Mosley to stand down as FIA president

fia-committeeMax Mosley has confirmed that he will step down as FIA President when his current four-year term ends in October later this year.

Following months of wrangling between the FIA and the Formula One Teams Association over next year’s rules Mosley confirmed in a letter to club members of the FIA that he would not be seeking a fifth four year term – a decision which is widely believed to be the key to a peace deal being struck between the two parties at the World Motosport Council meeting on June 24.

“Since my announcement on 24 June that I was not going to seek re-election, I have received almost 100 messages from FIA member clubs urging me to think again,” he said in the letter.

“From a personal point of view it would be very difficult for me to change my mind and stand again. I began some months ago to rearrange my family life with effect from next October. I also informed senior FIA staff that I would not be a candidate.

“To continue now would greatly complicate my domestic arrangements and be inconsistent with my obligations to my family, particularly after our recent loss. Also, I have felt for some time that I would like to work less. After all, I will be 70 next year.

“Therefore, with these new arrangements in place, extremely grateful though I am for all the letters, emails and messages I have received, I have decided to reconfirm my decision. I will not be a candidate in October.”

Mosely’s decision to step down paves the way for a new agreement being signed between the FIA and the Formula One teams on the structure, governance and regulation of the sport – the so called Concorde Agreement.

“Following the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting on 24 June, we were expecting to extend the 1998 Concorde Agreement with a few minor amendments,” Mosley confirmed. “In the event, we received a completely new draft. However, after three weeks of intensive negotiations (including weekends and evenings), Nick Craw, (as deputy president, sport) and I feel that, with the help of our lawyers, we have negotiated an agreement which brings to Formula One the new teams and lower costs which were so urgently needed.”

Mosley went on to endorse Ferrari team principal Jean Todt as his replacement.

“Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motor sport manager of his generation and arguably of any generation,” he said in the letter. “Teams run by him have won the World Rally Championship, Cross Country rallies including Paris-Dakar, the Le Mans 24 Hour Race and, in the last 15 years, one Formula One World Championship after another.”

“He has also been CEO of a large car manufacturer. He thus has experience in charge of a large and complex organization, something which is an essential qualification for any future president of the FIA. From his road car experience, he has a thorough understanding of the unseen but vital work of the FIA away from the race track and the special stage.”

“Most recently he has been involved with his partner Michelle Yeoh in FIA road safety and environmental campaigns all over the world, thus demonstrating a commitment to the major public policy initiatives which are such an important part of the FIA’s work.

“Finally, I must emphasise he would not be in any way a motor industry candidate. He would have no special relationship with his former company, Ferrari, nor with Peugeot Citroen, the manufacturer behind his former World Rally, Cross-Country and Le Mans teams. He would preserve the independence of the FIA.

“If he agrees to stand, I think he would be the ideal person to continue but also to extend the work of the past 16 years. He can be relied on in all areas where the FIA is active. I very much hope you will give him your support.

“Finally, thank you once again for your support and for the trust you have placed in me. I have enjoyed the last 16 years as president of the FIA and I believe that together we have made much progress with an organization of which we can all be proud.’

Max Mosley (FIA President 1993 – 2009)

A former barrister and amateur racing driver, Mosley was a founder and co-owner of March Engineering, a successful racing car constructor and Formula One racing team. He looked after legal and commercial issues for the company between 1969 and 1977.

In the late 1970s, Mosley became the official legal adviser to the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), the body which represents Formula One constructors. In this role he drew up the first version of the Concorde Agreement, which settled a long-standing dispute between FOCA and the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA), the then governing body of Formula One.

Mosley was elected president of FISA in 1991 and became president of the FIA, FISA’s parent body, in 1993. Mosley has identified his major achievement as FIA President as the promotion of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP or Encap), a European car safety performance assessment programme. He has also promoted increased safety and the use of green technologies in motor racing. In 2008, stories about his sex life appeared in the British press. Despite the controversy, Mosley retained his position.

Mosley is the son of Oswald Mosley, former leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), and Diana Mitford. He was educated in France, Germany and Britain before going on to attend university at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in physics. In his teens and early twenties Mosley was involved with his father’s post-war political party, the Union Movement (UM). He has said that the association of his surname with fascism stopped him from developing his interest in politics further, although he briefly worked for the Conservative Party in the early 1980s.