Former FIA President Max Mosley has admitted that the tabloid sting in which he found himself embroiled three years ago when the News of the World
ran an explosive front page exposé
on his sexual activities was indirectly responsible for the failure of his proposed budget cap initiative.
An earnest advocate of the need to radically cut costs in F1, Mosley's suggested £40 million limit on annual spending was received with an equal mix of enthusiasm and opposition from the sport's competitors, with the poorer teams welcoming it and their wealthier adversaries conversely fearing it might curtail their dominance, and some even going so far as to threaten to quit the sport and form their own 'breakaway' series should it be railroaded through.
In the event, of course, it never came into being – and it was Ferrari's support for him throughout his subsequent legal battle with the Sunday red-top that somewhat ironically hammered the final nail into the budget cap's coffin, Mosley has now revealed.
“My plan was to go through with [the budget cap] with the other teams, with Ferrari
threatening to withdraw,” the Englishman reflected. “I would have chanced it, because we all know they wouldn't really have gone – but then came the affair with the newspaper. Ferrari
was the only team that stayed loyal, so I couldn't really do something like that to them.”
However, Mosley's strained relationship with the Scuderia's
President Luca di Montezemolo still shows no signs of softening, with the 70-year-old hitting out at the Italian for having sought to lambast the efforts of the three F1 2010 newcomers and repeatedly urged for third cars to be allowed in the top flight.
“On the one hand, he complains that the new teams are too slow, and on the other hand he asks for something (more testing) that will widen the gap even more,” Mosley mused. “The third car is complete nonsense, giving the big teams even more power, politically and sporting. It's also against the spirit of F1. It needs different blood – without new teams, F1 would die.
“The problem with Luca is he has never had to build a team from nothing and doesn't know how hard it is. F1 has a lot of problems, but Luca only adds to them.”