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Stewart defends Mosley over 2010 disarray

Given their fractious past relationship, three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart is perhaps an unlikely candidate to defend Max Mosley, but the Scot argues that the former FIA President is not entirely to blame for what has been described as the 'Mickey Mouse' nature of F1 2010
The two have rarely been the easiest of bedfellows, so Sir Jackie Stewart is not the most obvious candidate to defend Max Mosley over the much-criticised current state of play in F1, but the three-time world champion argues that the fault for what has been slated as a 'Mickey Mouse' situation by Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber [see separate story – click here] cannot be laid at the door of the former FIA President – well, not entirely anyway.

Ferrari recently lambasted Mosley for having 'waged a holy war' on the top flight's manufacturers that led to a mass exodus last year, with Honda, BMW, Toyota and to all intents and purposes Renault all pulling the plug on their involvement in F1 over the space of barely twelve months.

The Englishman's 'crime', according to the Scuderia, was to have blindly and belligerently pushed ahead with a controversial and ill-conceived budget cap initiative that was anathema to the big-spending manufacturer outfits – and practically impossible to achieve in the timeframe in which Mosley wanted the ever-escalating scale of expenditure in F1 to be dramatically slashed.

The objective was to attract more smaller, independent, less well-heeled operations to come in and swell the field – and whilst that has been accomplished, it is debatable as to whether thus far the 2010 newcomers have added to the sport or conversely detracted from it.

'Two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand and as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it,' read Ferrari's caustic statement on the matter [see separate story – click here], referring to Lotus and Virgin's testing woes, the eleventh hour salvation of Hispania Racing – formerly Campos Meta 1 – that looks likely to make its grand prix debut in Bahrain without so much as a single testing lap under its belt, and worst of all the shambolic and very public failure of USF1 to make the grade.

Whilst acknowledging that Mosley's reforming, cost-cutting zeal could have been moderated somewhat and that the 69-year-old might have been a little more accommodating and willing to compromise rather than ultimately going 'too far', Stewart philosophically contends that manufacturers have always been a transitory element in the sport and that the man who once infamously described him as a 'certified halfwit' in relation to his dyslexia should not bear the full brunt of the blame for their departure.

“Everybody has had to cut their cloth, not because of any regulation of Max Mosley's,” the Scot – who ran his own eponymously-named team in F1 from 1997 to 1999 – is quoted as having said by Planet-F1, “but I think he overdid the threat in trying to take out a lot of the big companies from the sport so small companies and teams could come in.

“It's been demonstrated [that] smaller teams are not coming in very well. We've lost BMW and Toyota, for example. You mustn't start saying it's bad for the sport to have the big companies in, but I don't think we can blame Max Mosley for this – not all of it anyway, [even if] he probably went a bit too far.

“[Manufacturers] will always come and go. Everybody has great ambitions; not everybody can pull it together. The financial climate in the world at the present time doesn't make life very easy.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sir Jackie Stewart (SCO), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
Jackie Stewart (SCO), Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal, 6th-8th, June, 2008
Jackie Stewart (SCO), Catalunya F1 Grand Prix, 25-27th, April 2008
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Paddockman - Unregistered

March 05, 2010 8:39 AM

Stewart is right that manufacturers come and go. And it was obvious early in 2008 that some of them would not stay in F1 with plunging sales and massive cost cutting in their core businesses. The Ferrari idea that Mosley was responsible for Honda, BMW and then Toyota leaving has always been absurd. Their managements all gave excessive cost and the economic downturn as their reasons for leaving. They were obviously not lying. Ferrari may not like new teams but without them we would be looking at a maximum of 18 cars. We should welcome the new teams - everyone has to start somewhere as indeed Ferrari did 60 odd years ago. Maybe Ferrari, too, needs new management.

Zoltan - Unregistered

March 05, 2010 9:04 AM

I would say that the basics of what Mosley wanted to achieve(less cost more teams) is what the teams wanted to aechieve too but what was wrong was HOW Mad Max Mosley wanted to achieve them! Cost cutting to 40 million in a space of 1 year??? USF1 & Campos picked over Lola & Prodrive??? WTF?

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