Former FIA president Max Mosley believes that there is 'no chance' of the Bahrain Grand Prix going ahead this year, after suggesting the governing body cannot change the calendar without unanimous approval of the teams.
Amid growing controversy about the reinstatement of the race in Bahrain on this year's schedule, Mosley thinks the situation is far from settled. He suggests that the FIA has no right to change the calendar, by moving India to December to make way for Bahrain, without getting support from every team on the grid.
Speaking to Britain's BBC on Tuesday, Mosley said: "I don't think there is the slightest chance the grand prix will actually happen. Apart from anything else, you cannot change the calendar in the way it is proposed to change without the unanimous agreement of the teams."
He added: "The teams that participate, if there is going to be a change, for example by moving the Indian event, [then] there has to be unanimous agreement. It is absolutely part of the rules – it is Article 66 of the International Sporting Code. Until the written agreement of the teams is forthcoming, you can't change the date - it cannot be done."
Article 66 of the FIA's International Sporting Code states: "No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141)."
FIA president Jean Todt has continued to defend the decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP, and insists that not only was there unanimous support within the World Motor Sport Council, but that the F1 teams' representative, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, voted in favor.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Diario Sport, Todt said: "To me it is important to be very precise. We haven't made this decision lightly. We have followed the situation of the country, delaying the final decision twice, and in Barcelona we had to make a decision.
"We sent Carlos Gracia, president of the Spanish federation and vice-president of the FIA, who met with several members of the government, of human rights organizations, bankers, businessmen, track marshals, and his report was 100 percent positive. The FIA has made the final decision unanimously and even the teams' representative in the meeting said they were in favor of racing in Bahrain this year."
Gracia's report formed the basis for Todt pushing for the Bahrain event to be reinstated, but Mosley is unsure about the quality of the information that the head of the Spanish motor sport federation provided.
"The problem there was they sent someone to look at Bahrain but the gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and, as far as I know, speaks no Arabic. He was then taken around by the representatives of the government and had no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all didn't ask to see the people who a human rights lawyer would like to see."
When asked about suggestions Gracia did speak to opposition groups, Mosley said: "Apparently they are very close to the government and I don't think he would have been allowed to speak to them if not."