The former President of the FIA, Max Mosley has passed away aged 81.
Mosley was president of the FIA for four terms from 1993 to 2009 before standing down and making way for current President Jean Todt. Ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the news to the Press Association on Monday:
“Max was like family to me. We were like brothers. I am pleased in a way because he suffered for too long,” said Ecclestone.
“He did a lot of good things not just for motorsport, also the [car] industry. He was very good in making sure people built cars that were safe.”
Mosley was born in 1940; a barrister in his early life he became an amateur racing driver after being attracted to the sport following a visit to a motor race at Silverstone. In 1969 he founded March Engineering, a former Formula 1 team, and then went on to become the representative of the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA) in 1974 along with friend Ecclestone, Colin Chapman, Teddy Mayer, Ken Turrell, and Frank Williams.
Mosley later became the FOCA’s official legal advisor helping to forge the Concorde Agreement which helped govern F1 for decades. He became president of the FIA in 1993. Mosley spearheaded a push for improved safety in road cars becoming an advocate for the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).
The Briton made an equally major push for safety in Formula 1 and became instrumental in helping to promote new standards such as mandatory crash tests and the HANS device.
Mosley continued to head the FIA until 2009 and was involved in some controversies throughout his tenure. He was a strong voice in going ahead with the ludicrous 2005 United States Grand Prix which saw only six cars start the race.
The 81-year-old has been the subject of a recent documentary about his life which is due to be released later in the year.
A statement from a Formula 1 spokesperson said: “We are saddened to hear that Max Mosley former FIA President has passed away. A huge figure in the transition of Formula 1. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
The cause of Mosley’s death has yet to be confirmed, but it is believed that he was suffering from blood cancer.