Born in 1940 in London, Max Mosley studied at schools in Germany, France and Great Britain. Mosley went on to attend Oxford University, where he studied physics and was elected as Secretary of the Oxford Union’s debating society. Mosley trained to be a lawyer and became a barrister specialising in trademark and patent law.
Max Mosley spent much of his youth racing cars in his spare time, formerly driving sports cars before progressing to Formula 2, when he drove Brabham and Lotus cars. Mosley retired from racing in 1969, whereupon he co-founded March Engineering, a company which went on to become one of the world’s leading racing car manufacturers. Mosley dealt with the company’s legal and commercial matters from 1969 to 1977. Mosley went on to become the Formula One Constructors’ Association’s official legal advisor in the mid-1970s. The Formula One Constructors’ Association, or FOCA, is the body which represents Formula One car constructors. It was whilst engaged in this role the Mr Mosley negotiated the first Concorde Agreement, brokering a deal to settle a long-standing dispute between the FOCA and the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (or FISA, the body which governed Formula 1, at the time). Mr Mosley was elected President of the Manufacturers’ Commission of FISA in 1986, gaining a seat on the World Motor Sport Council, representing the world’s motor industry. In 1991, he was elected as President of FISA outright.
In June 1993, Mosley worked closely with Jean-Marie Balestre, the president of the FIA to agree his candidacy for the FIA presidency – Jean-Marie Balestre soon stood down, and Mosley gained majority support. He was elected President of the FIA with no opposition. As President of the FIA, Mosley pledged that the organisation should be making a meaningful difference outside of the sport of motor racing. He set about promoting the use of green technology, as well as increased road safety. During his first year as FIA President, Max Mosley commissioned the FIA Brussels office, giving the motor sport’s 40,000,000 European Union members an effective voice within Brussels. He was elected as the European Parliament Automobile Users’ Intergroup’s Honorary President and formed the Expert Advisory Safety Committee in the very same year. Mosley’s attention to safety within the sport of motor racing came to a head after the San Marino Formula One in 1994, when triple world champion racing car driver Ayrton Senna and Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger were both killed. Following these deaths, Mosley instituted widespread changes and safety reform in the sport.