Former FIA chief and racer Max Mosley dies at 81

Max Mosley, the former head of Formula One's governing body, has died at the age of 81 after suffering from cancer, his family said yesterday.

"The family of Max Mosley can confirm that he died last night after a long battle with cancer. They ask to be allowed to grieve in private," a family statement said.

His old friend and ally in the world of motorsport Bernie Ecclestone paid tribute. "We were like brothers for 50-odd years," Ecclestone, 90, told Reuters by telephone from Ibiza. "Better he's gone than suffer the way he was suffering."

The youngest son of Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British fascist movement in the 1930s, Mosley was a racing driver, team owner and lawyer before becoming president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in 1993.

He won a privacy case against the News of the World in 2008 after it said he had taken part in a "sick Nazi orgy". - REUTERS