A defiant Max Mosley has told the FIA that he now has no option but to consider standing once again as president, in light of what he sees as an "unjustified" attack on the governing body by Formula 1 teams and manufacturers.
Ahead of what is being viewed as a key meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Wednesday, where the governing body is expected to react to plans by F1 teams to create a breakaway series, Mosley has made it clear that he will not be forced to walk away by the wishes of teams.
In a letter that Mosley sent to all FIA member clubs on Tuesday, he insisted that it was entirely up to the members of the governing body to decide if it wants him to continue to help stave off the threat posed by teams.
"Over recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that one of the objectives of the dissident teams is that I should resign as president of the FIA. Last year you offered me your confidence and, as I wrote to you on May 16, 2008, it was my intention not to seek re-election in October this year," wrote Mosley in the letter. "However, in light of the attack on the mandate you have entrusted to me, I must now reflect on whether my original decision not to stand for re-election was indeed the right one.
"It is for the FIA membership, and the FIA membership alone, to decide on its democratically elected leadership, not the motor industry and still less the individuals the industry employs to run its Formula 1 teams."
Mosley has told the member clubs that he views the breakaway plans and recent comments from the European car industry association ACEA calling for a change of governance in F1, as an assault on the FIA's authority.
"This is an attack on the FIA's right to regulate its Formula 1 World Championship but, worse, it is a wholly unjustified criticism of and direct challenge to the entire structure and purpose of the FIA," added Mosley.
"No president of the FIA could allow this to go unanswered...we are also preparing legal proceedings in case these are needed to protect the FIA's rights in its Championship and to discourage any dissident Formula 1 team from engaging in illegal acts."
Mosley has also cast doubts on whether the parent board of the manufacturers involved in the breakaway will be happy to offer financial support to a new series.
"The catalyst for the current dispute was the FIA's attempts to reduce costs in Formula 1. A reduction in costs is essential if the independent teams are to survive. Without the independent teams, the championship would depend entirely on the car manufacturers who, of course, have always come and gone as it suited them.
"It is extraordinary that at a time when all five manufacturers involved are in great financial difficulty and relying on taxpayers' money, their Formula 1 teams should threaten a breakaway series in order to avoid reducing their Formula 1 costs. It remains to be seen whether the boards of the parent companies will allow precious resources to be wasted in this way."Related story:• FIA/FOTA showdown at World Council set for Wednesday