Formula 1 has been blasted by former world champion Jody Scheckter as 'disgraceful' and 'a whole big dictatorship' in which 'the problem' is Max Mosley, whose FIA organisation is 'destroying' the sport.
The South African has never been one to shy away from airing his sometimes forthright opinions, and was one of the first high-profile figures within grand prix circles to publicly call for Mosley to stand down in the wake of the tabloid sex scandal that rocked F1 earlier this year [see separate story – click here
]. Over the interceding months, his views have clearly not changed much.
“I don't like the way Formula 1 has gone,” the ten-time grand prix-winner told British newspaper The Independent
. “It's now a whole big dictatorship. If you don't support it, you find yourself on the outside.
“It needs a radical overhaul of its structure. I don't like what is happening within the Formula 1 spectacle; it is disgraceful.
“Mosley is the problem. What people do in their private lives is their business, but not when you have a background like his. Once you get exposed like that, whether it's right or wrong, there is no industry I know of where you would survive.
“That shows how wrong the system is in Formula 1. It is incredible Mosley got away with it. In any walk of life where that happened, except F1, the guy would have had to step down. At least Bernie Ecclestone is supposed to be a businessman, although he does what he wants to do.”
Amongst the 58-year-old's chief complaints are Mosley's continuing tenure – and autocracy – at the head of the governing body, and the unprecedented $100 million fine meted out to McLaren-Mercedes last year over the spying row.
He is also critical of the high number of controversial penalties handed out by race stewards this season, particularly to Lewis Hamilton, and the contentious new FIA proposal to introduce a standardised engine into the sport as of 2010 – a suggestion that could set even F1's longest and staunchest supporter, Ferrari, heading for the hills [see separate story – click here
“What happened to McLaren [in 2007] was disgraceful,” blasted Scheckter, who achieved his title glory for the Scuderia
29 years ago. “They were fined $100 million for doing something unheard of, and this season, the fines and penalties Lewis Hamilton has had have been ridiculous. That is why I hope he clinches the title this time; he deserves it.