As the row over the future regulations of the sport continues to drag on, Mohammed ben Sulayem has called for the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) to put aside their differences with Max Mosley and find a solution to the crisis that is threatening to lead to their withdrawal from the series.
FOTA members have been upset at plans to introduce a £40million (Dh241m) budget cap for next season and by the way they feel the rule changes are being dicated to them by Mosley, who is the Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president. Friday's announcement of the team list for 2010 has done little to clear up the situation, with eight places still unconfirmed as Brawn GP, McLaren, Renault and BMW have been given until this Friday to submit unconditional entries, while Ferrari have reiterated that unless the regulations are changed they will not race next year.
Such is their lack of faith in dealings with Mosley, FOTA have asked the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) - of which Mosley is the head - to step in. But ben Sulayem, vice president of sport for the FIA, is convinced Mosley is still the right man to pull the sport through this crisis and others that may be forthcoming. "I am not saying this because I am close to Max," he said. "No. I am saying this because I am being fair. He has the knowledge and experience to get us through this difficult time not only with the teams, but the financial issues.
"He is the man who has helped change motorsport. Formula One was never like this before and, with Bernie Ecclestone, he was one of the main players to make it as good as it is today. It is safer, better and more attractive for teams, drivers, sponsors and fans. "People will attack Max, just like they will attack Bernie, but they deserve support in what they have tried to do. "This is the most crucial week for Formula One in many years, but the discussions and comments should not be about emotions or egos, they should be about commonsense and using your brains.
"It is not about the FIA or Max winning against FOTA, or FOTA winning against Max. The sport should be the winner. "Stop the attacks, stop the arguments and let us work together to get things right. "I have told the teams to talk to Max, but don't do it with the wrong attitude or act as if you own the championship. "With this extra week for the deadline, there is still time to make everything right, but the day you stop talking, then it is the beginning of the end."
With the prospect of FOTA setting up a rival championship, ben Sulayem added: "I hope this will not happen and nobody wants it, but Formula One will go on and any new competition by FOTA will come under the FIA's regulations for motorsport. "I do believe you need somebody to regulate and the FIA need someone who can be strong, who can fight to make things fair and right. Max has been doing this job for 16 years. It is like a father and his children. If you don't control them, they will do anything they want. We cannot allow that or motorsport will suffer.
"I hope everything can be resolved through Max. The World Motor Sport Council will listen and be prudent if they get involved and we will give our opinion to Max. "He is not a dictator and he will listen. "Sometimes it goes to a vote, but, personally, I am behind our president and I believe in him." firstname.lastname@example.org