Max Mosley

From Academic Kids

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Max Mosley has been president of the influential FIA since 1991.

Maxmilian Rufus Mosley is currently serving his third term as president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile.

Mosley is the son of the British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford. He attended Christ Church, Oxford, graduating with a degree in physics in 1961; he studied law at Gray's Inn in London and qualified as a solicitor in 1964. He raced throughout the 1960s for the London Racing Team and later with Frank Williams's Formula Two team. He retired from driving in 1969 and went into racing car production as one of the founders of March. Meeting with little success in Formula One, but great success in the profitable business of selling Formula Two customers cars.

In the early 1970s he became involved with FOCA, the Formula One Constructors Association, a union of teams created to defend the teams' rights and maintain their collective control of the sport. At the end of 1977 Mosley officially withdrew from constructing and became legal advisor to FOCA. Mosley was later elected as president of the FISA F1 (Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile, a comitee of the FIA. A later restructuration of the FIA lead to the disappearance of the FISA and Mosley was elected president of the FIA.

Bernie Ecclestone was at the time the president of FOCA; Jean Marie Balestre was president of FISA. The two clashed repeatedly over various regulation and financial issues and eventually fought for control of the sport. Mosley helped resolve this debate by drawing up the Concorde Agreement, giving FISA control of the rules and FOCA control of promotion and television rights.

Shortly thereafter Mosley disappeared entirely from Formula One for three years but returned in 1986, becoming president of the FISA Manufacturer's Commission and establishing the Simtek Research constructor, which again met with little success.

He sold out his share of Simtek in 1991 when he was elected president of the FIA, deposing Jean Marie Balestre 43 votes to 29. He resigned a year later, stating that he would rather be elected on his own merits than the mistakes of his predecessor; the FIA immediately re-elected him for a four-year term. He was elected to his second term in October 1997 and his third in 2001.

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Fans have criticized Mosley for many of his rule changes and blamed him for situations such as that surrounding the 2005 United States Grand Prix.

In June 2004 Mosley announced that he would step down from his position in October of that year. However, in July 2004 he rescinded his decision after the FIA Senate called for him to stay on. His term expires in October 2005.

Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone retain almost complete authority over Formula One racing; the FIA currently regulates the Formula One World Championship, the World Rally Championship, the Formula 3000 International Championship, and the GT Championship, among other events.

Mosley for a time was interested in becoming a Conservative MP, although in protest at that party's Eurosceptic direction, he has now become one of the major funders of the Labour Party. Like his father, Mosley is a keen pro-European.


  • The main men in F1 ( BBC Sport (11 October 2004).

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