Former FIA President Max Mosley has warned his long-time friend, close ally and business partner Bernie Ecclestone that it will 'require a lot of skill' to successfully balance the 'extremely fragile' relationship between the three major factions in F1 – as he conceded that it is 'quite possible' that shamed 'Singapore-gate' conspirator Flavio Briatore will return to the paddock to work alongside the sport's commercial rights-holder in the not-too-distant future.
Mosley stepped down from the most powerful and influential post in international motorsport last October, following 16 controversial years at the helm of the Paris-based governing body, by the end of which his leadership was perceived to have become increasingly dictatorial and arbitrary.
Despite now being in the background, the Englishman has revealed that he remains in contact with Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Bernie Ecclestone 'from time-to-time' – but cautions that the current atmosphere of stability and relative harmony between F1's key players in the wake of last summer's fractious FIA/FOTA civil war, is unlikely to be a lasting one.
“Within the parties that make up this sport – the teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone – there is constant friction,” the 70-year-old told German newspaper Die Welt
. “The co-operation is extremely fragile. Strengthening the balance of this triangle is a major problem requiring a lot of skill.”
One man who could be brought in to help ease that process somewhat is ex-Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore, who has not worked in the top flight since receiving a lifetime ban for the leading part he played in the most outrageous example of race-fixing in recent sporting memory – a ban that Mosley played a major role in instigating.
That ban was subsequently overturned by the flamboyant Italian upon appeal in a civil court in France earlier this year, and following a mutual agreement, Briatore will now be free to resume an official role in the sport from 2013 – a role that many believe will involve promotional duties alongside Ecclestone, given his unflinching desire to see an improvement in 'the show'.
“It's quite possible,” reflected Mosley. “Should he come back, then it will certainly not be as a team boss, but rather as a promoter or a manager of his drivers. Bernie and Flavio are good friends and often go to lunch at a restaurant in Brompton Road, opposite Flavio's London office. That's all I know.”