The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) announced the passing of its former president Max Mosley at age 81.
Mosley, who was reportedly suffering from cancer, was at the helm of the governing body of motor sport and promoted safe, sustainable and accessible mobility around the world for 16 years—serving as president in 1993 up to 2009.
The FIA, led by its current president Jean Todt, was saddened with the news.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Max Mosley. He was a major figure in Formula 1 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,” Todt said.
In a statement, the FIA noted that the work that Mosley undertook during his stint, “leaves an indelible mark on the world of motor sport and mobility.”
“His passion and commitment for improving safety both on the race track and, crucially, in transferring that work to practical solutions on the road, has had a positive effect on countless lives around the world. The FIA continues to strive for improvements in safety, remaining committed to ensuring a prosperous future across the world of motor sport, and pays tribute and thanks to the contributions made by Mr. Mosley.”
Mosley attended Oxford University, and became Secretary of the Oxford Union debating society. He later trained as a lawyer and became a barrister specializing in patent and trademark law.
FIA shared that the Mosley spent much of his youth racing cars, “first in sports cars and then later in Formula 2 driving Brabham and Lotus cars.” “He retired from driving in 1969 to co-found March Engineering, which quickly became one of the world's leading racing car manufacturers. Mosley dealt with legal and commercial matters for the company between 1969 and 1977,” it noted.
It also added that as FIA president, “Mosley pledged that the FIA should make a difference in the world outside motor racing and set about promoting increased road safety and the use of green technology.”
During his first year in office, Mosley set up the FIA Brussels office, which gave the 40 million members of the FIA’s motoring organizations in the European Union and the motorsport in the region “an effective voice in Brussels for the first time.”
He also promoted the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), where he remained as chairman from 1996 until 2004. In late 1996, Mosley also created the Formula One Safety Commission where he was the first chairman.
Further, Mosley led the campaign for the FIA to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1997. After a few years, he launched Formula Zero, a strategy for reducing fatalities and injuries on track and road.
When Mosley decided to stand down in 2009, he endorsed Todt as his successor and like many before him, was named honorary president of the FIA shortly after.
Photos from Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)