FIA president Max Mosley has again dismissed views propounded by Sir Jackie Stewart, claiming that the three-time world champion does not know what he is talking about.

The pair have been at loggerheads since the second World Motor Sport Council hearing into the espionage affair in September, with Stewart consistently questioning the penalties levied against the McLaren team. Since then, the FIA has requested that an independent observer attend the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix to ensure fair play in the McLaren camp, following suggestions that Fernando Alonso is being disadvantaged in favour of Lewis Hamilton, causing Stewart to again speak out.

The Scot first voiced his opinions in an interview with the Scottish Herald newspaper on Monday, ending the piece by calling for Mosley to consider quitting his position at the head of the sport, and continued his stance against the governing body in a series of television and radio interviews given to the British media to publicise his autobiography on Tuesday.

"There is an escalating awareness that he [Mosley] is being called into question over the proper governance of the FIA and his authority is being undermined, to an increasing degree, largely because we are in the most exciting F1 campaign there has been for years, and yet the papers are full of negative publicity," Stewart told the Herald.

"They are acting in self- interest and I believe there has to be greater accountability. Perhaps Max Mosley has been in the job too long. I definitely think that he should consider his position and that a new president should be head-hunted from outside the sport, so there is no conflict of interest."

Stewart insisted that his outburst was not personal, but had been formed by concerns that Hamilton could be deprived of the title by forces outside his control.

"This has nothing to do with me and Max - nor am I acting in any way, shape or form, on behalf of the McLaren team - but I honestly think that decisions are being made which are detrimental to our business and we have to accept that it is time for a change," he continued, "It would never have happened and, for that reason, I hope that McLaren do their best for Lewis next weekend in Brazil, because the lad has responded magnificently to everything he has faced in the last few months. But you have to be concerned for him in the current climate - he could be taken out at the first corner and it sounds as if the FIA would do nothing about it."

Mosley responded to the criticisms by claiming that Stewart, who he allegedly branded a 'certified half-wit' - to the outrage of many in the sport - after the WMSC hearing, did not know what he was talking about.

"Jackie Stewart's latest comments are as misconceived as those he made prior to the McLaren World Council hearing in September," Mosley said, "It is not the role of the FIA to court popularity by supporting one party or the other. It is the role of the FIA to ensure that the rules of the sport are respected and that fairness is applied consistently for all competitors.

"The bandying of partisan and ill informed comments in the media may well result in increased book sales for his new autobiography, but they can do little more than confirm my view that Jackie is in no position to provide useful observations upon issues of motor sport governance."

 

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