Max Mosley, former FIA president and pioneer of F1 safety dies aged 81

After the death of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, Max Mosley was the man to push to introduce safety measures in Formula 1. He was the president of the FIA followed and played a key role with the promotion of Euro NCAP.

By:Updated: May 25, 2021 10:42 AM
Former FIA President, Max Mosley passes away, aged 81. (Image Credit: F1.com)

Max Mosley, the former President of the FIA has passed away at the age of 81. Initially a barrister and an amateur racing driver racing in Formula 2, Mosley helped set up the March Racing Team in 1969. MRT went on to run drivers like Ronnie Peterson and Niki Lauda in Formula One. In the 1970s, Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone took on the role of legal representatives for the Formula One Constructors’ Association. They were responsible for the negotiation of the first Concorde Agreement in 1981.

Mosley became the president of the FISA and then took the role of president of the FIA in 1993. Following the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Mosley played an instrumental role in introducing safety measures in the sport. Even though he was re-elected thrice (1997, 2001 and 2005) it was not without its controversies. During his tenure, some notable controversial events that took place include the 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, the McLaren Spy-Gate in 2007. But a newspaper report in 2008 revealing details of his sex life became public. But after a court battle with the media outlet, Mosley won the case on grounds of breach of his privacy and was also given the vote of confidence from the FIA. But Mosley stepped down from the position in 2009, opting not to stand for re-election.

Jean Todt, his successor and current President of the FIA said he is “Deeply saddened by the passing of Max Mosley. He was a major figure in F1 and motorsport. As FIA President for 16 years, he strongly contributed to reinforcing safety on track and the roads.” He added “The entire FIA community pays tribute to him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

In motorsports, notably, Mosley helped introduce the HANS device, now an FIA standard in most motor racing series as a safety feature and helped improve crash tests for race cars. He also helped push similar improvements in safety standards for road cars. He played a key role in promoting the European New Car Assessment Programme. The Euro NCAP and its star rating for vehicles have become standard, used n most regions around the world and are synonymous with road safety today.

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