There are many people who have helped to make auto racing the incredibly successful and profitable sport it has become. One of the most iconic of these names is Max Mosley. Through his innovations on the track and rule changes off the track, he has helped guide the sport in a direction that has made it more palatable for the masses. This has opened the door to television and sponsorship deals that would have previously been impossible.
Presidency of FIA
In 1993, Mosley started his first term as the president of FIA, an influential non-profit organization in the world of motoring. It was in this position that Mosley was able to enact his most lasting changes to the world of motor sports, securing his legacy in the history of Formula One. When Mosley’s FIA presidency began, Formula One racing was in a state of turmoil. There was a great deal of fighting between many of the governing bodies within the sport, making it difficult for necessary changes to be made that would help to grow the sport. Mosley provided steady leadership, allowing the various parties within Formula One and auto racing in general to find common ground. It can be said that more progress was made in motor sports during Mosley’s FIA presidency than in the previous 30 years.
The implementation of safety regulations
In the early 1990s, serious injuries and fatalities in Formula One racing were happening much too frequently, especially considering the safety technology that was already available at that time. However, the safety regulations that were being used on the Formula One circuit had needed to be changed for a long time. The bureaucracy had prevented this from happening. Mosley moved swiftly to implement changed that had an immediate impact on driver safety. Although it is impossible to measure how many lives his changes saved, it is fair to say that more drivers would have lost their lives had Mosley not acted as fast as he did to put his safety changes into effect.
The end of an era
In 2009, Mosley’s fourth term as FIA president came to an end. The improvements he made to Formula One and auto racing as a whole will be felt for many decades to come. Upon leaving his post, Mosley gave his endorsement to Jean Todt, the former executive director of Ferrari, to take his place. Todt was elected as the president of FIA later that year.