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F1 | Former FIA president Max Mosley passes away at 81

The former president of the FIA, Max Mosley, who brought in profound changes to safety in Formula 1 has died at the age of 81; he is survived by his wife, Jean.

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F1 | Former FIA president Max Mosley passes away at 81
Fuente imagen: Twitter/@ScuderiaFerrari

Max Mosley, who led the FIA from 1993 to 2009 and was co-founder of the March engineering Formula 1 team has died at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer.

Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the news on BBC Sport.

In a short statement, Ecclestone said, "It’s like losing family, like losing a brother, Max and I. He did a lot of good things not just for motorsport but also the car industry. He was very good in making sure people built cars that we're safe."

The son of the politician and fascist Oswald Mosley,  Mosley who was also a qualified barrister, entered the World of motorsport as a driver after attending a race at Silverstone whilst studying at university.

Mosley got as far as entering Formula 2 where he drove in the infamous 1968 Deutschland Trophäe race held at Hockenheim, where Jim Clark would be killed after a crash on lap four.

After retiring from driving in 1969, Mosley became a co-owner of the March team, which raced in Formula 1 and Indycar from 1970 to 1992, with Mosley leaving the company in 1977 to work full time for the Formula One Constructors Association where he would take on the role as the legal advisor for the group.

Mosley frequently represented FOCA in the FOCA-FISA civil war, which dominated the landscape of Formula 1 in the early 1980s as the independent teams fought with the FISA backed constructors who were represented by car manufacturers for control of the sport.

The civil war ended between the two groups after signing the very first Concorde agreement in the winter of 1981, which restored peace to the sport.

After five years away in the political arena, Mosley returned to motorsport in 1986 as head of the FISA manufacturers commission, before challenging Jean Marie Belestre for the presidency of FISA after the Frenchman’s controversial handling of the title-deciding collision between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix.

In 1991 Mosley was duly elected as president of the FISA and in 1993 was sworn in as president of the FIA after the Frenchman had agreed to stand down.

Mosley’s first eight months in the role as FIA president was dominated by the events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Senna,  with Mosley producing swift rule changes at that year’s Monaco Grand Prix to slow cars down and make tracks safer, with increased safety measures such as the HANS device being introduced to protect the drivers from head and neck injuries.

Mosley was re-elected for a second term in October of 1997 and oversaw the transformation of the sport into the 21st century, which included heated battles with Ecclestone for control of the sport and with the European Union as Mosley tried to delay legislation that would see tobacco advertising banned from all European Grand Prix’s, with Mosley then threatening to move the sport out of Europe if this happened.

His influence at the head of the FIA saw the foundation of the Euro NCAP, which was a group made to increase the safety of all new road cars.

Despite offering to set down as president at the end of his third term, Mosley remained in the job for his fourth and final term of office, with Mosley’s last term controversially marked by the Spygate scandal, which saw McLaren disqualified from the 2007 constructors championship and fined £100 million, he was also in conflict with the Formula One Teams association over new rules for the 2010 season which briefly saw a breakaway series proposed.

Mosley's personal life came under scrutiny in 2008 after the News of the World reported his involvement in a sexual act, with Mosley winning a case against the paper in court for grounds of breaches of privacy.

He was succeeded as FIA president by former Ferrari boss Jean Todt in 2009, with Mosley giving evidence in the Leveson inquiry held two years after his departure from his role at the FIA.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean and their first son Patrick.

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