Bernie Ecclestone has renewed his war of words with long-time ally and business associate Max Mosley, by suggesting that the latter's new FIA Formula Two Championship was launched merely to divert attention away from his private life and the tabloid sex scandal in which he became embroiled early last year.
Having responded to Mosley's assertion that only the FIA would survive should Formula 1 collapse in the wake of the currant global economic crisis [see separate story – click here
] by claiming that 'without us there wouldn't be an FIA', the sport's commercial rights-holder then went on to question the real reasons behind the return of Formula Two, which last ran back in 1984.
“It was all done for the wrong reasons,” Ecclestone told British newspaper the Daily Express
. “He did this when he had a problem with his private life.”
The Formula One Management chief executive was also outspoken about what he deems to be Mosley's interference in the dispute between himself and the teams in the guise of FOTA over the distribution of F1's commercial revenue, and the FIA President's referral of Ecclestone's Olympic Games-style medals idea to 'market research'.
“We don't want to ask the public what they think,” the 78-year-old billionaire argued, “because if we do we would have to ask the public about almost every little thing that is decided on.
“The sporting regulations basically are what generate the income and we run the commercial business. The FIA should just be the police looking at the rules. The teams and us should be writing the technical and sporting regulations.”
Meanwhile, it has been suggested in The Times
that leading banker Sir Fred Goodwin is being lined up to take over from Mosley at the helm of the governing body once the 68-year-old does step down, something he may or may not do when his fourth term expires in November.
According to the newspaper, Scotsman Goodwin was until recently the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, but is now being blamed for the institution's spectacular slump as a consequence of the worldwide credit crunch. The 50-year-old was, however, knighted in 2004 for services to banking, and is said to be a 'petrolhead' and regular grand prix attendee with RBS-sponsored Williams.
'Sir Fred has been sounded out over a role [in F1],' reports The Times
, 'possibly in a post-Max Mosley world.'
RBS' sporting ambassador is former three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, a vociferous adversary of Mosley's and a man who has repeatedly called for the Englishman to resign and be replaced by a 'captain of industry' or 'CEO of standing' from outside of the sport.
Erstwhile Ferrari team principal Jean Todt is also understood to be in the running for the most powerful role in F1.