Ecclestone has rescinded his support for his friend of 40 years with a request to step down as it is in his best interest to do so as opposed to being forced out with even more humiliation.

Waiting until the last moment, Formula One President and CEO, Bernie Ecclestone, has finally stepped out of the way between FIA President, Max Mosley and the firing squad. With tomorrow's FIA General Assembly meeting set to decide Mosley's fate with a vote of confidence amongst FIA member clubs, Ecclestone has rescinded his support for his friend of 40 years with a request to step down as it is in his best interest to do so as opposed to being forced out with even more humiliation.

Two months ago tabloid newspaper, News of the World, published on its web site a video showing Mosley engaging in a sadomasochist orgy with five prostitutes. Since the expose, Mosley has adamantly rejected numerous statements from FIA members calling for his resignation and has continued to proclaim that his personal life has no reflection on his duties as President of the FIA and therefore will not step down.

"The last thing most people involved in the sport, including the clubs, would want to see is Max in a position where he could be forced to stand down," Ecclestone told the Telegraph.

"I don't want to see that. I've been a friend of Max for 40 years. I would hate to see him go in this way after all he has done for the sport."

Supporter of Mosely since the beginning of this scandal, Ecclestone now believes, Mosley is unable to carry out his duties due to his tarnished reputation.

"The big problem is that he can no longer represent the FIA worldwide because of these incidents," Ecclestone said. "The general feeling is that people would no longer be comfortable speaking to him in the same way.

"My wife had invited Max to her birthday party, (but) she was told to ask Max not to appear because of the embarrassment it might cause to a number of corporate guests. She was extremely upset about that, but she accepted she had to speak to him. It was very difficult for her to do that.

"Max is being punished for the wrong reasons. He has done a first-class job as president. Like all of us he has made some mistakes but 90 per cent of the decisions he has taken have been to the benefit of all. He deserves to be remembered for all the positive work he has done, not for an expose in a tabloid newspaper.

"That is why he should announce his decision to resign now and not go through with a vote of confidence. That is not in his best interests, the FIA's or the sport's."

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