Max Mosley's continued feud with Formula One teams' group FOTA escalated over the weekend with claims that he is being persuaded to remain in office beyond his scheduled October departure.
The FIA president was reported to have agreed to step down from his high-powered role as part of the deal to keep F1 intact and end the threat of a breakaway by the eight remaining FOTA teams but, ever since the supposed truce was declared, he has been hinting that he may not go.
Having initially warned that his side of the bargain had been called into question by FOTA's decision to 'brief the media' independently - rather than in a joint fashion to ensure truth and honesty - and suggest who may succeed him as head of the FIA, Mosley has since said that he is now coming under pressure to remain in office. A similar claim was made in the days following exposure of his private life in 2008, when Mosley was facing a vote of confidence and pressure to stand down, particularly from within F1 circles. On that occasion, he was comfortably given the approval necessary to remain.
Speaking in an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday
newspaper, the 69-year old said that FOTA had been wrong in 'dancing on my grave before I was buried', and warned again that he may be forced to stand for re-election at the end of his current term - even if he continues to insist that, personally, he wants to walk away.
"It's no good the teams getting a PR agency to claim I am dead and buried when I am standing here as large as life," he insisted, "I am under pressure now from all over the world to stand for re-election."
'I don't actually want to. I feel I am a little bit too old... [and] it definitely needs somebody new from that point of view. 'Generally, when you have done something for 16 years, as I have done, it's about time to stop. You get a little bit stale. I do genuinely want to stop but if, for example, there is going to be a big conflict with the car industry, with the FOTA teams, then I won't stop. I will do whatever I have to do. It's not in my nature to walk away from a fight.
"I do not want to leave the president's office in a way where it was suggested that people from the car industry had pushed me out. If that impression is not completely dispelled, the clubs are going to insist that I stand again."
Having seemingly found an accord with Ferrari chief, and FOTA chairman, Luca di Montezemolo to being an end to the breakaway threat, Mosley felt the need to call for a personal apology after alleging that he had been called a 'dictator' in the Italian's post-deal media comments.
"In private, I had made it clear I was not going to stand for re-election," he insisted, "On Wednesday, we had a joint press conference where Bernie [Ecclestone], Luca and myself all said completely the right things - the FOTA teams had got the deal they wanted, which is freedom to agree among themselves the level of the cost cap, [and], providing they could strike an agreement with the Williams and Force India teams and the three new teams, it was a done deal. There was nothing left to argue about.