Former FIA president Max Mosley dies
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 25th May, 2021 - 8:12am
Max Mosley, former president of the FIA and one of the most influential people in Formula 1 history, has died of cancer at the age of 81.
Starting his career as a competitor, Mosley’s career saw him work as a constructor, key political figure and, in his latter years, a campaigner for media privacy.
“The family of Max Mosley can confirm that he died last night after a long battle with cancer. They ask to be allowed to grieve in private,” his family confirmed.
While best remembered for his time as president of the FIA, Mosley’s career began behind the wheel in the 1960s.
He competed in Formula 2 and was in the race which saw Jim Clark perish at Hockenheim in 1968.
Mosley was subsequently involved in March, a customer racing car manufacturer that also fielded a team in Formula 1.
Thereafter he moved into the politics of the sport, and together with Bernie Ecclestone helped transform it into the business it is today.
They played an intrinsic role in the commercialisation of the sport, especially through the FISA-FOCA war of the early 1980s.
That saw teams gain key commercial rights, and laid the foundations for Ecclestone’s rise to power as its commercial boss.
“We were like brothers for 50-odd years,” Ecclestone said.
“Better he’s gone than suffer the way he was suffering.”
Mosley took the helm of the FIA in 1993, and proved a critical player in advancing safety within the sport.
“We are saddened to hear that Max Mosley, former FIA President has passed away,” and FIA spokesperson said.
“A huge figure in the transition of Formula One. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
The man who followed Mosley as FIA president, Jean Todt, took to Twitter to pay tribute to the Englishman.
“Deeply saddened by the passing of Max Mosley,” he wrote.
“He was a major figure in F1 and motor sport.
“As FIA President for 16 years, he strongly contributed to reinforcing safety on track and on the roads. The entire FIA community pays tribute to him.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Mosley was the son of Oswald Mosley, who headed the British fascist movement prior to World War II.
It’s a relationship many suggested prohibited him from becoming Prime Minister, with his efforts instead turning towards motorsport.
He ultimately stepped away from motorsport and turned his attentions to media privacy after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal.
It saw him campaign for reforms into privacy laws, and financially assist victims in the UK’s phone hacking scandal.
Speedcafe.com extends its condolences to Mosley’s family and friends.