Bahrain snub piles pressure on Mosley

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As a few people have mentioned in the comments the Crown Prince of Bahrain has told Max Mosley not to attend this weekend’s Grand Prix following his refusal to step down over the sex scandal. (Oddball posted the letter here).

I think it’s further proof of what I wrote two days ago, that Mosley cannot perform his job effectively with this hanging over him and he should step down, at least temporarily, while he sorts it out. The Times’s Ed Gorman wrote something similar in his blog (elsewhere in the same blog Gorman claims it was Mosley who told Bernie Ecclestone to move McLaren to the last slot in the pit garage).

Elsewhere, a rather different take on the story is offered in The Guardian and Pitpass is sticking up for him.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Bahrain snub piles pressure on Mosley”

  1. It doesn’t matter who is sticking up for him, no-one ever survives this sort of thing. He’ll be gone by Monaco.

  2. You can be sure of the fact that they are currently negotiating with Max under which circumstances he agrees to leave. Maybe Max is realistic enough to see that he has only money to gain from this, maybe he his a power-hungry so and so. He will either go by himself or he will be pushed out, and I think for the pushing to really gain momentum the Bahrain GP is needed as everyone who is powerful in F1 will be there and I’m sure they’ll meet to discuss what steps to take.

  3. German car makers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have issued a joint statement labeling FIA president Max Mosley’s behaviour as ‘disgraceful’

  4. Vertigo, I’ll give him a week before he wanders off (on all fours no doubt!) into the sunset …..

  5. Toyota and Honda now added to the list of teams contacting the FIA

  6. joint BMW and Mercede’s statement

    Toyota has issued this statement as well

    looks like today is the day we see the teams speak regarding this matter.

  7. and Honda too! excellent, this is better than pro wrestling!

  8. .. and the pressure continues to grow…
    F1 teams call on the FIA to act,18954,3213_3379203,00.html

    ‘Max should quietly turn into the pit lane’,18954,3213_3379133,00.html

  9. Now Max has said BMW and Mercedes-Benz should have contacted him first  – before criticising  him for something which may not be true.

  10. The beginning of the end is nigh…good riddance.

  11. The Red Army is entering Berlin.  It is only a matter of time now.

  12. According to the BBC, Max said:
    "Given the history of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, particularly before and during the Second World War, I fully understand why they would wish to strongly distance themselves from what they rightly describe as the disgraceful content of these publications. "Unfortunately they did not contact me before putting out their statement to ask whether the content was in fact true. "No doubt the FIA will respond to them in due course, as I am about to respond to the newspaper in question."

    Interesting (& somewhat distasteful) how he turned his problems round to have a pop at the history of BMW and Mercedes (especially given the history of Mosley himself and his family).

    He can’t have long to go now.

  13. I do agree with The Guardian and Pitpass, not with Mosley. I´m not with him for plenty obvious reasons. I do not belong to his world, although all belong to the same one, what I mean is that this chap is in the high, with the chaps who rule the rules. I´m pretty sure that he has broken their rules at some stage, but what we cannot allow is to transform our standar of life in a huge Big Brother, wich is what is happenning everyday. Look at your TV and tell me what is on. The Masters are washing our brains (trying I mean, pretty successfully I must say in a large amount of people) to tell us what to do and what not to do, what is right (for all of us dont forget, this rule does not count for them) and what isnt. And they have the most powerful of the tools, The Media. 
    Listen, this is not a coincidence. Max is going to pay for something which is not a sexual party, and nobody will never know what was it.
    I do not feel sorry for him, he is part of the game, but this game is getting too dirty. The good thing is some people wake up and realises what is behind courtins, wich is bad for the people who rule the rules.
    My dearest Crown Prince of Bahrain I´d like to know who are you to match our moral standars, because you could be next on the screen. At the moment you rule a dictatorship, and nobody says anything, because you are a money´s friend.
    This chaps are trying to keep us up whith this type of things, so we wont think much of, starvation, AIDs, violation of human rights, killings, unstopable rising of prices of basic goods, and so on. The list is endless.
    I know this is not the forum to complain of it, but I do not want to be part of this show, and lets speak about F1, so we all will have our portion of happines and can carry on within our Brave New World, wich is by now Brave old World.
    Sorry if I did not explain accurately and/orproperly myself, but this is not my mother tonge.

  14. The Guardian is wrong (left wing rabble!!!!). If you live by the sword and die by the sword.

    How can Mosely have any credibility of morality and racism in the sport when he does this? He simply can’t. 

    When the sport faces these issues (spygate and racism) there is no way that Max can lead the charge on these …

    If he’d be caught with his pants down then it would have been something to chuckle over but no more. That is fine and that does not prevent someone from doing his job.

    I’m sorry but if the head of the FIA renacts Nazi-esque domination scenes then he no longer has any right to spearhead a moral cleansing of the sport.

    For the good of everyone he should go.

  15. Who is "everyone" John?

  16. Why should BMW and Mercedes have ‘checked in’ with Mosely first?? Is there any argument about Max’s credibility based on these allegations – whether they be true or not??

    As Haggis says, it’s a pretty distasteful response – in fact it’s incredibly low of him to throw that back.

  17. Everyone is everyone involved, Max, FIA, F1 in general, the fans, etc..
    Now Max is really beginning to lose it, what stupidity to take a pop at the companies paying his bloody wages!!
    Ok Max, enough, get the hell out of here before you damage the sport even more…
    What does he have which prevents Bernie from sacking him? Surely these public reactions from the teams mean that they are forced to do so as the FIA doesn’t seem to want to react. I’m sure the teams would rather kept quiet on this, but it looks like they had no other choice but to go public, which means Bernie and FIA were/are not planning to kick Max out…

  18. I’m not really sure on what I think of this situation. On the one hand, it is his personal life and its none of our business, but on the other hand should a person exhibiting this kind of behaviour be the president of the FIA? I don’t think so.

    In any case, the teams are pressuring the FIA to act on the matter, and I think they will eventually give in to the pressure. It’s only a matter of time…

  19. Hi vhw (had to shorten it).  Well, if that is true, your last sentence but one, this is, simply put, a character assassination.

    And, well, Mosley will finally appreciate the true meaning of karma.

  20. Does anyone think that the new kid in town will have any credibility of morality and racism in the sport?

    He will have up to where he will be allow to. If he brakes the unwritten rules he will pay for it.

    Does anyone think that credibility of morality and racism in sport is ruled for one single person? Who wrote here something like "Because I´m paranoid, does not mean they are not out there to catch me?
    We say in Spain, another will came to make you even better.

  21. Let me put it this way, Santiago.  For me, Max’s replacement would start at 0 points in terms of morality and all that.  Max has already dipped below 0 for me, he’s at around -20 or so.

    What I’m saying is, Max has lost the trust of the people – the people he governs (just ask the paddock – heck, ask the member orgs, they’ll probably tell you as much in private).  And without that trust, how will Max govern?  He won’t be able to do his job properly.

    And, let’s face it, if it was a character assassination, if Max wasn’t causing so much unnecessary trouble with so many people, this probably wouldn’t have happened to him.

  22. Good post, Vilehackwriter – I certainly appreciate that angle.

    Can it be assumed, then, that if Mosely’s defence is privacy intrusion, that the accusations are actually true? Or is it that there’s no basis until proven?

    Furthermore, I’m not certain that the film (I did watch it – not because seeing Max in the buff does it for me but because I didn’t believe it was actually him until I saw it) was from a hidden camera. It’s very close to Max at certain points and people on other (lesser, obviously Keith) sites have suggested you can see a gentleman dressed as a butler in reflections around the room.

    In which case, you would have to assume that Mosely’s consent was given??

  23. Santiago — everyone is everyone associated with the sport!

    Those who don’t think that this scandal affects Mosely’s ability to do his job are wrong. How can he possibly lecture anyone on racism and morality? He can’t.

    Ignore the sex aspect, Mosely has exhibited despicable racist behaviour and that is why he has to go — the sex thing actually helps him ironically.

    It’s like asking P.W. Botha to lead a campaign for racial equality.

  24. For me, the camera is definitely hidden, the quality is not good enough for it to be a "real" camera and it’s not being pointed at what it’s filming very accurately. This is most probably a tiny little device,  probably not bigger than a button.
    And by Max denying that it’s him in the video I think it’s 99,9% sure that the accusations are true and he has accepted that.

  25. sorry, that should’ve read "by Max NOT denying"

  26. Poor old Bernie, copping it for his buddy’s excesses as usual.  Let’s be clear on this – there is no way Bernie can fire Max.  In fact, no-one can fire Max.  Mosley designed the post of president of the FIA so that he can only be got rid of through the normal election process and then he made sure that the voters, the FIA delegates, were all subservient to him.  If he is to go before his term is up, he has to resign.

    Bernie effectively abandoned Max when he advised him that going to Bahrain was a bad idea.  He then made his stance even clearer when he opined the Max wouldn’t stand much chance of winning a suit against NOTW – this before Max had written his pathetic letter of "apology" making it clear that the allegations were true (apart from the Nazi bit – he dare not admit that).  Ecclestone was saying that Max couldn’t win because the story was true.

    Bernie has dumped him but that doesn’t deter Max one bit – he will fight this tooth and nail.  I have no doubt that the manufacturers gave their view on the matter privately to the FIA and have only gone public now that it is clear that Max has no intention of resigning.  Pressure will increase over the next few days until individual FIA delegates start to break ranks.  At that point, Max will have to own himself beaten.

    It will take a while, however.

  27. Could the NOTW get out of the hidden camera prosecution by having "you are on camera" signs on the front doors of the building (as you see in shops, petrol stations, hotels etc.)?

    Max had long since lost the respect of many fans in F1, his personalisation of the spygate debacle being one of the most recent, but by no means only, examples of why he’s a man whose time is up in his current job. Even earlier this week we learned that McLaren are to be moved to the end of the pit straight because, according to F1 Live, the FIA (i.e. Max) is "frustrated" that Ron Dennis remains in post and that the FIA view Dennis celebrating the victory in Australia as "provocation".

    The current scandal is the final nail in the coffin and removes all authority from Mosley. In my opinion, he has brought F1 and the FIA into disrepute and if he is allowed to continue in the role that disrepute will increase markedly.

    Surely Bernie will black flag him soon and end all this.

  28. You take a few days off and the world goes mad!  I’ve watched this develop for the last few days and not posted anything on it yet, simply because I wanted to see how it developed.     It’s not for me to comment on the rights and wrongs of it, or the morality or immorality of it or, at least, not here.  The realpolitik of the whole situation lies in Clive’s comments.  Regardless of whether or not we think Max is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to engage in these acts, whether we believe the full extent of the NOTW’s claims or not, whether we believe that they were right to ‘invade his privacy’ or not, and whatever the ins and outs of the legal proceedings that will no doubt soon commence, these things develop a kind of critical mass.  I think that the manufacturer’s statements this morning (whether we agree with them or not) have brought the situation to that point.  In the last hour this story has finally been given headline coverage on BBC News 24.  It’s prominence in broadsheets other than The Times is growing.  I think it is clear that this critical mass will eventually (and, as Clive points out, this may take a while) leave Mosley with no alternative but to resign.  He is holed below the waterline and whether he chooses to scuttle the ship now and throw himself overboard or to man the pumps and try to remain afloat for as long as possible, there are no lifeboats on the horizon as far as I can see and he will, ultimately, sink beneath the weight of all this.

  29. Regarding the teams comments, i believe this is it. Max must quit, otherwise he risks that the manufacturers he loves so much start jumping ship. No one wants to be connected to this and it could harm the PR of most of the teams, in particular the german ones. Max already did the favour of remembering their WWII behaviour…

  30. What I want to know is this: where are Max Mosley’s supporters? In his statement he said there were loads of them. That was two days ago now. Are they not going to stand up and make themselves heard as he takes this flak?

    I wouldn’t take silence as indication of support either – for example, if they’re smart, McLaren will avoid criticising him in public because in light of spygate it would look like it was politically motivated. is now saying he should quit.

  31. Well, if the scandal itself wont’t drag Mosley down, his complete arrogance in crises management will. His response to Mercedes’ and BMW’s call to resign would be of a dubious taste even if one didn’t consider the family history he is burdened with. My only explanation for such a RP suicide is that both he himself and his people (lawyers, publists ecc.) positively know that he is toast.

  32. We should not look down on people in their time of misfortune or personal trials. Even if Max has pushed the boundaries of personal decency in his approach to the spy gate affair, we should not enjoy his seeming fall from grace. However unfortunate it may be, sometimes life is like that:D :-) we just have to carry on.

  33. I agree that the story is significant.  Highly significant.  It’s also one of the most salient pieces of commentary I’ve read on the whole affair in the last few days.  I’d only just published my own thoughts on the scandal – – when the story popped up.  I’ve immediately flagged it up on my own pages.  I have a feeling that we are past the point of no return.  Meanwhile, of course, let us not forget that there is a grand prix coming up this weekend!

  34. Maybe we should have a vote on who backs Max and who doesn’t – that’d show how many supporters and doubters he really has.

  35. Just on the BBC now – Mosley is calling an Extraordinary Assembly Meeting of the FIA World Council at the ‘earliest practicable opportunity’.

  36. Just caught that on the TV news – here is a link to, which has just picked it up –

  37. VileHackWriter – nice thought out post on the possible legal angles. Here’s one to consider too.

    If Max attacks on the invasion of privacy angle the NOTW can push back on the inverse. He was clearly in a brothel of some description, a privately owned apartment to be sure but one where members of the public are allowed access to. The direct comparison would be a pub. Privately owned but considered a public area, would a brothel (or any shop or store) fall under the same banner – I don’t know BUT if Max wants to pursue this in court he is going to prolong the agony as every other paper is going to report on the proceedings and he would effectiely be trying to generate a precedent in the interpretation on the laws on privacy.

    Also the ‘Public interest’ angle is going to drag his whole handling of Mclaren/Spygate into question as the NOTW can argue that it is in the public interest to demonstrate his alleged ‘Nazi’ thought process to scrutiny as they argueably have driven his judgements on punishing Mclaren which affects a large number of people and millions of fans of the sport.

    I note in his letter to the FIA he did not deny (and hence accepted) the fact that he visited the brothel and paid prostitues. Argueing this in court is just joing to prolong the whole episode and drag it more into the limelight to the point where he will enivtably resign or be forced out under more of a cloud than he already is.

    BTW – I chuckle at his comments regarding the car manufacturers not contacting him before making public statements distancing themselves – why the hell should they? His actions have brought the sport into disrepute and any PR department is going to put as much distance between themselves and Max as fast as possible.

    Watch Bernie dump him like a hot potato the second he realsied that Max is denting his FOM revenues.

    Max should resign – and fast!

  38. Regarding what Tj said about this scandal harming FOM revenues – Bernie has clearly realised that this little affair will do F1 a great deal of harm in the Middle East and in India, where they have strict views on sexual behaviour and exposure of it in the media. With F1’s expansion into regions like Abu Dhabi and New Delhi, as well as existing commitments to Bahrain and the Force India team, Bernie’s decision to get as far away from this scandal as possible shows that he believes Mosley could cost F1 lucrative contracts. And if Bernie wants somebody gone, they’re gone, no matter how close he is to them.

  39. Those punches keep on coming…

    Pitpass have just ran a couple of interesting quotes – – firstly from David Richards, a long-time ally of Mosley, who suggests that his reaction to the scandal shows ‘he has grown quite far from the real world’ and secondly, from Nico Rosberg, who makes some interesting, if oblique comments about the need ‘to set a good example… because there are people watching you’.

  40. Wow comment 48……

    Clive said "The Red Army is entering Berlin.  It is only a matter of time now."

    I see a scary irony here…. You don’t think that Max idolizes Hitler to the point that he mimics his every trait? Hilter was, of course a coward who as he gain power became more and more reckless with his decisions and would not listen to any of his officers.
    Toward the end many people wanted Hilter out, but like Mosley he made it almost impossible to be removed from power.  I just hope Max doesn’t lock himself in a bunker and kill himself…. That would take all the fun out of this.

  41. I may not like Max Mosely but to compare him directly to Hitler is maybe a little harsh…??

  42. In responce to BMW and Mercerdes’s statement, Mosley said:
    "No doubt the FIA will respond to them  in due course as I am about to respond to the newspaper in question"

    Wow,  what kind of responce will it be?

  43. A difference of scale only, Cooperman.  I may say a mouse going on holiday is like an elephant because both are grey, have big ears and a trunk – but I am not saying that a mouse <em>is</em> an elephant.  :D

  44. Dan M – if Max does kill himself in a bunker do you think he’ll take his wife and dog with him, as Hitler did? Does he even have a dog?

  45. If Mosley had been a good head of the FIA then he still wouldn’t have a chance of getting through this.

    As it is, he’s made a hash of it all, most seriously with the whole Prodrive/customer cars fiasco in which he made promises when he wasn’t in a position to do so. 

    I accept the argument that the things one does in ones private life should be private to an extent – but when they show such serious character flaws as Nazism, one has to draw a line.

    The sooner Mosley goes the better quite frankly.

  46. LOL @ Clive and Vertigo. And no one will find his body.

  47. Wow, it just occurred to me I haven’t seen one mention of Godwin’s Law in relation to this.  If this were a "nazi sex scandal" in a technical community it would have been mentioned in the first comment to the first story about it =)

    #50, here’s my proposed response by Max to the newspapers: "Oooh, you’ve been a naughty little paper haven’t you?  I think you need a spanking."

  48. VileHackWriter – Hmm work in the newspaper trade by chance?

    "the PCC code defines private places as "public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy""

    Oh goody – so if Max says he had a reasonable expectation of privacy we get to hear lots of testimony about the odds of bumping into other punters in this particular establishment!!

    All the other papers will then be able to report on the testimony in court giving the scandal 10X the coverage.

  49. I see Max just called an emergency general meeting of the FIA to be held in Paris at the ‘earliest practicable date’.

  50. I have no doubts that the spysaga had the final effect. See the events. Stepney and Coughlan meeting—–> Todt and Ron war—–> Alonso and Hamilton war——–> McLaren fined and penalized———-> Ferrari and Raikonen WC——–> Alonso to Renault, Todt to somewhere, Ron divorced, Max underfire. Still the case running in Italy.

    What a single meeting has messed all up. Would any of this events have happened without that meeting in Barcelona?.
    By the way, at this city is going to be the race against racism in a couple of weeks. Ironic :-D

  51. Now don’t all rush to thank me, but I think I’ve got a solution for this whole affair – Max resigns from the FIA now, then comes back in six months with a TV gameshow called "Spank or Bank", a question and answer game where the winner can choose between a cash prize or a session with Max. It’s got hit written all over it, even if it probably shouldn’t be shown before the watershed.

  52. LOL, "No spanking please, that does not excite us."

    I was talking about the FIA’s response to BMW and Mercedes, why do FIA has to response to BMW and Mercedes anyway, or it will be Mosley’s personal response. And what about Honda and Toyota, a little spanking too?

  53. Sorry I was talking to 51#.

  54. Article 10.5  Committing Suicide After a Character Assassination:

    The party responsible will swallow a sionide pill followed by a gun shot to the head. After the said death the user will be given a "bullet credit" for all bullets used. The said party will then have to die within 110% of the time of the original suicide thought process. Bullets will be homogenized for 10 year period. With a maximum muzzle velocity set.

    "wait a minute, how is the dog going to kill itself
    if I’m already dead?"

    Article 10.5 Revision 1:

  55. This story is doing our creativity and imagination a lot of good, isn’t it?

  56. Can we drop the suicide stuff please guys it’s a bit tasteless.

    What do we think of the meeting Mosley’s calling? It’s going to tale a while to get all the necessary people together – over 200 I understand. Is Mosley just playing for time?

    There’s a good article on it on btw.

  57. The EGM is clearly just Max playing for time.  Alianora has done the homework and discovered that "the meeting has to take place between 35 days and six weeks (i.e. 42 days) of the announcement".  If Max thinks anyone, let alone the manufacturers, will wait that long, he really is living in a dream world.

    The manufacturers have asked for an immediate response from the FIA – let them demand it now.

  58. During Max’s six-week window three races will take place and every single senior F1 person at those races will be talking about Max’s behaviour, and the situation will get worse and worse for him. His best option would have been to hold a meeting on the Monday after the Bahrain GP – at least he would minimize the damage to himself in F1 circles.

  59. And here I was thinking there was going to be a season without someone or something bringing the sport into disrepute,  for the sake of all the motorsport that the FIA is in charge of he should just quit and retreat somewhere quiet.

  60. What this tells me is that Max is determined to stay on at all costs, as power-chasers are wont to do. At least there may now be will to get a non-power-chaser in the top seat – but the process is very, v e r y  s  l  o  w  .   .  .

  61. theRoswellite
    3rd April 2008, 23:08

    Here is an adjunct idea:  Toyota (read any other team bleeding $$$ in F1), having decided at some previous point that it would like out of F1………………But lacks the will/ingenuity to do so in such a way that it will not be seen as a quitter/loser…….seizes upon the "moral high ground", after the FIA refuse to immediately remove Mr. Mosely……. and declare they can no longer participate in such a "tainted activity" as F1….?     

    I’m sure this idea is totally vacuous and will not surface in any corporate boardrooms… they sponsors or teams.

  62. No I think you’ve got a point Roswelite – any team or, more likely, sponsor looking for an easy way out, say in light of the current market trouble, could quite easily say it’s because of the Mosley scandal. There is no way in which this is good for F1. And if, as Alianora suggest, it may take a few weeks, it is awful.

  63. Poetic justice isn’t it, after Mad Max trying to force Ron Dennis out, only to have the tables turned.

    Kinda makes you beleive in karma.

  64. Have a read of this article guys

    Think you’ll find it veeeery interesting indeed

  65. I know that Mosley can’t be directly fired by Bernie, but effectively he can do just that as he has the FIA by cojones… The mechanisms just have to play out and it takes time, as was already mentioned.

  66. Pink, #64,

    Astonishing reading under your link there!
    Seems the whole F1/FIA business has gone bonkers. F1 and FIA seems to have been effectively kidnapped/stolen by Bernie and Max. Can’t understand that the whole circus is not ended and a new start is done in a new series. Most contracts should be able to be scrapped anyway given the sordid methods used by the involved. 100 year contracts.. give me a break! BMW falling into line so the new 5-series won’t get a bad NCAP rating..omg!

    No wonder Max uses threatening language in the reply to BMW and Mercedes! He is used to those methods.

    Now ITV has suddenly been punished by Bernie (after ITV has done massive good to popularise F1 again in the UK), and the UK TV-license payer has been punished by BBC by lining Bernie’s pockets, it’s even more obvious that it’s all madness.

    No sport can survive and still be a proper sport under the type of dictatorial and arbitrary rule from above that F1 has come under.

    It’s just total madness!

  67. Sorry, the link was in post #66 (not 64)!
    Required reading!

  68. They’ve only got 7 days of leeway in the date of the Extraordinary General Assembly though… …it has to be between May 8 and May 15. That squashes it rather awkwardly around the Turkish Grand Prix weekend.

  69. PP & Patrik, I mentioned this over at Clive’s, but it’s worth repeating here: the article in PP’s link was written by Tom Rubython.  So take it with a grain of salt.  A whole rock of salt, even!

  70. Fascinating article posted, thanks for that thought you might al be interested in a transcript for the 1998 Panorama program on Bernie and Max – haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’s interesting!

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