Westminster Coroner’s Court has heard that former FIA president Max Mosley died last May from “significant injuries consistent with a gunshot wound”.
The 81-year-old, who presided over the FIA from October 1993 to October 2009, was found dead at his home in London on 23 May 2021.
British media has reported that Westminster Coroner’s Court heard that Mosley “was receiving palliative care for lymphoma” after being diagnosed in 2019. It also heard that he had shared his plans and left a suicide note.
Police were called to Mosley’s house on 23 May and officers found Mosley on his bed with a shotgun.
“It was obvious he had used the shotgun to himself and endured a life-ending injury,” said the coroner, who ruled that Mosley’s death was a suicide. “It’s clear he had injuries not compatible with life.’”
Mosley had been receiving treatment for the lymphoma since October 2019 but the focus of the cancer treatment had switched to improving his quality of life from April 2021. It was believed he did not have long to live.
The Mirror reported that Dr Christopher McNamara, a consultant haematologist who had been treating Mosley for the lymphoma since October 2019, said: “He emailed me on 22 May 2021, these were questions about the management of the condition. He had accepted this would not be cured.
“He was extremely upset as his quality of life was poor and left him uncomfortable. He had expressed ideas of committing suicide to myself and other members of the team previously.”
It is understood the family also submitted a written statement.
Mosley, a former lawyer and amateur racer, formed March Engineering in 1969 with Robin Herd, Alan Rees and Graham Coker. The team scored three Formula 1 victories, but found far greater and longer lasting success in lower formulas.
Mosley quit in 1977 and combined with Bernie Ecclestone to run what was called F1CA, then FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association).
He departed this role at the end of 1982 to try and enter politics but returned to motorsport as president of the FIA’s manufacturers’ commission four years later. In 1991, Mosley defeated Jean-Marie Balestre to become president of the Federation Internationale du Sport Automobile, and in 1993, took over as president of the FIA.
Mosley received great credit for improving safety in F1 and motorsport as a whole during his 16-year term as president, and also endeavoured to reduce costs and make the sport more environment-conscious as ‘green’ issues became ever-more important.