At an extraordinary meeting of the FIA in Paris today, Tuesday 3rd June, Max Mosley received a vote of confidence from member clubs allowing him to remain in the presidency until his term naturally comes to an end. The vote came about after revelations of Mosley’s private life became public knowledge, causing widespread embarrassment.
It wasn’t clear going into the meeting which way the voting would go, as Mosley was apparently very confident of his success, whilst clubs all around the world were calling for him to step down. Over the weekend it was revealed that Mosley turned down a compromise deal that would have guaranteed the voting going his way, but only if he agreed to step down from the presidency in November of this year. His term comes to an end in 2009.
The voting wasn’t that close, either, with 103 delegates voting for Mosley out of 158 possible voters. Some of the larger member clubs, however, such as AAA in the US and ADAC in Germany are not happy with the result. Already, with the result having only been known for a few hours, they are talking about their position within the FIA. Germany, in particular, are saying they will reduce their membership as much as possible, and distance themselves from the FIA.
It’s possible that if enough of the larger motoring bodies are unhappy, a breakaway association could be formed that would rival Max Mosley and his FIA. It’s unclear at this stage what Mosley’s future plans are, but his first job needs to be to placate the teams who are unhappy with his continued tenancy at the top. Suggestions have been bouncing around the web today, as to what his next step should be. Some think he should step down, now he has won the victory he was after, he has nothing to prove. If he left now, the sport would at least have a chance of remembering for all the good things he achieved, such as safety improvements, and the FIA Foundation, and not for the controversial last few months.
Others are saying that it is right that he has been judged on his work and should be allowed to stay. The only problem I see with this is that since the revelations became public knowledge, Max has kept out of the public eye. He has sent a deputy to attend official FIA functions, he has barely spoken to the teams or the media, and prominent figures in the world of motorsport are distancing themselves from him. It is going to be a very tough struggle for Max to regain the confidence of those he has lost. He may have won this battle, but he has a much tougher road ahead if he wants to leave it behind.