On other topics he said medals were not the answer to the overtaking problem and rather seemed to blame the team engineers, who sat on an overtaking working group and came up with the aero rules we have for this year, which he now feels will not improve overtaking. Max feels that slipstreaming is the answer and is getting his people to look further into moveable aerodynamics on the car which allow the car behind to be faster than the car in front by virtue of being ‘towed’.
He said that Jean Todt’s Ferrari contract expires in March and that will mean he loses his seat on the world council, to be replaced by another Ferrari representative (Ferrari get the seat by virtue of having been in F1 the longest). He does not think that Todt will run for FIA president, because he would not want to do so intensive a job unpaid, as the rules insist.
On customer cars he said that as far as the FIA is concerned they are eligible to race this year and said that both Toro Rosso and Force India are expected to field ‘customer cars’ but pointed out that there was some dispute about whether they would qualify as constructors for a share of the TV money.
On the fallout from last year’s sex scandal he said that he is now virtually certain who set him up, implied that it was someone in F1 and said that he is waiting for final conclusive proof before he acts. He did not rule out legal action.
On prospects for this season, he said, “I suspect that McLaren has done a very thorough job in all areas, especially KERS (a system developed by Mercedes at a cost of £70 million) If I were Lewis Hamilton I think I would be very happy to be driving for McLaren this year, they are going to be very strong. “
Honda’s chances of being on the grid in Australia he rates at 70%, suggesting that it was now a question of the negotiations between the team management and the board of the main company.
And finally he spoke about Donington and hopes for the British Grand Prix. There have been more stories recently about Donington struggling for funding and asked whether he would insist on a move back to Silverstone if the stories proved true he said that the FIA has a duty to protect the classic races, but if Bernie Ecclestone presented a calendar without a British GP he could not insist on there being one if the commercial terms on offer were clearly inferior to the going rate being offered by other countries. Having said that he did describe the UK as “the home of Grand Prix racing”, so he will no doubt be reminded of that if and when Britain loses its race.
The British GP has been on the calendar since the start of Formula 1 in 1950, as has the Italian GP. It’s interesting that Mosley accepts that Ferrari gets special treatment from the FIA world council and FOM in recognition of the fact that it has been there since the start, but the races do not. Heritage is important, but only up to a point.
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