Bernie warns Max against F1 meddling

Tue, 24 June 2008, 11:42

Bernie Ecclestone has warned Max Mosley to keep his nose out of F1’s commercial affairs.

It emerged at the weekend that, amid the threat of a ‘breakaway’ series, the FIA president is planning a counter-offensive for the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

It is expected he will only sign a new Concorde Agreement if F1’s owners, run by chief executive Ecclestone, agree to release more income for the competing teams.

But in an interview with The Times newspaper, Ecclestone reminds his former ally that the FIA is not allowed to meddle in the sport’s commercial affairs.

“I’m sure if that happened, the European Commission would move in,” the 77-year-old said.

“Under the agreement with the European Commission, the FIA are the regulators of the sport – like the police – and Formula One Management are the commercial rights holders.

“The money doesn’t belong to Max, it doesn’t belong to him to touch,” Ecclestone added.

He laughed at suggestions he is unlikely to win a war with Mosley because he is lacking the trained barrister’s “world-class political brain”.

For example, while Mosley may win the teams’ support over the issue of more commercial income, at Wednesday’s WMSC the FIA will simultaneously call on the teams to pay higher championship entry fees.

“I’d hardly say what Max has been doing lately is world class or political. In any case, most of the time it’s the other way round. He calls me for advice,” Ecclestone said.

But as all-out war with Mosley now seems inevitable, Ecclestone vehemently denies that he is the furtive figure behind the devastating expose about Mosley’s sex life.

“You must be joking.

“It is nothing in the world to do with me in any shape or form,” he said from his London office.

“Secondly, this sort of thing is not my style — not the sort of way I would operate. Thirdly, there is no way in the world that I would want to destroy Max.

“To suggest I would want to do that is such a lot of bollocks, quite frankly — it’s not true.”

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