Formula 1's future has been thrown into turmoil once again, with FIA president Max Mosley saying he is now keeping his future options open because of what he has called "deliberate attempts" by teams to mislead the media.
Just 24 hours after Mosley reached a deal with FOTA to end the threat of a breakaway series, he has reacted angrily to what he calls "false claims" made by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) about the nature of their agreement.
In a letter that Mosley sent to FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo, which first appeared on website www.racefax.com
but has now been seen by AUTOSPORT, Mosley makes it clear that he is angry at how FOTA has presented the terms of its deal. And such is his seriousness with which he is treating the matter, that he has told FOTA that his original plan to step down as FIA president in October is no longer definite.
"Given your and FOTA's deliberate attempt to mislead the media, I now consider my options open," wrote Mosley in the letter. "At least until October, I am president of the FIA with the full authority of that office.
"After that it is the FIA member clubs, not you or FOTA, who will decide on the future leadership of the FIA."
Mosley is furious that FOTA representatives have claimed that FIA Senate president Michel Boeri is now in change of F1, that he himself was forced out of office and that he would have no role in the FIA once he steps down in October.
"We made a deal yesterday in Paris to end the recent difficulties in Formula 1," explained Mosley. "A fundamental part of this was that we would both present a positive and truthful account to the media.
"I was therefore astonished to learn that FOTA has been briefing the press that Mr. Boeri has taken charge of Formula 1, something which you know is completely untrue; that I had been forced out of office, also false; and, apparently, that I would have no role in the FIA after October, something which is plain nonsense, if only because of the FIA statutes.
"Furthermore, you have suggested to the media that I was a "dictator," an accusation which is grossly insulting to the 26 members of the World Motor Sport Council who have discussed and voted all the rules and procedures of Formula 1 since the 1980s, not to mention the representatives of the FIA's 122 countries who have democratically endorsed everything I and my World Motor Sport Council colleagues have done during the last 18 years."
The letter makes it clear that unless FOTA moves to address his complaints, then the deal that was agreed on Wednesday could collapse. The letter was sent prior to Thursday's FOTA press conference in Bologna, where Mosley had hoped an apology would be made -- something which was not forthcoming.
Mosley said: "If you wish the agreement we made to have any chance of survival, you and FOTA must immediately rectify your actions. You must correct the false statements which have been made and make no further such statements.
"You yourself must issue a suitable correction and apology at your press conference this afternoon.
"Formula 1 is run entirely by our 25-strong team without any help from me or any other outsider. There was no need for me to involve myself further in Formula 1 once we had a settlement. Equally, I had a long-standing plan not to seek re-election in October. It was therefore possible for me to confirm both points to you yesterday."Related stories:• Teams call for independent FIA president• FOTA teams laud agreement at Bologna meeting