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Mosley says Ferrari demand special treatment

ESPNF1 Staff
May 29, 2010 « Brawn hopes for unchanged line-up in 2011 | »
Max Mosley: 'Luca di Montezemolo does have this silly idea that if it is Ferrari then it is OK' © Sutton Images

He may no longer be actively involved in the sport, but former FIA president Max Mosley continues to cause waves. The latest comes on the eve of the Turkish Grand Prix with claims in a British newspaper that Ferrari pressed him to ban the double-diffuser - the device pioneered in 2009 by Brawn to help aid air flow - to help its own chances.

Mosley singles out Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo as the man behind the approach, although he added the team has expectations it will get favours from the FIA.

"Luca does have this silly idea that if it is Ferrari then it is OK," Mosley told the Dail Mail. "When we had all this stuff about the double-diffuser he was on the phone every day saying, 'You have got to sort out the Court of Appeal and make sure we win'. He didn't put it as baldly as that but that is what he said.

"I said: 'Luca, I'm sorry but first of all they wouldn't take any notice and secondly I am not going to do it'. I couldn't. He took that quite personally. He honestly thought I would."

Mosley said Ferrari's culture of expecting special treatment was also in evidence in 1999 when the FIA Court of Appeal overturned the disqualification of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine from the Malaysian Grand Prix for running illegal barge boards.

"Ferrari won that appeal quite rightly on the technicality," Mosley told the newspaper. "Two years later I was at the Turin Motor Show and I was invited into a little area where Gianni Agnelli [the head of Fiat, Ferrari's owners] came up to me and said: 'Thank you so much for what you did over the barge boards'. He honestly thought it had been fixed."

Ferrari brushed aside Mosley's accusations. "We don't want to make any comment," a spokesman said. "It's better to look ahead and not waste time talking about what is - luckily - old and gone."

Mosley's claims will not surprise many close to the sport. Ferrari were involved in the vehement opposition to his plans to impose a budget cap which indirectly hastened Mosley's retirement as FIA president in the autumn of 2009. After a bitter stand-off a compromise was reached with the FIA but Mosley was in effect sidelined for his final months in office.