Friday, June 26, 2009

Mosley: Deal reached for unified F1 championship

(by Associated Press 6-24-09)

PARIS (AP) - FIA president Max Mosley reached a deal Wednesday to stop eight rebel Formula One teams from forming a breakaway series but now will not seek re-election.

Mosley agreed to the Formula One Teams Association's demand to scrap a voluntary $65 million budget cap for next season.

Instead, a watered-down agreement over cost-cutting was approved by the FOTA members — Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Brawn GP.

"There will be no split. We have agreed to a reduction of costs," Mosley said. "There will be one F1 championship, but the objective is to get back to the spending levels of the early '90s within two years."

Mosley said the deal still maintains the "financial viability" of teams that he had been targeting with the initial cap. As part of the agreement, existing teams must help new outfits with their engines and chassis.

Mosley has been the president of the FIA, the international automobile federation that governs Formula One, since 1993. His leadership style has been criticized as too autocratic, and many of the teams blamed him for precipitating the split between FOTA and the FIA. Still, Mosley announced over the weekend that he was seriously considering running for a fifth term.

"I will not be up for re-election now we have peace," Mosley said at FIA's Paris headquarters.

"This for me is an enormous relief," he added, referring to "personal difficulties" he has faced.

His son, Alexander Mosley, was found dead at his luxury apartment May 5 after an accidental drug overdose.

The 69-year-old FIA president, the son of former British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, was at the center of a media frenzy last year when a tabloid newspaper reported he took part in a sadomasochistic orgy with five prostitutes in London. A video of the incident was widely circulated on the Internet.

Mosley successfully sued the News of the World for invasion of privacy.

The episode brought calls for Mosley's ouster as FIA president, but he won an overwhelming vote of confidence to stay on.

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