What is Max Mosley’s Formula One legacy?

Max Mosley (photo by FIA)Max Mosley was president of motorsport’s governing body the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) between 1993 and 2009.

Over the years, he has contributed to many changes to the way the sport is run, playing a major part in the introduction of the Euro NCAP crash test standards and many other improvements to road and motor racing safety. More information can be found on the bio of Mr Mosley on the FIA website.

Max Mosley’s passion for racing cars showed itself early on; in his youth he raced sports cars, and then Formula Two cars. When he retired from racing in 1969, he was able to build on his knowledge and experience of cars in co-founding racing car manufacturer March Engineering. With his training as a lawyer and a barrister, he dealt mostly with legal and commercial matters.

Mosley was able to settle a long-standing dispute between the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA) and the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) when he drew up the first Concorde Agreement as FOCA’s legal adviser. He was elected president of FISA in 1991 after representing the world’s motor industry on the World Motor Sport Council.

Mosley was elected president of the FIA in 1993; he made it clear that his aim was to improve road safety and promote the use of green technology. He was instrumental in giving members of the FIA’s motoring organisations in the European Union countries a voice in the FIA Brussels office for the first time.

Also in 1993, Mosley formed the Expert Advisory Safety Committee to research and find solutions for the major safety issues. He was able to do this in his capacity as honorary president of the European Parliament Automobile Users’ Intergroup. Following Ayrton Senna’s tragic death at San Marino in 1994, Mosley instituted safety reforms that included modernising and strengthening EU crash test standards, requiring the offset frontal test and 300mm clearance side impact test. As chairman of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), he promoted their road safety initiative.

In 1996, Mosley formed the Formula One Safety Commission; serving as chairman, he focused on developing the safety of the Formula One circuit. He was passionate about reducing fatalities and injuries; in the late 1990s he outlined an approach to safety involving a zero tolerance to death or injuries. He led a successful campaign for the FIA to be recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 1997.

Mosley established a charity for promoting road safety, motorsport safety, and environmental protection in 2002, the FIA Foundation. He also established the FIA Academy and the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety to research, develop, improve and promote road safety and protect the environment.

Mosley stood down as president of the FIA in 2009, when he was succeeded by Jean Todt; shortly after, he was named honorary president of the FIA. He has made great contributions to road safety and motorsport, and he received the highest decoration in France, Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, in 2006. He has received many government and industry awards and continues to contribute to issues surrounding safety and the environment in motorsport today.

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