Mosley attacks “weak” di Montezemolo

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Former FIA president Max Mosley has fired off another broadside at Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo in an interview with F1 Racing magazine.

He also said letting that Ferrari keep their one-two win in the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix was a mistake:

Luca is very, very good company with people and he’s certainly a very personable, pleasant person but, in my opinion, he’s also a very weak character so he’s easily led.

He allowed himself to get to get into a situation of conflict between Ferrari and the FIA whereas if [Jean] Todt were in charge, it would never have got to that stage.

The classic case of people saying we favoured Ferrari was the barge boards [at Malaysia in 1999], which were legal if they were at a slight angle to the chassis and illegal if they were vertical. Now I think that they were probably vertical, but we took them off to look at them, and then it was possible for Ferrari to say “No they were at a slight angle” and they got off on that basis.

We should have impounded the entire car, but you live an learn and we would never make that mistake again.
Max Mosley

He added that he wasn’t bothered that so many fans were critical of his management of Formula 1:

It doesn’t bother me that a lot of fans were hostile, because I believe that hostility was based on misinformation. I mean, a lot of it is just assumption – you read things on blogs that are complete nonsense.

You get people saying things like, “Why don’t you just leave the regulations alone? What we want is innovation.” Well yes, of course we all want innovation, but if it’s allowed to go unchecked it puts Formula 1 out of business.
Max Mosley

You can follow the progress of his successor Jean Todt in our monthly series of approval ratings:

There are more of Mosley’s thoughts on his successor Jean Todt, his reaction to Ayrton Senna’s death and McLaren’s spygate penalty in the full interview in this month’s issue of F1 Racing.

Read more: 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix flashback

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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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  • 72 comments on “Mosley attacks “weak” di Montezemolo”

    1. I think the bit about fans was condescending. Maybe casual fans think like that but most don’t.
      Not surprising about LdM, LdM did come out and say that FOTA had got rid of Max so he’s not going to be too chuffed at him anyway.

      1. Probably about 90% of the fans would say things like that though. Especially the (casual) Ferrari fans since they have been fed the story from the horse whisperer.

        1. yes because if you support ferrari, you clearly only speak nonsense, we should all just listen to the opinion of other fans of teams such as mclaren, or wiliams, or USF1.

    2. MouseNightshirt
      22nd April 2010, 11:54

      I think the fact that Mosley still feels the need to inflate his own ego by attempting to chip away at others shows his own weakness much more so than anyone elses.

      1. Ah, Max Mosley’s ego, theres something to frighten your children into eating their dinner with.

    3. I might have to buy this issue of F1 Racing. I cancelled my subscription last year but I like the changes they’ve made recently.

      And to Mosley- no matter how weak di Montezemelo is, the important thing is his side won the war last summer, and you lost. Hah.

      1. Mosley = Bad loser

        he shows it by continuing to throw mud at people getting into his way.
        Interesting he now has changed his view of Ron Dennis, so is that just to irritate De Montezemelo even more, or is it a “thank you” for doing as they agreed (Mosley steps down, but Ron and Monti have to step down as well?) or is he planning something here?

      2. Actually Mosley won. He got everything he wanted.
        – cheap customer drivetrains check
        – budget cap check (albeit under a different name)
        – new teams check

        1. – one new team folded and died= check
          – other new team almost folded and changed ownership= check
          – drove two manufacturers out of F1= check
          – took F1 to the brink of destruction= check
          – lost his job= check

          Good work, Max!

          1. And Honda quit a year earlier as well.

            I can lively remember the rein of fear by Mosley, with team members afraid to speak up and even journalists rather not getting into some things, not to lose their accreditation.

            Good too see him go.

          2. Wrong. You are looking at specific incidents (battles) were Mosley was wotking for broad rule changes (the war).

            One new team folding is hardly something Mosley did.

            It’s true that Ferrari won a battle in the sense that they drove Honda and BMW out of F1. Mosley couldn’t stop that anymore.

            At the end of 2007, Honda and BMW said that they would quit F1 if there wasn’t going to be a budget cap. The budget cap was agreed to start in 2009, was stopped by Ferrari and then it was put on hold and thus they quit. Seems pretty straightforward.

            Still, Mosly did eventually get his budget cap. The fact that a few manufactures quit before he managed that means he lost a battle, but it doesn’t mean he lost the war.

            Also indeed Ferrari nearly took F1 to the brink of destruction by threatening to break away (AGAIN!), but (AGAIN) they didn’t. So Mosley won that one too. In fact he won that bluff from Ferrar what 4 times already?

            He simply won on ALL counts.

            1. It beggars belief that some people can stand up for Mosley. You make some good points, but he won on all counts?! Don’t make me laugh. If Mosley had of got his way, he and Bernie would still be ruling with an iron fist, and the teams would already be operating under a ridiculous £30 million budget cap (without a glide path).

              Presumably the regular pointless battling and purges of people in F1 he didn’t like would still be continuing, too. And perhaps now he’s been reminded of the importance of Ferrari he’d be looking to extend their unsporting rule veto and improve their commercial rights deal to keep them in F1.

              FOTA certainly wasn’t to blame for the war either. They did the brave thing to stand up to the two dictators, and even though the subsequent mess caused by Mosley’s refusal to back down did a huge amount of damage to the sport, their continuing solidarity should put F1 in good shape in the long term

            2. I’m not standing up for Mosley. I’m simply stating correcting your claim that Mosley lost.

            3. Besides, try to get update on the actual history of the budget cap. You got it completely wrong. it started at the end of 2007 not the end of 2009 of which you report.

              Mpsley’s approach is pretty simple.
              1) Suggest what you want in reasonable terms
              2) The teams reject this because there is always one who doesn’want change
              3) Mosley suggests something completely ridiculous with a way out if the teams accept the original proposal
              4) The teams and fans go berzekr. WHH WHA WHAAT?!?! NO WAY
              5) Mosley reminds them there is the way out by choosing the original proposal
              6) the teams accept the original proposal

              Worked every time he did it.

              I’m not saying it’s the best way to do it (especially the part where the fans go antganoistic), but it DID work.

            4. How can you say that Ferrari drove Honda and BMW out of F1?! That is ridiculous! Every single team other than Williams was opposed to Max’s budget cap, not just Ferrari…

            5. Hallard

              The budget cap history started a few years before the situation you are thinking about. That was phase 3 of the war.

              Sadly most people don’t know the history of the budget cap. They only know the distorted Horse Whisperer stories.

              Brawn and Theissen basically DEMANDED a budget cap at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. Otherwise the manufacturers would leave. Theissen was furious when the 2009 budget cap was cancelled (by Ferrari).

              Here is what Mosley had to say about it:
              Between January and May in 2008, we had a series of meetings and everyone was agreed on the cost-cap and the methodology – but Ferrari were always against it,” said Mosley. “I think it’s because they know that if they had the same amount of money to spend as the other teams, they would fail.”

              Since there was not going to be a budget cap, Honda and BMW had had enough. They actually kept true to their promise (as opposed to Ferrari’s hollow threats) and left.

    4. >”you read things on blogs that are complete nonsense.”

      Next court action will be against you Keith. :)

    5. “It doesn’t bother me that a lot of fans were hostile, because I believe that hostility was based on misinformation”
      -that is correct, but whose fault that was? I think what happened last year also contributed to some degree in changing FIAs and the teams attitude towards fans, something good came out of that last years mess.

    6. Thank you, Max, for reminding us how glad we are that you’re gone.

      1. Yes. The sport is better for your absence Max.

        1. much better. He was so obsessed with safety, that didn’t let the boys race.
          We are glad you are gone. Enjoy your next spanking.

    7. It seems the main target for Mosley now is Montezemolo, I wonder if he ever thinks he has won he will claim that he never had a problem with Montezemolo?

    8. Mosley is right about one thing. Ferrari would be a laughing stock on the same budget as the new teams.

      Norbert Haug has suggested that any new regulations should be weighed in favour of allowing the new teams to be as competetive as possible.

      “I think now we have the best teams, and it is good to have a variety of cars in the field, but we need to support the independent manufacturers to make sure that we have a bottom-up plan, rather than a top-down plan,” Haug said.

      Guess which team disagreed.

      1. Ferrari are way too often on the undesirable elitist side of things, The only other team to get in the way that much is Williams, But Frank doesn’t do it to stay on top does he? He does things because he thinks it’s right.

      2. I think that’s guess work trying to judge how Ferrari would fair on the same low budget. They aren’t the only wealthy team but they would feel a certain amount of pain.
        It’s not surprising Ferrari look out for their own interests, it is selfish but it is also business and they’re there to win. Why would they risk it? Not only that but every team, including Ferrari, has started out the same way. It’s taken Ferrari forever to get this big and personally I think that’s how it should be.
        I don’t like the ideal that a forced budget cap should go througth -I’ve never liked the idea of anything being forced- and costs are coming down anyway. I think more should be done to help smaller teams rather than punishing big ones esp when costs are being more brought into line.
        I also think it’s slightly unfair to say Ferrari want this because of this but Frank wants it for noble reasons. Maybe you’re right, you probably are and have more idea of this situation than me but I don’t like to guess peoples’ motives.

        1. For sure Ferrari would do pretty bad if they would have to compete for say 20% of their budget from last year right now. As would anyone in such a situation.

          The budget cap was about going down almost immediately, to those kind of levels. That is a mayor problem for any bussiness or organisation, so the FOTA teams rightly protested.

          That is a sound argument for buying an outfit that is allready at the lower budget right now, like Mercedes did. The big teams will have to go through a transition period and make possibly wrong choices on priorities.

          I am sure Ferrari will manage this somehow. Their organisation is still not in the best of states (after Schu, Brawn and Todt left) and can do with some reorganising and optimizing.
          They have a very succesfull driver used to doing it on a slightly smaller budget with Renault in Alonso, so let us hope they get better by doing it.

          1. The actual budget cap proposal was set for 2009. There was a clear glidepath:

            2009 175 million euro
            2010 140 million euro
            2011 110 million euro

            Some teams (Briatore) actually complained that this budget cap was too high.

            In the end it all didn’t matter since Ferrari pulled the plug on the deal that all other teams agreed on.

            Now to get past Ferrari’s veto, Mosley came up with the ridiculous 2010 veto plan with a two tiered championship. That way Ferrari couldn’t use their veto since the original rules were still in place.

            Obviously the thing backfired since now the other teams were disagreeing with the amount too and Ferrari played it’s “we will leave card” yet again. They mobilized their fans and instead of normal talks the and simple negotiations on the amount, the whole thing fell apart.

            Still, in the end the teams DID agree on a budget cap, but they called it a “resource restriction agreement” instead. The RRA is on a glide path to bring budgets down to what they were in the early nineties.

            Virgin claims they are currently working on that budget so they are well prepared when the big teams will have to fit in that budget too.

            1. You are right, there was a gliding path from 175 Million Euro in 2009 down to 110 million.
              But when we take in account, that teams like Ferrari, McLaren and BMW as well as Honda and Toyota were somewhere in the 300-400 Million range in 2007/2008 it is 50% down allready in 2009!
              Their agreements on resource limits do not go that far down just as soon.

            2. This budget cap also excluded engines, KERS, drivers, marketing. I don’t think it was that big a cut even for the biggest teams.

              Briatore was actually complaining that his current budget was 40% lower than the proposed 2009 budget cap.

    9. Yeah weak! remember last year how you demand for an apology from LdM? in response LdM simply doesn’t care about your threat and still make F1 free from you max!!

    10. I haven’t read the whole article, obviously, but most parts of his statement posted here is on the spot. Ferrari would struggle if they had their spendings cut and many, maaaany F1 fans judge the FIA on the basis of false informations

      1. all teams would struggle initially if the budget they are used to organizing themselves around was cut, not just ferrari.

    11. Your days are over, get over it.

    12. Hope that’s the last time we have to hear from that *******.

      1. Let’s just hope Todt does not make him F1-Commissioner then ( a rumour circling the net some weeks ago).

        1. some weeks ago = april 1st

        2. Wasn’t that an April Fools joke? (And a rather cruel one at that…)

          I still think the F1 Commissioner post is waiting for a certain M Schumacher to retire from active driving…

          1. as April fools jokes go, that one went too far… tut tut

    13. Max Mosley comes out of his hiding hole to grumble about the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix, and insult the loyal fans who’ve suffered through his years of asinine nonsense.

      What a pathetic old man. Who does he think he’s impressing?

      His whole presidency is the worst thing that ever happened to F1.

      1. To be fair, Max did some good. The whole FOTA-FIA cost row may not have resulted in a budget cap but costs are coming down. Max also worked wonders when it came to safety which I think was the best thing about his presidency and really shouldn’t be forgotten even with all the other bad stuff.

        1. Magnificent Geoffrey
          22nd April 2010, 14:22

          I second those remarks.

        2. The level of hysteria from the mass media in the wake of Senna’s death would have been enough to force anyone to bring in the safety changes that he did. The fact that he did it, does very little to redeem his character in my view.

          1. Before Ayrton’s and let’s not forget Roland’s death, there hadn’t been that sort of tragedy for quite some time (I think the last death was in 82 with Ricardo Paletti) and it would have been easy to say that it was a one off. There were some who argued that the element of danger kept the sport ‘pure’ or Max could have made a few changes and let it lie but he didn’t. He kept pushing for safety and whether another person would have done it or not means little to me as he was the one with the power and he used it in the right way.

            1. On the other hand you could say the obsession with safety has neutered the sport and left it at the point where it can’t even get a commercial TV deal in its own homeland, and you’ve got a stalwart of the sport (Sauber) who is running sponsorless cars.

            2. Mosley did rise to the challenge there and made strides in improving safety (on the roads as well as on the track).

              He just should have stopped at it 4 years ago instead of taking it further. The last couple of years he was only using safety as a reason to push through his agenda and did a lot of harm to F1

            3. Rob R. You have got to be kidding me. The guy who cries at night over Senna’s blood drenched scene is now going to claim that the concern for safty has neutered the sport?

            4. “The guy who cries at night over Senna’s blood drenched scene is now going to claim that the concern for safty has neutered the sport?”

              Uh, no. I’m not kidding.

              I invoked Senna’s death the other day because we were talking about Brundle’s opinion. He was there in Italy in 1994 and that gives him more credibility on the safety issue than you. Also just his general experience of F1 too, of course. And yes a lot of people still find it sad (no I don’t “cry about it”….)

              We were talking about potential pitlane accidents and I think if one was to happen that was lethal to mechanics, I (and hopefully others) would view that as particularly pointless and stupid, because ever since the hysteria in 1994 it’s supposed to be a safe area, a fairly “neutral” area of the racetrack. That’s what really got me about it. After all the hysteria, Bernie is now saying people should just be allowed to play wacky races in the pitlane. Kind of stupid.

              But yes, now today I am saying that too many of the changes that have been made since were hysterical, and/or illogical overreactions that have in some ways stifled the sport. I have held this belief for years.

              I’m not really sure why you find it so hard to believe that I could hold both these opinions at once.

              And since I’m one of probably only about 3 or 4 people in UK who doesn’t believe Obama is literally Jesus and that anyone who slightly suggests he isn’t perfect must be a seething racist with secret connections to a white supremacist movement, I have to laugh at any suggestion that I am over-emotional or my opinions are based purely on emotions.

            5. Well, for one, you’re opinions are not not based on facts …

            6. Rob R:

              you’ve got a stalwart of the sport (Sauber) who is running sponsorless cars.

              It’s a bit harsh to blame the financial crisis on Max Mosley. After all, everybody knows that was Gordon Brown’s fault! :P

            7. “It’s a bit harsh to blame the financial crisis on Max Mosley. After all, everybody knows that was Gordon Brown’s fault!”

              Oh, very funny Red Andy. Yes of course, it’s not possible that sponsors are just seeing reduced value in F1 after all the farcical scandals that could have been dealt with quietly but were blown up into courtroom circuses by Mosley who just had to get his “revenge” on Ron Dennis. And we haven’t even mentioned his dungeon antics. It’s just because of the “global crisis”! Let’s not bother trying to improve F1’s image. Let’s just wait until everybody else starts making more money and hope they give it to F1 when they do!

              And yes, let’s all defend Gordon Brown, the guy who banged on about “prudence” for 10 years, but Britain was the first big Western country into recession and the last one out. People were lining up at Northern Rock while everyone else was still in the roaring 20s..

              Why would we blame the guy who was chancellor for ten years for that? Only a rightwing nutjob would do that! Now I’ve had enough of this silly nonsense, I have to go and put pins in my Wall Street banker voodoo dolls. That’s the mature solution!

        3. Max also worked wonders when it came to safety

          Just a little input from someone who was there and saw what happened.

          Actually, there were a lot of safety rules pushed through while Mosley was FiA President, but Mosley did little of his own initiative.

          Jackie Stewart and others, Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone among them had been calling for better driver safety and better medical response track facilities for years. And it was Bernie Ecclestone, once he had the power that went with the FOCA Presidency, who leaned on FiA to get Professor Sid in as chief medical man. And then kept pushing til things were the way Sid wanted them.

          Mosley got heavy on the safety bandwagon after Senna’s death in 94. Mosley took the credit, but others led the way. Make no mistake about it.

          F1 safety is Mosley’s legacy? Please, don’t make me gag.

          1. Thanks for the info dsob. I know Stewart +Bernie were esp concerned for safety and more should ahve been done a hell of a lot sooner.

    14. Max who? What’s he got to do with F1?

      1. MouseNightshirt
        22nd April 2010, 16:22

        I like the thought process!

      2. Hah… we should probably just ignore his ramblings now that he’s a no-one again, but I still hate (sorry, hate’s a strong word… severely dislike) him for what he did during his dictatorship (sorry again… presidency).

        1. it is a strong word, but some would ask, is it strong enough?

    15. Mark Hitchcock
      22nd April 2010, 16:32

      I like how he calls Luca weak then shows he can’t handle criticism himself by burying his head in the sand.

      Some fans may have spouted misinformed rubbish. But there were many more who were perfectly well informed and made good arguments to back up every criticism they made.
      His comments show just how much he lacks common sense and only listens to the things he agrees with.
      It’s those poor qualities that caused his presidency to often descend into petty shouting matches.

      At least if he keeps crawling out of the woodwork to make ridiculous comments like these then we won’t forget why we hate him.

    16. Fascinating claim on Malaysia ’99, that they removed the barge boards accidentally (or something…) when the reference plane they were being measured against was on the car.

      I remember howling “but the reference plane is on the car!” at the time. Oh, how convenient. Given the context, that not overturning the penalty would end the WDC, that Bernie was looking for any way to keep it going, that they were already showing consistent Ferrari bias in their decisions (the Beryllium alloys ban, the brake-steer ban, the SC/ taking a penalty after the race had finished incident in Silverstone 98 etc. etc.), it was so obviously deliberate to me that it simply beggars belief here that he would claim FIA incompetence and say ‘aw shucks, it was a mistake we made there’. Probably it was considered a mistake when it failed to deliver the WDC to Irvine anyway, that’s all.

      1. Well, in Silverstone 1998, it genuinely was FIA incompetence, with them taking too long to hand MSC his penalty, and no “25 seconds added to your race time” rule.

    17. I like the (most probably unintentional) reference to the of course bad, completely unfounded stereotype of politicians: Everyone else deserves be criticized, but those who criticize you can only be doing so because of “hostility”, as a result of “misinformation”…

    18. Max,” how can we miss you when you won’t go away” ?!

    19. I don’t have an opinion on Mosely in terms of liking him or hating him. But all I can say is “Well done Max Mosely”. I hate Montezemolo, I hate how he thinks Formula One revolves around him and Ferrari.

      1. Well done Max Mosely? For what? “For continuing to make a fool of yourself”? “For losing the last ounce of dignity you had”? “For failing to force LdM out of the sport”? For those things, I congratulate him.

    20. Max has shown himself to be the decaf soya latte that he is and Lucca remains the classic espresso. What is the point of talking about an 11 year old event as something that was key to today’s F1. Whether you like Luca or not the point is he is the boss of Ferrari and along with other team bosses he (they) run the sport not the FIA of Max when he was in charge. The threatened break away was much more than a threat and Mosley who thought he could call people lunatics and incapable lost his job as a result. His good work was done a long time ago and it is now time for him to shut up and retire to his dungeon and be punished for being a very naughty boy.

      1. … Unfortunately he might enjoy that punishment a little too much.. ;-)

    21. We are going to miss characters like Mosley and Flava, not to mention King Ron.
      There is no question that Mosley was right on things such as controlling costs to make it accesible to smaller teams. He is right that Lou would not be competitive with a smaller budget: at Ferrari it takes five men to do what at Brawn and Renault can be done by two.
      Mosley may have had his faults, but there is no question that there was drama and entertainement during his reign. A man that wears Crockett & Jones shoes cannot be all wrong.

      1. Wouldn’t you rather we had thrilling races than stories about Max Mosely being spanked?

    22. He is now out of it & now saying stuff that doesn’t count any more!

    23. Glad Max is out of F1 for good.

    24. Personally I was looking forward to fully moveable wings, four wheel drive, engines without a rev-limit and KERS for the 2010 season. Oh well!

    25. I think that for a Nazi-SM-Fanatic pretty much EVERY character is weak?

    26. Max should write a meaningful illuminating and insightful no holds barred book to clarify the picture…

    Comments are closed.