It seems the major players of world motoring are distancing themselves from the vote of confidence shown to FIA President Max Mosley today, thus allowing him to dodge the bullet aimed at displacing him from the crown of the organisation.
Max Mosley’s steadfast insistence on staying on as President of the FIA may cause a split in the organisation. Following Mosley’s win at the FIA’s headquarters in Paris, at least two major affiliated members have pointed towards what could end up as an empty FIA. The 50 million-member-strong American Automobile Association’s President Robert Darbelnet told the BBC right after the meeting: “We should not rush to judgement on this. But one of the potential ramifications is the division or a split way from the organisation that might in fact provide an opportunity for like-minded clubs to find a representative body in a different form.”
Worse to come was from the ADAC, Germany’s ruling motoring organisation, which has now announced it is cutting all ties with the FIA “as long as Max Mosley holds the top FIA office of president”. The ADAC, Europe’s claimed largest FIA member, will no longer be part of the FIA following this decision.
"We view with regret and incredulity the FIA general assembly's decision in Paris, confirming Max Mosley in office as FIA president," said a spokesman.
"This is a reason for Europe's largest automobile club to let its functions and co-operation in FIA working groups rest at world level.”
Britain’s Motor Sports Association reckons this is water under the bridge now, no point in crying over spilled milk. “The Motor Sports Association respects the decision of the FIA General Assembly concerning President Mosley and considers that it is now time to move on and for the sport to pull together,” the statement from MSA read. “The Motor Sports Association looks forward to continuing to work constructively as an important member of the FIA in the future.”
The fallout will be felt in the next few days, especially as Canada comes up on the Formula One calendar. It is understood that the one-club-one-vote policy was the reason some of the biggest voters, which were said to be in favour of Mosley stepping down, were outvoted. Mosley apparently lobbied the smaller members whose votes weigh the same as the rest, into keeping him in office.
A few interested parties have thrown in words of their own:
“We (British Racing Drivers' Club) really need an organisation like the FIA to help us protect our position so that we can have reasonable terms from the commercial rights holders. It's very difficult, when you have a president who is as controversial as Max is, to argue the case for funding for Formula One from the government if we need to.” – Damon Hill, President BRDC.
“…today’s vote of confidence in Mr Mosley does not support the values held by many autoclubs worldwide. The AA accordingly distances itself from the outcome of the vote.” – Rob Handfield-Jones, AA South Africa.
“This is a sad day for motorsport because this is the beginning of the end of the FIA. The damage done is irreparable and we will now see the demise of the FIA.” – Paul Stoddard, former Minardi boss.
“I am not quite surprised but I am not happy. I voted against.” Guido Van Woerkom, Royal Dutch Touring Club.
“There were many people who didn't want to speak to him before. I can't think they will want to speak to him now as a result of what has happened. Nothing has changed in that respect. Just because he gets a few clubs from Africa voting for him will not make the King of Spain want to shake his hand." – Bernie Ecclestone.