Embattled FIA president Max Mosley has emerged at the Monaco Grand Prix, making his first Formula One appearance since being embroiled in a lurid sex scandal.
|Judgement day looms for FIA President |
Max Mosley [GALLO/GETTY]
The 68-year-old Englishman walked past a group of photographers and reporters and through the pit lane after coming out of the governing body's paddock office.
"I can't speak. I'm too busy,'' said Mosley, who was scheduled to meet with team officials during a day of race practice for Sunday's GP.
Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Vettel walked alongside the group but wouldn't comment.
Red Bull's Mark Webber is the only driver to have spoken out on the controversy.
"Most guys say 'no comment' because it's easier, but if someone asks you if it is good or bad, why can't you say what you think?'' the Australian driver said.
"He's big enough and old enough to make his own decisions for himself, and what will be will be this weekend.''
Mosley has been under fire since being exposed in a British tabloid for having taken part in sex acts with five prostitutes in London, in a session the News of the World said involved a Nazi theme.
It also emerged Sunday that the wife of a British MI5 intelligence agent was the prostitute who sold the story.
The agent has since been fired from the agency.
Mosley has laid low since the Crown Prince of Bahrain asked him not to attend the Bahrain GP at the start of April after the scandal broke.
He also missed the Spanish and Turkish GPs.
Mosley's fate will be decided at a June 3 FIA special assembly in Paris.
Mosley was meeting with Williams team principal Alan Parr on Thursday, a day after talks with Ferrari head Stefano Domenicali and Renault team principal Flavio Briatore.
BMW Sauber head Mario Theissen said he doesn't expect Mosley's presence to overshadow F1's marquee race around the streets of the tiny principality.
"I'm not looking for him,'' Theissen said when asked if he would avoid Mosley.
F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was expecting to see Mosley here at some point.
"He lives here,'' Ecclestone said.
Mosley's fourth mandate ends in October 2009. He has sent a letter sent to FIA's 200 member federations saying F1's future could be jeopardised if he is ousted.
FIA and rights holder Formula One Management are renegotiating the commercial rights to F1, and Mosley says any instability in the presidency would give F1 Management, owned by Ecclestone, the chance "to take over Formula One completely.''
Ecclestone sees the whole affair in business terms.
"The problem is that the European Commission is quite clear that the FIA will just regulate motor sport and we are the commercial rights holder, so we're not taking over,'' Ecclestone said.
"We have a Concorde agreement signed and it's what we've had for 25 years and its worked very well. We just want to re-sign (it).''
The Concorde agreement, signed in 1981, is the document which sets the terms by which the teams compete in races and share television revenue and prize money.
"I don't think he wants to do a war, so there won't be a war, but if anybody wants to (fight) they can,'' Ecclestone said.
"We don't have a problem.''