Three of world rallying's leading team bosses paid tribute to outgoing FIA president Max Mosley during the press conference that preceded this weekend's WRC round in Argentina, but not all agreed that he had been as good for the sport as he may have been for other areas under his control.

While Subaru's David Lapworth and Ford's Malcolm Wilson both chose to focus on recent dealings with the president, Peugeot counterpart Corrado Provera claimed that, despite all of Mosley's good intentions, he may not have had quite as good a grasp of the needs of rallying.

"Max Mosley has always been - and still is - a very, very good president," Provera insisted, "He has driven our sport to success but, in my opinion - and people will quote me, although I'm not sure in the right manner - I think he is a very big expert in F1 and doesn't understand many things about rally.

"He is still convinced that this sport is important and he is trying to boost it, [but] the problem is that he is trying to reach the target in the same way he did in F1 - and he doesn't, in my opinion, know rallies. So he had to trust people surrounding him, who believe they know rally better than the president and the situation which we are in is a consequence of it."

Both Lapworth and Wilson said that they believed progress had been made in the latest meetings with Mosley - who has presided over several controversial changes to the structure of the WRC, including the introduction of SupeRally, the addition of extra rounds to the schedule and the imposition of a limit on previous winners driving for each team. Both reckoned that the future of rallying on an international scale was back on track.

"The reality is that we are making great progress," Lapworth insisted, "As Corrado touched on, we had a bit of a bad spell at the end of last year, when we were struggling to find a direction for the championship, but we have had some very positive meetings, and I am sure that, before Max leaves, we will have got ourselves a good direction and can look forward to a period of stability."

"I've seen a big difference in the way he's been keen to work with us, which is a very positive thing," Wilson added, "We have been working to come up with a solution which will bring long-term stability and so, from that side, being totally selfish, I hope he addresses those issues before he leaves office."

Asked what they wished for in terms of Mosley's successor, all three agreed that the position would be hard to fill.

"The main thing is to see our sport being run as professional, with steady regulations and common sense prevailing in all decisions and a democratic discussion between the manufacturers, the organisers and the sport powers," Provera explained, "If this [happens], then I think rally may still have beautiful days.

"The only thing we hope for is that our sport is given in the professional hands. We need people to understand why we are racing and what our commercial interests are worldwide. To do this we need stability, visibility and promotability. We need easy access to the journalists to make it easy to make readable events."

"It is going to be a very difficult role to fill, and we shouldn't underestimate that task," Wilson confirmed, "The one thing Max was, was a leader. It's not just motorsport, it's all the NCAP stuff as well. It's a job for two or maybe three people - one for Formula One, one for rally and one for the NCAP. It's going to be a very difficult role to fill."

Lapworth seized the opportunity to put forward one suggestion, potentially easing his own job at Subaru.

"I think Corrado would do a fantastic job," he grinned, "If I was a member of World Council, he would get my vote!"