Any remaining support for embattled FIA president Max Mosley withered bare on Sunday, as the formula one world rested from the sex scandal for 91 minutes to take in the Bahrain grand prix.

It was a day that went from worse to hopeless for the 67-year-old Briton, who - barred from the event by the royal family - watched from one of his homes in Europe as Felipe Massa win the Sakhir race.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, whose refusal to condemn his lifelong friend thus far was a lingering hope for Mosley, cancelled a scheduled interview spot with the British broadcaster ITV -- another sign that the writing is already on the wall.

Ecclestone's deafening refusal to clearly back Mosley may have been motivated by the conspicuous presence in the paddock on Sunday of Sir Fred Goodwin and Arun Sarin -- respectively the biggest bigwigs of the major F1 team sponsors RBS and Vodafone.

"It's an FIA matter but we're watching it closely," Goodwin told the Daily Mail after a meeting with Bernie.

A writer for the Daily Telegraph observed: "Ecclestone has privately accepted his old comrade has to go, but was hoping he would not be required to handle the instrument of execution. Now, he has no choice."

Meanwhile, the Australian federation reportedly joined the growing mound of Mosley opposition, as did the highest ranking motor racing official in Spain, Carlos Gracia.

"It is clear that this is a very unpleasant affair that is deteriorating the image of motor racing," he told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER from Bahrain.

Even those who had previously and historically supported Mosley are having to change their minds, as it becomes obvious that resignation is the only cure to one of F1's biggest ever scandals.

"If Max starts to think about things without emotion, then there can be only one conclusion -- he has to resign," said former triple world champion Niki Lauda. (GMM)