Well, I said the other day that I wouldn't believe that Max Mosley was actually leaving the FIA until I saw him walking along the Place de la Concorde with his belongings in a red and white spotted hankie. An unnamed team principal has apparently told the press that he would believe it only "when I see the stake through his heart".
It's reported that the deal is now in jeopardy because Max has taken exception to some of the things that FOTA members have said to the press. They are supposed to have implied that he is stepping down immediately and not in October and that he was dictatorial. He got himself in such a tizz that he was moved to write to FOTA asking for an apology and hinting that he would "keep his options open" if they didn't give him one.
I have no idea where he's getting this from. If you look at the full transcript of FOTA's press conference yesterday, they're actually more generous about him than he deserves. They clearly accept that he's in place until October and they acknowledge that they have no say in the appointment of a successor, but would prefer someone independent of the teams. If anyone had any right to be upset about these comments,surely it would be potential candidates Jean Todt and Ron Dennis.
I guess the only thing Mosley can do to upset the applecart is to say that he's not going after all. Now that the rules have been agreed for next year along the lines FOTA wanted, by the World Motorsport Council he can't really go chopping and changing them at will. He also makes the assumption that if he decides to stay, he will be re-elected, but a strong campaign from a credible challenger could put paid to that ambition. Former rally world champion and MEP Ari Vatanen's name has been put in the frame
It seems to me that Mosley's latest ramblings are more to do with separation anxiety at the prospect of losing the almost absolute power that he's enjoyed for 16 years rather than having any basis in fact. You have to question the motives of someone who says that he's prepared to take on FOTA "even if this leads to difficulties in the sport". A clear case of misplaced ego being put above the interests of the sport.
It might actually have been better if he had stood down immediately rather than have this 4 month period of limbo where he can attempt to disrupt the newly formed peace on a whim.