The former president of the International Automobile Federation died on Monday at the age of 81. Back on his journey.
Controversial figure, ardent defender of road safety and the right to privacy, Max Mosley died on Monday at the age of 81, announces the British press.
Son of British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, this young patent lawyer developed a passion for motorsports during his studies, following an impromptu visit to Silverstone with his partner. At the wheel, he “goes up” to Formula 2. He participates in particular in Germany trophy played at Hockenheim in 1968. That day, in the pouring rain, the two-time world champion Jim Clark was killed when his Lotus crashed into a pine tree.
Lawyer of the stables
He hangs up his helmet before he turns 30, helping to found the single-seat manufacturer March – the “M” is for Mosley – managing contracts and sponsors. The brand quickly won its first Grand Prix – Spain 1970 at Jarama – via Jackie Stewart, at the controls of a car entered by the Tyrrell team. Despite a full order book (the March F2 and F3 are selling well), financial difficulties are plaguing the official team.
At the same time Mosley made friends with the boss of the Brabham team, Bernie Ecclestone. He works in particular as a lawyer for the F1 constructors association (FOCA), which brings together Lotus, Williams, Brabham and Tyrrell. Together the two men lead arduous negotiations with the International Federation of Motorsport (FISA). The stake: who will get the promising Formula 1 revenue cake?
Because at the end of the 1970s, the discipline now attracted major manufacturers (Renault and Alfa Romeo joined Fiat-Ferrari) and televisions. Boycotts, strikes, war of words, disqualifications and poker shots… The two men went so far as to organize a pirate Grand Prix in 1981 – outside the authority of the federation – to defend the interests of the cartel of British teams. The conflict between sports bodies and independent teams is resolved by the signing of the Concorde Agreements : the financial management of F1 is delegated to FOCA… which takes a more than generous commission before transferring the amounts won to the teams and the federations.
At the head of the federation … against the stables
Mosley is temporarily leaving the world of motorsport to work for Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party. But his surname (and his very right-wing youth commitments) limit his political ambitions. Ironically, he returned to the radar of F1 by presenting a candidacy for the head of the International Motor Sport Federation in 1991. All in ironic curves, he ended up oust the French volcanic Jean-Marie Balestre – strong man of the federations and character with a very troubled past.
Become President of the International Automobile Federation (FISA changes its name on his initiative), he forms an inseparable tandem with Bernie Ecclestone. After Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident at Imola in 1994, Mosley piloted a vigorous campaign to secure single-seaters and circuits, culminating in the adoption of sculpted tires. At the same time, it extends the role of its federation to the production vehicle. We owe him in particular the promotion of EuroNCAP crash tests.
Regularly reelected at the head of the FIA (the last time in 2005), Max Mosley clings violently with the big manufacturers who intend to take control of F1. The threat of a dissident championship emerges as British tabloid News of the World publishes video showing Max Mosley in activities of a sexual nature. The fact that the five women (freely) involved wear Nazi uniforms inflames the commentary sections of the press.
His vigorous defense will not save his seat at the FIA - the following year, the manufacturers give him a soft exit in exchange for his withdrawal – but will transform British law, so far very favorable to newspapers in matters of compliance. private life. He also supported the group of celebrities who had been hacked, blackmailed and extorted by News of the World. In the light of these revelations, the newspaper definitively stopped its presses in 2011.
“It’s like losing family, like losing a brother, Max and I,” Eccclestone said. “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.”
— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) May 24, 2021
” It’s like losing a family member, like losing a brother, reacted Bernie Ecclestone, the former Formula 1 treasurer and lifelong friend of Max Mosley, interviewed by the BBC. He has done a lot of things for motorsport, but also in the industry. He was very good at making sure people were making safe vehicles ”.
More information in a few minutes.
Photo : Max Mosley en 1969 / Raimund Kommer / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0
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