Ecclestone hits back at Mosley

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Bernie Ecclestone waited a few days before responding to Max Mosley’s surprising claims last week about the FIA’s contract negotiations with Formula One Group:

I sincerely hope that it isn’t a declaration of war because, if that’s what the message should be, then we’ll have to defend ourselves. That is what anyone would do. I don’t believe that’s what Max wanted the letter to say. I don’t want to have a war with Max. I hope he doesn’t want one with me.

Is this all an elaborate act on the part of the pair? Or is Mosley exaggerating the nature of the discussions between the FIA and FOG in an attempt to save his presidency? Or is something else going on?

Ecclestone, who rarely gives interviews in great length, said:

This whole business is really about what was printed in the News of the World and whether this in any way damaged the FIA clubs or the FIA – that’s all. It’s nothing to do with anything else and I don’t quite know why he’s come out and said these things. I am sorry if the press have reported things which he doesn’t like, but we certainly don’t have any influence over the FIA.

You can read more from Ecclestone in this story from The Times. According to the newspaper, which has given more column space to coverage of the Mosley scandal than the rest of the British press, Ecclestone said, “I don’t see any problems up until a couple of months ago," referring to the emergence of the News of the World story about Mosley.

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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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17 comments on “Ecclestone hits back at Mosley”

  1. maybe Mad Max’s statement holds some water, Bernie’s buying all the nice tracks.

    trying to clear the calender of places he has no control over, thereby increasing his grip on F1 since he sold a load of his shares to CVC.

    i’m gonna get some more coffee to fuel the fat conspiracy theorist in me.

  2. Surely the Max and Bernie show has been around for too long for people to still be fooled by it?

  3. Can we now except everything to be a stage act till 3rd of June?
    And obviously Max holds his seat after that

  4. It will be interesting to see the CVC letter in reply to Mosley’s – claims and counter claims etc. If the dispute is genuine, Bernie is the one person that could kill Max off.

  5. definitely nice touch from the F1 top brass ahead of Monaco GP…

    But once Mosley came out with that letter, some sort of similar reaction from Ecclestone had to be expected.

    Let them play their games … We have Monaco race to watch

  6. Bernie and Max are both trying to claim as much power as possible. However, this letter indicates a definite split between the two. Had their response been more co-ordinated, I could believe this was a joint plot. As it is, I think Max has bitten off more than he can chew. He may hold on to power after June 3, but I think Bernie will make Max wish he doesn’t…

  7. The only thing to be taken with this release is a pinch of salt – we will wait until this letter is released to see if he is in the process of giving max the knife or more likely an wee hug and kiss(uugh!) and they will continue as before – in each others pockets – maybe max might give bernie a wee skelp instead?? – more fun maybe?

  8. well the common denomenator in all the sad politics and muck raking and slurring of reputations thats gon on in F1 in the past two seasons is Mosely…

    are we blind or is it not obvious that mosely is the one at the centre of all the crap… the guy is an ego maniac… he clearly had an agenda against Ron Dennis, now hes clearly got an agenda to save his own skin and hes so damn selfish and bloody minded hell bring the sport down with him if he can…

    get rid of him and replace him with someone else… except not with one of the many ferrari stooges who will be lining up for the job…

    this is multi billion dollar industry… these people are not nice people, mostly motivated by greed and status…

    lets just be honest about this!

  9. Considering Max has spent most of his career as Bernie’s servant, siphoning millions Bernie’s way instead of back into the sport, to turn around and suggest that someone else may do the FIA
    disservice is quite frankly laughable. I have no idea why people consider him such a skillful politician. He is a transparent thief who has done much to infuriate, divide and thieve from the F1 teams and the sport in general.

  10. theRoswellite
    21st May 2008, 16:18

    the distraction continues…………..

    Such a beautiful location. And qualifying must be the ultimate test in precision car control. I’m going to try to enjoy the whole weekend, concentrating on the teams, cars, drivers and scenery………………..only!

  11. well keith I think this time you’ve really hit the nail on the head! you’re the only person who’s seen through all this as just the usual Max and Bernie conspiracy, and the more I think about it the more I think it’s total genius. Of course it’s all about them. They’ve worked it all out together – are they really about to wage war on one another after all these years?? or have they just sat down over brandy and cigars on the patio and worked it all out – “listen mate, if you blame it all on me, then I can blame it all on you – we’re each sorted, and the stupid plebs think they’ve sorted it all out for themselves! Honestly keith, genius.

    if this turns out to be a genuine falling out, I’ll eat my tyres.

  12. p.s. nice post ray, i wanted to say that too!

  13. sorry to be a hog (third post in a row – is that record???), but have you read that article in the times with bernie??? the more I read it, the more I do kind of slip more towards max a little bit (amazingly!). What if this is actually a crazy plot to unseat max in the middle of these negotioations, so they can run rampant (even more so) over formula one?? I know the thought of max trying to protect F1 after seeling it off to bernies for peanuts is truly and completely laughable, but I have to say that after reading the interview with bernie, my alarm bells started to go off.

    and just for fun, talk about freudian, but I never seem to capitalise the B of bernie? wonder what my therapist would make of that.

  14. The one person nobody has interviewed so far on all this is Charlie Whiting – is he torn between two camps, since his old Brabham collegues are at each other’s throats, or is he sticking with his FIA officialdom and concentrating on the racing?
    Perhaps he daren’t give interviews as he will give a straight answer to a straight question, and blow the whole plot wide open.
    I do wonder why these long time collegues are fighting so much, and whether it really is a real ‘war’ or just a way to increase the value of FIA/FOG. Perhaps the likes of Ron Dennis and Christian Horner should be calling in the EU (or even the UN!) to investigate…

  15. Well, it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole thing was an elaborate plot between them. Equally, I just wonder if this does signify a genuine break in the two. If this is the case then effects will be seismic, and it is impossible to predict what they will be. My advice is this, if it is war, sit down, break out the popcorn, and enjoy the show…

  16. The two have worked hand in hand for so many years, and you think they’ll just break up now? I think they’ve hatched a plot to ensure Max’s survival as FIA president.

  17. “According to the newspaper, which has given more column space to coverage of the Mosley scandal than the rest of the British press” – is this sentence supposed to raise some doubt on the authenticity of the scandal – because really, it doesn’t matter who emphasizes the truth so long as it is the truth. Besides people seem to forget that the business of NOTW is precisely what it did with the Mosley story – that is their niche and that is how they make their money – does it matter if the Times borrows from the database of its sister organization? Isn’t that called Synergy and actually a good thing when looking for efficiencies in size.

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