DaveKillens, good post, but I must enter some opposing comments:
Max Mosley is a freaking genius. Despite his long list of personal shortcomings, the man sure knows how to get people to follow his personal agenda. Seriously, the man stands alone against some of the most intelligent, sophisticated, motivated people in the world (the teams) and yet manages to bully his way through them almost every time. I'd be the first to jump in line to slag Max, but I also have to admit he's one smart dude.
What you say of Max is true of some of the most evil dictators in world history. They DO deserve a sort of resepct, I guess . . .
In the last couple of years, Max has been preaching about two main goals. To lower costs in Formula One, and to prove to the world that Formula One is become more of a responsible citizen. That is through adoption of greener fuels, and improved fuel mileage. The teams have their agendas, and that is to win, to be successful. To achieve those goals, they are willing to spend whatever it takes, and to use whatever fuels and strategies to improve performance. I remember when Formula One fuel was a toxic concoction of exotic chemicals. So the teams won't willingly go down the road Max wants them to. So instead he creates conditions where they have no choice but to go his way. But he doesn't just try to push one rule to change everything all at once. Instead he is creating a number of rules, over a period of time, that taken together, force the teams towards his agenda.
I just can't buy into "Big Brother Max knows what is best. Resistance is futile. Do as Max demands and all will be well." What he is doing is attempting to manipulate what you called "some of the most intelligent, sophisticated, motivated people in the world." Yet Max knows better? Max is not driven by human weaknesses and biases? I find that hard to accept.
Max is interested primarily in the future of Formula One. As far as the future of the teams, that is secondary. And history has proven that teams come and go in Formula One. If one leaves, they will be missed for just a short while, and eventually the fans forget. Even Ferrari. Back in the 50's and 60's endurance racing, especially LeMans, was the big motor sport. And Ferrari was a big dog in that discipline. But Ferrari left that kind of racing, and today, I don't see or hear any fans complaining about this. Time is Max's friend.
Here is where we'll have to agree to disagree. I do NOT believe that Max's main interest is the future of Formula 1. His main interest is in increasing his power, playing his Machiavellian games, lying, cheating, manipulating. It is, as you called it, his personal agenda that is foremost to Max. Personal agenda, not F1. Fortunately, Time is NOT Max's friend. F1 will (I hope) outlive him.
So although we see what appears to be a mess of confusing and weird rules, they are designed to drive Formula One into the vision of what Max wants. And expect more to come, this isn't the end, but sadly, only the opening phases of a long campaign. Max wants a world engine by 2013, that's just an indication of how far into the future he has this planned.
I was very glad to see that "sadly." Max's vision, like his rules, is weird and confusing. But take heart, we can hope that Max will not complete his long campaign. Let's hope his ultimate DNF comes soon. (Naturally, I mean voted out, not dead
Enzo Ferrari was a great man. But he was not a good man. -- Phil Hill