Bernie Ecclestone was hit hard by the news on Monday that former FIA president Max Mosley died Sunday night at age 81.
Ecclestone, who served as chief executive during Mosley’s reign, said losing Mosely was like “losing a brother.”
Mosley’s family issued a statement confirming that Jean Todt’s predecessor at the FIA “died last night after a long battle with cancer. They ask to be allowed to grieve in private.”
Former F1 boss Ecclestone, 90, has said supporting Mosley’s departure as FIA president in 2009 is one of his biggest regrets. And now, his death is “like losing a family member. He was like a brother to me,” Ecclestone is quoted by DPA news agency. “We understood each other. That meant that one of us could criticize the other if we didn’t like something.
“He was a straightforward guy, but he wasn’t someone who was tolerant of fools.”
Indeed, Mosley was often at the center of intense conflict with the Formula 1 teams as he pushed for safety reforms, many of which are now his lasting legacy in the sport of today.
“Max did a lot of good for motorsport and a lot of good for the auto industry by making the cars super safe,” Ecclestone confirmed.
From driver to team founder to FIA President, Max Mosley was a powerful modernising force for world motor sport and a unique personality in our industry.
On behalf of Mercedes, we extend our sympathies to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/PeSqO6hP0I
Mosley was also heralded by some for going to war with tabloid newspapers, like the subsequently-defunct News of the World which ran the expose of his infamous sex scandal.
“I figured if I don’t do it, they’ll go on exposing people who can’t defend themselves. I think I’ve done the right thing,” Mosley once said.
Damon Hill, who won the F1 championship in 1996, said on Monday: “There will be much spoken in the next few months and years about this complicated and controversial man. But for now, may God rest his soul and condolences to his family.”
In a statement, Formula 1 said: “We are saddened to hear that Max Mosley, former FIA president, has passed away. A huge figure in the transition of Formula 1. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
McLaren Racing sends its condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of former FIA president Max Mosley on the news of his passing.
His tenure was defined by the major safety advances in motorsport and global mobility that continue to this day. pic.twitter.com/hf6CVZA4Fb
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