi Makinen excluded from the Safari Rally, each in cases when it was
arguable whether it was illegal or not and certainly there had no been precedents.
Here, these guys had been told not to do it, and they go and do it, and this
Mosley: Tommi Makinen, in Kenya, if he did get illegal assistance which
arguably he did, it certainly made a difference to the outcome of the event.
The argument for what happened in Monaco was that it had no conceivable bearing
on the event or the outcome. Absolutely nothing to do with servicing properly,
Right, but it did have a major impact on what came next which was the promotional
value of what happened on the rally.
Mosley: Youíre confusing two separate issues: youíre confusing whether they
did an illegal service and if so what the penalty should be, and then, if you
get the penalty wrong, then that obviously did have an effect, but that says
nothing as to the draconian-ness or not of the penalty. It was either the right
penalty or the wrong penalty. There is an argument for saying it was the wrong
penalty and there is an argument for saying it shouldnít have been suspended.
But itís completely different from somebody actually doing something during
an event that can have a bearing on the outcome of the event. Unless they were
doing it to conceal something illegitimate and thereís no evidence to suggest
Going back to the Citroen business and how they advertised their victory in
Monte Carlo which in fact, they never did win. What is the FIAís position about
Mosley: Technically, that is a breach of article 131 which is the false
advertising article, thatís sporting code. I think itís 131. So then we had
to decide are we going to have them in front of the World Council or not. A
very full explanation has come from Citroen as to how it happened which does
actually sound realistic. In essence, they had prepared three different advertisements
for three different cases and somebody took the decision to put the thing in
while Frequelin was in the plane and it was one of those complete confusions.
It seems to me that probably the fair thing to do is, having regard to all the
circumstances, it probably doesnít warrant dragging them in front of the World
Council, because I think the World Council would listen to it all and say, Ďwell
in all the circumstances, we can understand that and donít do it again.í I donít
believe it was deliberate. If I thought for one moment it was deliberate then
it would be a nice money-making opportunity but I donít think it is.
What about appeals generally? Are there too many?
Mosley: I believe there are. The trouble is now that Formula One and rallies
have become such big business that they almost appeal as a matter of course,
and what I would like to do is change the way we do things. Letís take Formula
One, because itís simpler. You have the local clerk of the course, you have
our race director, Charlie Whiting. I would like him to impose the penalty and
then the team to appeal to the stewards if they are not happen with the penalty,
and then thereís a proper hearing with both sides and then only appeal to the
Court of Appeal with leave, either leave of the stewards, or leave of the Court
of Appeal if the stewards refuse. That would cut down the number of appeals,
there are too many appeals now.
How would you like the timescale work out, on Sunday nights?
Mosley: If you did what Iíve just said, the thing would all be over on Sunday
and that would be the end of it, and if the stewards refuse leave to appeal,
their chance of getting it from the Court of Appeal, under that system, they
would have to show that they have an arguable point of interpretation of the
regulations. The chance of it not being all over on Sunday night would be minimal.
Formula One, the teams donít like the idea. They are so conservative, itís very
difficult to get them to move. In rallies, it would be a very big change because
there isnít currently an event director or equivalent to the race director and
his relationship with the clerk of the course is to be defined. Itís not like
Formula One and go out and know exactly how the circuit goes. Youíre not going
to get somebody flying in from another country who knows the entire terrain.
So it needs development, but the principal of getting it all done on Sunday
night except when thereís something really usual. And also weíve going to be
a little bit careful about the stewards and how they work.
Iíve now discovered that in rallies, there are quite a few things that have
been going on for years that are contrary to the sporting code. For example,
using bulletins other than for safety matters. Having the stewards in certain
circumstances in an executive role. The clerk of the course, taking decisions
to penalize people which he has no power to do under the code. These customs
have grown up in rallying and they are just not correct. Itís all got to be
looked at. Otherwise somebody will appeal and we will look stupid in our own
Court of Appeal.
youíre going to be a steward on a World Championship event, rally or racing
youíve got stay on Sunday night. Weíve had one or two cases in rallying where
thereís been a suspicion in quite the detail they would have heard it had there
not been a plane to catch, so the best thing to say is Ďno plane.í
Youíve taken a very large sum of money off Mr Kirch, and youíre spending it
on automobile safety. That money came from motor racing, and there is an argument
that at least some of it should be spent on the sport and not on your particular
plots and projects.
Mosley: Absolutely right and some of it is being spent on the sport. Aerodynamic
research is discovering why Alboretoís sports car flipped when it got side ways
and what we can do to stop it. Weíve already done research into why the three
Mercedes flipped at Le Mans. Weíre paying part of it and the manufacturers are
some of it. There is a very very high tech system being proposed for wheel tethers.
Itís extremely expensive to develop and weíre going 50-50 with a motor manufacturer
on the costs, because thereís no rope known to man which will keep the wheels
on in the worst case, even in not so bad cases. The crash helmet will eventually
have an impact on the roads but not in cars, only in motorcycles, weíre doing
that. Research into improving safety on circuits and crash barriers. There are
racing circuits all over the world which have to spend millions and millions
of dollars. You couldnít even do one circuit with the money weíve got, even
though what weíve got is more than the road safety budget of the EU it would
hardly scratch the surface just at Silverstone.
Is the FIA as going to be as hard on Spa as they have been on Silverstone?
Mosley: If necessary yes. Spa have already made same efforts. There is a
new dual carriageway, things of that kind. Hockenheim are making efforts. The
thing that was worrying about Silverstone was that nobody appeared to care,
and when there was some money, it was spent on a luxurious clubhouse for the
600 BRDC members. If you own the premises, you would expect them to think about
the guests first and themselves last.
What about Interlagos?
Mosley: Well, everybody says itís not very good. I have to confess that
the last time I went to Brazil was in í82 and that was Rio so I canít claim
to be up-to-date. The biggest problem is that we donít have another South American
race. Weíre a little bit in difficulty that if we cancelled Brazil, thatís it,
thatís South America right off the World Championship calendar which is a great
traditional place, so thereís a reluctance, but a point is coming where if they
donít do something, thatís it. It is a reason for keeping a race. Itís as if
Silverstone was the only one in Western Europe and we couldnít get one anywhere
else. Whereas in Western Europe, weíve got too many already, being brutal about
it, and we need to free up a few races. So if people donít want to take it seriouslyÖYou
have to weigh up how much we are willing to tolerate Interlagos versus the importance
of having at least one event in South America. If South America went, it would
probably have an effect on the whole of South America in a way. Things change.
Suddenly thereís Montoya coming up. Weíre always saying we want to be more of
a World Championship.
Can you explain the background with the Safari rally? The chairman has said
that it should be a partnership and backers should include the FIA? To what
extent should the FIA put its hand in its pocket and make a rally like the Safari
Mosley: Absolutely not. Itís not our job. We are a regulator and in fact
the deal with the European Commission is that we are not involved in the commercial
side in anyway. He (the chairman) doesnít understand the basic structures. And
if people donít have the means to put on a safe, properly-run World Championship
very difficult to justify. Imagine, if there were a traffic accident, you would
have to explain to the worldís media why there was traffic going the other way
on a stage. It would be really really difficult to explain that. Most people
Does the FIA have the ability or power to demand a financial bond or something
from a rally organizer to make sure it doesnít go broke?
Mosley: No, no we donít. On the other hand they have to put sufficient things
in place, so that if thing is going to completely take a dive you will probably
know before you went there. But no, they donít put bonds up. If we were seriously
worried, we might ask them as a condition to going on the calendar. We couldnít
really do that to a traditional event.
How long is it before we hear that the rally in fact wonít happen?
Mosley: I donít know that it wonít. The last I heard was that the government
were getting involved in various ways. The two main problems are the traffic
and open roads, and the other problem is the animals. Even if you closed the
road, youíve probably got to have a helicopter for safety.
Generally speaking, has the ban on testing been a bad thing, because Formula
One has slipped off the tabloid consciousness, to a greater extent more than
it ever has before?
Mosley: I donít know whether thatís true. First of all, there isnít a ban
on testing, thereís sort of like a holiday, November and December and then itís
back on in January. All weíve done, or Iíve done, is say Ďyou should police
that yourselves and shouldnít involve the FIA the discussion about testing.í
The teams wanted us to continue to take charge of it and we said we wouldnít.
Imagine the moment people donít want to observe the spirit of it. Suppose Ferrari
had taken their new engine and gearbox and stuck it in sports car, tested it
through November and December. Is that Formula One testing? I just didnít want
to get involved in the argument, so Iím saying now Ďweíre in charge from Thursday
afternoon until Sunday night and what you do in between is up to you.í
a gentlemanís agreement between the teams. Itís an optimistic term.
How important is it for Formula One that Ferrari doesnít run away with this
Mosley: It would be helpful if they didnít run away. I donít think itís
a foregone conclusion. If you think about 2001, if the McLarens and Williamses
had been as reliable as the Ferraris, it would have been much harder. Ferrari
would still have won but it would have been much more difficult. Trouble is
the new car looks so incredibly quick, but letís wait and see. Itís a very revolutionary
car. They are taking a big chance.
Where do you rate Michael in the all-time greats?
Mosley: Heís certainly Ďone ofí, if not ĎThe.í Heís probably the best. Heís
so all-round. With all the others, thereís a weakness here or a weakness there.
Itís very difficult to see what his weakness is. I donít know about Fangio because
I didnít know him. By the time I met him he was sort of old. All the others,
with every single one you can find something about them thereís a weakness,
and yet with Schumacher, I donít know what it is. You sit down and talk to him,
for example he doesnít know much about motor racing history. I was once very
shocked that heíd never heard of Jochen Rindt, for example, but if you talk
to him about anything that is relevant to what he does, itís likely talking
to a very clever graduate about his subject. Heís completely analytical, he
never says something stupid, he never misses the point, understands everything
you say immediately and if you didnít know that heís fairly narrow, you would
consider him to be intellectually formidable and insofar as heís got information,
he is intellectually formidable. He doesnít have any apparent emotional weaknesses.
The only time Iíve seen him behave a little bit irrationally was at Monza because
of the September 11th and they all got a bitÖ but he was by no means
the only one. It was a general thing. But itís really very hard to see weaknesses
in Michaelís make-up.
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