Ex-F1 boss Max Mosley dead at 81, says Bernie Ecclestone

·3-min read

Watch: Former FIA boss Max Mosley dies aged 81

Max Mosley, the ex-Formula One boss, has died at the age of 81, Bernie Ecclestone has said.

The controversial figure died on Sunday night, according to Ecclestone, the billionaire former chief executive of the Formula One Group, which manages the sport.

He said: "He was like family to me. We were like brothers. I am pleased in a way because he suffered for too long."

In a separate interview with the BBC, Ecclestone said: "It’s like losing family, like losing a brother, Max and I.

"He did, a lot of good things not just for motor sport, also the (car) industry he was very good in making sure people built cars that were safe."

Mosley, who was born in London on April 13, 1940, was the son of 1930s British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

Max Mosley - Eddie Mulholland
Max Mosley - Eddie Mulholland

Mosley was the president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) - Formula One's governing body - between 1993 and 2009.

Outside of motor sport, Mosley became an anti-press campaigner after becoming a victim of a newspaper sting involving images of him at a sex party.

In 2008 he won a privacy case against the News of the World newspaper after it printed photographs and published video of his involvement in a sadomasochistic sex session.

It was falsely reported by the newspaper as a "sick Nazi orgy" but Mr Justice Eady found no evidence of Nazi themes in his judgement.

He also said there was no public interest defence in the clandestine recording of the session.

It led to Mosley becoming the primary financial backer of the Impress press regulator which was set up in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics.

The Independent Press Regulation Trust agreed to a £3.8 million four-year funding deal for Impress and said this money had been guaranteed by the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.

Max Mosley's life, in pictures

Sir Oswald Mosley leader of the Fascists Union Movement watches over his second wife Diana Mosley and their two sons Max 6 and Alexander 9 1947. - Daily Mirror
Sir Oswald Mosley leader of the Fascists Union Movement watches over his second wife Diana Mosley and their two sons Max 6 and Alexander 9 1947. - Daily Mirror
Max Mosley pictured in 1968 in his days as a racing driver - Express/Hulton Archive
Max Mosley pictured in 1968 in his days as a racing driver - Express/Hulton Archive
Max Mosley in 2004 during his time as FIA president - Lionel Cironneau/AP
Max Mosley in 2004 during his time as FIA president - Lionel Cironneau/AP

Mosley became embroiled in more controversy in 2018 over a donation of £500,000 to the then deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson.

Mr Watson was urged by then-shadow chancellor John McDonnell to sever ties with Mosley and hand the money back after it emerged the ex-Formula One boss was allegedly found to have published a campaign leaflet in the 1960s which claimed that “coloured immigration threatens your children’s health”.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph in March 2018, a spokesman for Mr Watson said: “The Labour Party has said it won’t accept any further donations from Max Mosley.

“Max no longer holds the views he held over half a century ago.”

Mr Mosley has said previously that the leaflet is "not something I would have ever wished to be associated with", adding that his views have "changed over the last half century".

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