F1 ‘war’ intensified in Paris – press

Thu, 26 June 2008, 11:01

The ‘war’ over formula one between old friends and allies Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone intensified in Paris on Wednesday, according to the press.

While the FIA’s plans to revive the Formula Two concept in 2009 is most certainly a warning shot to the separate Ecclestone-backed GP2 feeder series, a seemingly more innocuous passage of the media statement issued by the governing body also caught the attention of the specialist media.

Following the World Motor Sport Council meeting, the FIA said it would “enter into a wide-ranging consultation with the formula one teams to examine plans for improved efficiency, including new technical regulations for the championship.

“This will also involve a review of the governance of formula one.”

According to The Times, the statement was the opening salvo in “Max Mosley’s masterplan to wrest control of formula one and its revenues from Bernie Ecclestone”.

The London newspaper also saw significance in the application deadline for team entries for the 2009 championship, which has been brought forward “without warning” to July 31.

The Times said the accelerated deadline is Mosley’s “way of heading off the threat of a breakaway”.

Another British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, agrees that the FIA statement was a “provocative move by (Mosley) to weaken” Ecclestone’s “hold on F1”.

In a typical media blank, however, Ecclestone denied that his former alliance with Mosley has now descended into all-out war.

“Nothing has ever changed between Max and I,” the 77-year-old said in Paris, according to The Associated Press.

“We’ve been friends for 40 years. You don’t lose friendship like that.”

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