According to a London inquest the late former FIA president Max Mosley killed himself with a weapon last May.
The 81-year-old former F1 team boss and close colleague of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone was supposed to have died of cancer at the time.
Mosley has been getting lymphoma treatment since October 2019, but since April 2021, the focus of his cancer treatment had shifted to increasing his quality of life. He was thought to be nearing the end of his life.
“He emailed me on 22 May 2021, these were inquiries about the care of the illness,” Dr Christopher McNamara, a consultant haematologist who has been treating Mosley for lymphoma since October 2019, told the Mirror. He’d accepted the fact that he wouldn’t 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.”
However, the cause of death was determined to be suicide by Westminster Coroner’s Court, with Mosley reportedly opting to take his life after being told that his life expectancy was “extremely limited” and that he would experience “debilitating” agony.
“I am entirely satisfied Mr Mosley would not have undertaken this action but for the distressing and debilitating terminal lymphoma,” senior coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox explained.
“He has taken a shot gun from a locked cabinet at his own home for which he had a licence,” said Wilcox.
“He took a shotgun and loaded it with cartridges, placed it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.”
After enjoying a final lunch with his wife, he left a suicide note. On a blood-soaked suicide note, all that could be read was “I feel I had no option.”
Mosley’s family stated in the coroner’s inquest that his greatest achievement was “the promotion of road safety” and “green technology in Formula 1.”
Mosley’s death was “like losing a brother,” according to Ecclestone, who is ten years Mosley’s senior.
“He did a lot of good things not just for motorsport but also the car industry. He was very good in making sure people built cars that were safe,” he said.
In 1969, Mosley founded March Engineering with Robin Herd, Alan Rees, and Graham Coker. The team won three Formula One races, but had significantly more success and lasted far longer in lower-level competitions.
Mosley left in 1977 to form F1CA, then FOCA, with Bernie Ecclestone (Formula One Constructors Association).
He left his position as president of the FIA’s manufacturers’ commission at the end of 1982 to pursue a political career, but he returned to motorsport four years later as head of the FIA’s manufacturers’ commission.
Mosley won the presidency of the Federation Internationale du Sport Automobile (FIA) in 1991, defeating Jean-Marie Balestre, and took over as president in 1993.
During his 16-year presidency, Mosley was credited with enhancing safety in F1 and motorsport as a whole, as well as attempting to save expenses and make the sport more environmentally sensitive as ‘green’ problems became increasingly significant.