Book tip: Max Mosley's autobiography

Max Mosley's autobiography
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M ax Mosley polarizes. Feared or respected because of his intelligence, his quick wittedness, his persuasiveness. The trained lawyer made Formula 1 great together with Bernie Ecclestone. From 1991 the alliance ruled officially. As President and Vice President of the FIA. Mosley and Ecclestone lured automakers into Formula 1 and almost got crushed by them.

When Mosley saw the danger of the spiraling cost spiraling out of control and tried to put a budget cap on the teams, he felt a headwind. The teams threatened the FIA ​​and Ecclestone with a pirate series. At almost the same time, a story in England's 'News of the World' revolver about a sex party shook Mosley's credibility. Mosley won that war too. The magazine was discontinued, the laws on the protection of privacy tightened. But he resigned as FIA President.

Max Mosley - arguable, unyielding, intrepid

Mosley's campaign against the apparently overpowering Murdoch empire characterizes the now 75-year-old Englishman. Arguable, unyielding, fearless. On June 18th, the 496-page autobiography of a man was published in England, of whom Bernie Ecclestone once said: 'He would have been the best prime minister in the country anyone could imagine.'

Many in Formula 1 -Circus trembled at this book. Mosley had made many enemies on the scene on his long journey from 1970 to 2009. And they knew that the former FIA president is not afraid of any conflict and that he wears his heart on his tongue. But the big reckoning did not materialize. 'I described the people as I saw them,' says Mosley. 'Bernie had many good sides and a few bad ones. That's how it says in his book.'

For example, when Ecclestone thwarted Mosley's abdication in the aftermath of the sex scandal. “I was surprised that after 40 years of friendship, Bernie suddenly supported the other side who wanted to get rid of me. It could only be explained as follows: After he had sold a large part of the shares, he was under great pressure from their board members. In an interview , which Bernie gave in March 2009, he was quoted as saying, 'If there's anything I have regrets in life, it's how I treated Max. A friend is someone who helps you when you're in the shit. Max would have done it for me.' and that's why I get angry with myself. ' Mosley not resentful: 'That settled the matter for me.'

His predecessor in office,Jean-Marie Balestre is doing surprisingly well. The once bitter enemy of the Mosley-Ecclestone axis is, in Mosley's retrospect, the man who gave the world association the status it has today. Mosley also finds words of praise for his successor, Jean Todt. He was one of the few who did not stab him in the back in the 'News of the world' affair.

Finally, Mosley also clears up the accusation that he has been campaigning for revenge against McLaren boss for personal reasons Ron Dennis led: 'A lot of people think I don't like Ron. That's wrong. He could be very stressful at meetings, and I often disagreed with him, but only because he defended what he thought he was His company's interests. Unlike many other team bosses, he has always spoken his mind openly. Only a fool would not recognize Ron's achievements. They are one of the great success stories of Formula 1. The only dark point was that he ventured into the To repeatedly lie the name of his company in the spy case 2007. And later again at the GP Australia 2009. '

This is how Bernie Ecclestone ticks

Mosley's reminiscences of his childhood it, his time as a lawyer, the self-experiments in Formula 2, the building up and bankruptcy of his own racing team, the fight with his partner Ecclestone against the association, the EU Commission, the teams, the election for president, the resignation, that Running the gauntlet after the sex party and the court battle against Rupert Murdoch and his tabloids are humorously told, so that despite the often dry political topics, one never gets bored.

One begins to understand how amateurish the 70s were Formula 1 teams have managed how Bernie Ecclestone ticks, why a pirate series will never work in Formula 1, and how you can become FIA ​​president as a non-official.

And you get in the last third of the Book gives a good insight into how unfair justice can be. Mosley vividly describes that not everyone is the same in court. If you don't have enough money, the necessary connections and stamina, you will either not go to court against a giant like Murdoch or go under at high costs. With the same legal position.

A team with 10,000 pounds of working capital

The book is rich in anecdotes that will help to better understand Formula 1, its masterminds, its rise and also its problems today. March was founded in 1969 with only £ 10,000 working capital. Each of the 4 founders had to bring in £ 2,500. Mosley borrowed his part from his mother. Robin Herd and Alan Rees had won their £ 2,500 at the betting shop. Because they correctly guessed Jackie Stewart as World Champion in 1969. Graham Coaker plundered his savings.Six months later, March was at the start in Kyalami with five cars and the superstars Jackie Stewart, Chris Amon, Jo Siffert and Mario Andretti.

Mosley reports how naive the 4 company founders were back then. Ken Tyrrell bought 3 chassis without engine and gearbox from March. The agreed price was £ 6,000 per chassis. 'That was the price we had calculated based on our budget. Ford sports director Walter Hayes was supposed to pay for the sum. He called us into his office on Regent Street and explained to us: The price is 9,000 pounds, not 6,000. I replied that we had already agreed with Ken 6,000, I couldn't possibly ask that much money from him. Hayes just said: Leave Ken to me. The price is 9,000. If he hadn't insisted, March would have been broke after a year. '

Ecclestone and Mosley were a tandem as early as 1975 that worked brilliantly. Here, too, a little story that shows how it was possible to soften the front of the organizers who opposed the teams' plan to collect entry fees. 'In 1975 at the Nürburgring we were involved in difficult negotiations with the organizers of the Canadian GP. They did not want to pay the asking price. We gave them a deadline of midnight. The race was to take place two months later and the transport to Canada still had to be organized. The deadline passed. '

' The next morning we canceled the race. Immediately the Canadians said they would pay. Of course, the teams wanted to go because North America was an important market for the sponsors. I explained They tell them that we have to make an example and live up to our threat. There are deadlines to be met. If that catches on, it always goes on like this. And we lose our credibility. We didn't go to Canada that year . '

Schumi shouldn't be world champion in 1994

Mosley reveals that Enzo Ferrari was in the early days of the FOCA (Formula O ne Constructors Association) was of great help. 'Although he often disagreed with the technical regulations, he understood that he would get more money through Bernie's negotiating skills. And he didn't want Balestre to keep a hand on the financial part of the sport.' Ecclestone had increased the income for the teams tenfold within his first eight years of service.

Nevertheless, the English teams were on the verge of collapse in 1981. There was a war with the association. The FIA ​​had the manufacturers on their side and also a number of organizers who no longer wanted to be cupped by Ecclestone. Balestre wanted to ban the aprons in order to reduce the downforce of the cars. The private teams ran up against it because they saw aerodynamics as their only weapon against the power of the turbo engines of the plants.

From thatthe result was a poker that Ecclestone and Mosley only won because they ran their own race in South Africa at the highest risk. Lotus founder Colin Chapman came up with the idea. 'Let's go race and pretend the world is fine with us.'

Mosley says, 'It wasn't okay. We just had old Avon tires from Bernie's inventory, and those Sponsors threatened to drop out. Many teams were on the verge of bankruptcy. We pulled through the race while the FIA ​​had to postpone the official season opener in Argentina. At the crucial meeting in Paris, Balestre shrugged first. He did not see our real situation. This resulted in the first Concorde agreement. '

Mosley also makes it clear in his book that he would have preferred to deny Michael Schumacher the world title in 1997 after the collision with Damon Hill in Adelaide in 1994. Because it smelt of purpose. 'In my opinion, Michael was very lucky not to be punished for this and to lose his title. But the Stewards looked at the incident and decided that it was a normal racing accident. It was a matter of opinion, and it would have been wrong on our part to contest this assessment, especially after we criticized Balestre for it in the Suzuka affair between Prost and Senna. '

Do you want to read more? You can order the book in English from Simon & Schuster or via >> Order Amazon from 29.90 euros.

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