His personal travails aside, Max Mosley is also under pressure on another front. He is being urged by Formula One’s commercial director Bernie Ecclestone’s partner, the venture capital firm CVC, to sign a new “Concorde Agreement”. That is the contract that dictates the terms on which teams compete in races and on which TV revenues and prize money are allocated. CVC is rumoured to be looking to sell its 75 per cent stake in the business – but Mr Mosley is in no rush to sign.

“They tell me they are in no hurry [to sell],” he says. “If a sovereign wealth fund came along with a huge amount of money, then they’d be tempted.”

Central to Mr Mosley’s bargaining position is the FIA’s right of veto over who buys the commercial rights.

“I would never give up [the veto] because you might find someone who was a complete disaster coming in, but we could soften it if the company has less say over what happens at a grand prix.

“Eventually I think we’ll agree a compromise with CVC where they abandon a lot of the control they have over the sporting side of the event. In return we will give them much greater freedom to sell the business to whomever they want. At the moment it is not a problem with Bernie there.”

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